Mystery in the Austrian Empire: Sins of the Father, by Stephen Weeks


A good mystery book is an absolute enjoyment for a bookworm.

Mystery is one of those genres that, once you’re familiar with, you become a devoted fan. There’s something thrilling about a nail-biting, invigorating mystery story. After all, who doesn’t dream of playing detective, even for once in their lives?

And then there’s historical mysteries.  Being transported to a different era is magical. Playing detective while you’re doing that is all the more thrilling. Today we’re going to talk about one such book, that I really enjoyed.

A countess. A conspiracy. And a lot of questions.

Countess Beatrix von Falklenburg is more than just a woman from a noble family. She has proved her ability in solving mysteries before. Smart and resourceful, she has already been useful in police investigations before. So, it comes as no surprise when she receives an invitation to Vienna, where a very special task awaits, given to her straight from the powerful head of the Habsburg dynasty.

The Royal Family awaits her service.

The Royal family has been hiding a secret for years, one that has been said to have the power of crushing the empire. Parts and pieces have been whispered for years among the nobility, but it has all been hearsay. Until now. The Countess is summoned to the Palace, and she is given the task of finding the truth about one of the saddest events of the Empire’s history : what really happened on the night of the Prince’s death. Was it really a suicide, as stated, or could someone have murdered the Prince and Heir of the Austrian Empire? And if so, who would have been bold enough to attempt a crime of such magnitude?

A strong female character .

Countess Beatrice (or Trixie) is an intelligent, inquisitive, and brave woman. Breaking the norm of her times, when women of her status were not supposed to work or be involved in “peculiar” business, she decides to follow her instincts and grasps every possible chance at investigating and being of service. Strong willed and cunning, Countess Trixie doesn’t hesitate to carry her investigations to the end of the puzzle, even though she’s immersed in dangerous situations. Her character is portrayed incredibly wittily, making the reader very fond of her.

A well researched, intriguing read.

Sins of the Father is a pleasant, easy mystery book. All places and figures involved are historically accurate, and the story is clearly very well researched. Revolving around an actual event, the death of the Heir of the Austrian Empire, it manages to twist the facts just enough so that a good mystery plot is created, while at the same time retaining enough genuine facts so as to make it historically interesting as well.

Should you read it?

Sins of the Father is definitely recommended for the fans of historical mysteries, as well as the general genre.  Easy enough to read in a day or two, it will add to your collection nicely, while certainly keeping you entertained.

Sins of the Father is the second book in the series Countess of Prague Mystery, but it can also stand perfectly well as an individual read.