A Psychiatrist as a Detective: Laszlo Kreizler, Stratham Younger, and Max Liebermann

  • Barbara Braid


A psychoanalyst and a detective share a common goal and methods: they interpret covert clues to reveal the truth(s). Some neo-Victorian detective novels show an awareness of this commonality when they combine psychiatry and detection. Yet, what is also apparent in these novels is a certain degree of anachronism: what we know about forensic psychiatry today is applied to fin de siècle contexts. The chapter provides a discussion of three texts—Caleb Carr’s The Alienist (1995), Frank Tallis’s Mortal Mischief (2005), and Jed Rubenfeld’s The Interpretation of Murder (2006)—focusing on the figures of psychiatrist detectives who represent an anachronistic antipatriarchal and egalitarian perspective on the marginalised and impoverished classes in the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century society.


Crime fiction Detective Neo-Victorian psycho-detective fiction Neo-Victorian fiction Psychiatry Psychoanalysis 


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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara Braid
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SzczecinSzczecinPoland

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