‘There were also traces of cloth, tiny crystals of a substance that I suspect is glue, and minute particles of leather. Some of the latter were very old indeed.’
‘I see,’ said Rheinhardt. ‘Most, erm, puzzling.’
‘Not that puzzling, Inspector!’
‘I don’t understand,’ Rheinhardt said. ‘Are you saying, Miss Lydgate, that these particular substances are significant?’
‘If the scarf belonged to the murderer – then yes.’
‘In what way?’ said Rheinhardt, feigning nonchalance.
‘They reveal his profession.’
‘Yes. He is the proprietor of an antiquarian bookshop – or he is a librarian.’
So is it a librarian who’s committing all those atrocious murders, which seem to be connected, somehow, to Mozart’s opera ‘The Magic Flute’? There certainly is a librarian in the book, and he’s even given a whole chapter to himself, chapter 52, which, although only 2 pages, is nevertheless too long to quote here. He doesn’t seem to be a too sympathetique character, though. Or are we just beeing deceived here? Well, I suppose we’ll just have to finish the book to discover the truth…
But in order to find out more about how the murders are connected with the opera, and Freemasonry, what does one best do? Exactly, go to the library…
If we are to discover more about the symbolism of The Magic Flute, then I suspect this will be best achieved by long hours spent poring over books in a library.
Tallis, Frank. Vienna Blood. London, Arrow Books, 2007. (The Lieberman Papers, Vol. 2). 978-0-099-47132-5.