Critique of Criminal Reason

A Mystery

Hanno Stiffeniis Mysteries (Volume 1)

Michael Gregorio

Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books

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Most honourable Procurator Stiffeniis,
            You talents have been brought to Our attention by a gentleman of eminence, who believes that you alone are capable of resolving a situation which holds Our beloved Königsberg in a grip of terror. All Our faith and consideration are due to the notable personage who suggested your name, and that same faith and consideration now resides in you. We have no reason to doubt that you will accept this Royal Commission, and act accordingly with all haste. The fate of the city lies in your hands.
--King Frederick Wilhelm III
 

It has been years since Immanuel Kant’s landmark philosophical work, Critique of Pure Reason, brought him fame throughout Europe and made him Königsberg’s best-known citizen. Now, rumors have begun to surface of a new work by this aging but still acute mind. Yet unlike his earlier work, this book will not examine the mind of the average man, but the mind of the serial killer.
 
Hanno Stiffeniis, a young magistrate, has been called to Königsberg to assist in the investigation of an enigmatic string of murders. Is it part of a plot formed by Napoleon’s spies to undermine the Prussian king or the work of a solitary, unknown killer? The case would seem unsolvable, were it not for the assistance and unmatched intellect of his mentor, Immanuel Kant. Together Stiffeniis and the elderly, eccentric philosopher must track down the killer who has the city of Königsberg by the throat.
Hugely atmospheric, entertaining, and intelligent, Critique of Criminal Reason marks the outstanding debut of a new name in historical fiction.

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Book Excerpts

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CRITIQUE OF CRIMINAL REASON (Chapter 1)

Whalers returning from the Arctic seas in the summer of 1803 reported an aurora borealis of an intensity never observed before. Professor Wollaston had described the phenomenon of polar refraction to the satisfaction of the scientific community some years before. Of course, that fact did not diminish the awe of the folk who dwelt along the Baltic seaboard. All those who lived in Lotingen, myself included, not eight miles from the coast, stared up at the night sky. We could not fail to be stupefied by what we saw.

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Reviews

Praise for Critique of Criminal Reason

“Superb.”
---The Scotsman
 
“Michael Gregorio’s Critique of Criminal Reason is a marvelous highbrow thriller. It combines a tremendous gift for describing a place and time in history—in this case, Königsberg in the winter of 1804—with a hard-driving plot and a sense of the fledgling tools of reason fighting a desperate battle against those of violence and superstition. The indefatigable hero has the flaws of a man of his time; violence and a sometimes brutal way with his inferiors, yet there is never a point where we do not want him to win.”
---C. J. Sansom, author of Dark Fire and Dissolution
 
“[Gregorio’s] re-creation of the starched world of nineteenth-century Prussia, the gothic crimes that take place, and the man trying to track down the killer, are refreshingly different and satisfyingly complex.”
---Publishing News (UK)
 
“An evocative picture of a nineteenth-century city. . . . We get a sense of the tension whipped to fever pitch by rumors of Napoleon’s advancing army and the Jacobins rumored to be plotting to destabilize the city.”
---Scotland on Sunday

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About the Author

Michael Gregorio

Michael Gregorio is a professor of philosophy. He lives in Italy.

Michael Gregorio

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Available Formats and Book Details

Critique of Criminal Reason
A Mystery
Michael Gregorio

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books
March 2008
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429956475
ISBN10: 142995647X
400 pages
$9.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
St. Martin's Press
Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books
March 2008
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312378035
ISBN10: 0312378033
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 400 pages
$14.95
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Minotaur Books

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