A very readable and entertaining account of the cultural climate in late 19th century Vienna, concentrating on the Mayerling drama. The book is written in a smooth journalistic style and sometimes the author seems to guess a little when he doesn't really know. But it is obvious that the book is founded on in-depth research of the period. And you get lots of fun personal gossip on Mahler, Freud, Klimt and other giants who were active in that time and place. More importantly, the fin-de-siècle Vienna scene is to some extent a key to later European events, like the first world war.