Fiction. First published in U.K. in 1994. Published in the U.S. by Pleasure Boat Studio in 2006 (though no longer a PBS book). This mystery involves the story of Emily in fin de siecle Vienna, a young woman horribly distraught because of the murder of a British diplomat, a murder she believes she committed. But did she? Her therapist, Dr. Sigmund Freud, suggests to his colleagues that she is fantasizing. Sara, her colleague/lover, is supportive of her regardless of what she did. It takes the famous Sherlock Holmes, called in by Scotland Yard, to resolve this issue. This highly psychological mystery keeps a reader wondering until the final pages.
“Part diary, part scientific journal, part detective story, part love story: The Case of Emily V is thoroughly post-modern in its deliberate blurring of the distinction between fact and fiction, its cavalier blending of literary genres. But Oatley’s first novel … also resembles old 19th-century literature. His characters are dynamic, his storylines complex and suspenseful, his social commentary broad and integral to the plot.” – Marie Campbell, Quill & Quire Quotables
“Oatley’s subtle and insightful debut novel…explores human psychology through three perspectives—that of the title character, an accomplished young woman traumatized by guilt at her role in the death of a British diplomat, who was her lecherous guardian; Sigmund Freud, whom she consults to ease her mental suffering; and Sherlock Holmes, enlisted by his brother, Mycroft, to probe the man’s death. The author manages to make each narrative convincing, and for readers used to poor imitations of the Watson voice by numerous pasticheurs, Oatley’s rendition of the Baker Street duo will be a pleasant surprise. The book has more in common with less conventional, deeper looks at what makes Holmes tick… ” – Publishers Weekly
Keith Oatley is professor emeritus of cognitive psychology at the University of Toronto. His research is on emotion, and on the psychology of fiction. He is the author of six books of psychology, most recently Such Stuff as Dreams: The Psychology of Fiction (2011, Wiley-Blackwell). He is also the author of three novels. Therefore Choose (2010, Goose Lane Editions) is about making choices when we can’t predict what might happen. Keith organizes and writes for a blog on the psychology of fiction, www.onfiction.ca and he reviews movies for PsycCritiques. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and a Fellow of the British Psychological Society.
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