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The Interpretation of Murder

by Jed Rubenfeld

      The Interpretation of Murder takes a unique look at Sigmund Freud’s only voyage to the United States back in 1909. Why did Freud call Americans "savages" and blame his journey to America for illnesses that happened to him? Jed Rubenfeld uses classic mystery detection to create a spin on what could have happened to Freud and his colleagues during his visit.

The Interpretation of Murder truly looks at how murder mysteries were solved back in Freud’s time, using basics which it can be hard to go back to in today’s world of high technology and forensic science. Mr. Rubenfeld does an amazing job of incorporating psychoanalysis into crime solving and Shakespeare’s Hamlet. One might think that since psychoanalysis is discussed a lot in The Interpretation of Murder people who do not know a lot about psychoanalysis would be lost, but they are not. How Freud interacts with Jung and his other colleagues is ingenious.

The solving of the murder in The Interpretation of Murder shares equal time with Freud and remains a mystery until near the end. There are enough suspects to keep readers guessing as to whodunit.

A true classic mystery novel that goes back to the basics.

The Book

Henry Holt and Company
September 2006
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The Reviewer

Jen Oliver
Reviewed 2006
© 2006