The Interpretation of Murder

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The Interpretation of Murder
Author Jed Rubenfeld
Country United States
Language English
Genre Mystery novel
Publisher Henry Holt and Company
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 384
ISBN 978-0-8050-8098-8 (Hardcover)
OCLC 65302409
813/.6 22
LC Class PS3618.U233 I58 2006

The Interpretation of Murder, published in 2006, is the first novel by the American law professor Jed Rubenfeld. The book is written in the first person perspective of Dr. Stratham Younger, supposedly an American psychoanalyst. Other events where he is not present he is informed upon so that he has enough knowledge to write and comment on them.

Plot summary[edit]

On the morning after Sigmund Freud arrives in New York City on his first – and only – visit to the United States in 1909, a stunning débutante is found bound and strangled in her penthouse apartment, high above Broadway. The following night, another beautiful heiress, Nora Acton, is discovered tied to a chandelier in her parents' home, viciously wounded and unable to speak or to recall her ordeal. Soon Freud and his American disciple, Stratham Younger, are enlisted to help Miss Acton recover her memory, and to piece together the killer's identity. It is a riddle that will test their skills to the limit and lead them on a journey into the darkest places of the city, and of the human mind.


  • Sigmund Freud
  • Carl Jung
  • Abraham Brill
  • Rose Brill
  • Sándor Ferenczi
  • George B. McClellan, Mayor of New York City
  • Stratham Younger, Dr. (fictional). The first person story teller in the book.
  • Nora Acton (fictional). Based on Freud's case study of "Dora" (Ida Bauer)
  • Mr. Harcourt Acton and Mrs. Acton, Nora's parents (fictional)
  • George Banwell, Building contractor (fictional)
  • Clara Banwell, George Banwell's wife (fictional)
  • Jimmy Littlemore, Detective (fictional)
  • Charles Hugel, Coroner (fictional)
  • Granville Stanley Hall
  • Ernest Jones
  • Smith Ely Jeliffe, Dr, Publisher
  • The "Triumvirate":
  • Elizabeth Riverford (fictional)
  • Mr. and Mrs. Biggs (fictional), the Acton family's servants
  • Betty Longobardi (fictional)
  • Chong Sing
  • Leon Ling, alias William Leon
  • Seamus Malley (fictional)
  • Harry Thaw
  • Elsie Sigel, granddaughter of General Franz Sigel
  • Mr. and Mrs. Sigel, Elsie's parents
  • Mabel, Mr. and Mrs. Sigel's niece
  • Charles Johnson
  • Susan A.(Susie) Merrill, Brothel owner
  • Mr. and Mrs. Hyslop
  • Mr. and Mrs. Fish
  • Charles Becker, Police Sergeant
  • Louis Riviere

Places, landmarks and buildings[edit]

External links[edit]