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Critique of Criminal Reason: A Mystery
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Critique of Criminal Reason: A Mystery (Hanno Stiffeniis #1)

3.32 of 5 stars 3.32  ·  rating details  ·  546 ratings  ·  79 reviews
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
ebook, 400 pages
Published March 18th 2008 by Minotaur Books (first published January 1st 2006)
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Aug 31, 2008 Sarah rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: very few people
Recommended to Sarah by: saw it at Borders
Lot's of silly suspense, fake drama and a trite main character. When I bought this book, I thought Immanuel Kant would play a more active role as in those mystery novels built ariund Jane Austen and other historical characters. Instead, Kant is a pathetic old man with no real exploration of him. The protagonist is a young magistrate who would like to be an intellectual but isn't. He is too sentimental and inconsiderate and goes off in all kinds of directions becuase he doesn't really know where ...more
Oh my god, why? Why was this written? What possibly could the author have desired to construct this biased borefest? Clearly the author has issues with Kantian philosophy, but (view spoiler). I earnestly hoped something would happen in this book, I really did. I like things to happen in books; it makes me feel like I didn't waste my time, seeing as I found enjoyment. Such is not to be had her ...more
Sarebbe stato meglio lasciare Kant alla filosofia. Scomodare nomi altisonanti per un giallo mediocre non è cortese.
Like many of the other reviewers, I found that the book dragged a bit. However, overall, I found the atmosphere wonderful--the lustful albino abortionist, the fur-clad cannibal, the psychotically paranoid general seeing French spies everywhere. You do guess the ending. I think I guessed it maybe a third of the way through. But that's not necessarily a big problem if you're open to less traditional mystery novels.

Also like many of the reviewers here, I was initially annoyed by the hero, but by th
Michael Gregorio, autore del thriller a sfondo storico “Critica della ragion criminale” (Einaudi) è un nom de plume dietro il quale si celano Daniela De Gregorio e Michael Jacob. Lei, figlia di un esponente della corrente pittorica dell’informale, insegna filosofia in un liceo; lui di Liverpool, dove è stato insegnante di letteratura, è direttore di una scuola di inglese di Spoleto, cittadina in cui, dopo essersi sposati, vivono da anni. Il loro libro è stato venduto da un’agenzia letteraria di ...more
sive Della cacca di Kant

"La porta dello studio si aprì con un cigolio e il professor Kant uscì nel corridoio. - La più riuscita delle evacuazioni, Stiffeniis! - esclamò con un sorriso radioso. - Uno stronzo di forma perfetta, compatto e denso nella sua composizione fecale e con un contenuto liquido minimo. Spero che anche voi siate riuscito a produrre qualcosa di analogo questa mattina. (p. 268)"

Concordo pienamente con Kant: come evacuazione è riuscitissima; forma, composizione e contenuto sono
Hanno Stiffeniis, a man in his early thirties, was serving as a magistrate in a small town in Prussia in 1804 when he receives a summons from King Frederick Wilhelm III ordering him to leave for Konigsberg. There have been a few unsolved murders and the circumstances of the murders have panicked the townspeople.
He hadn’t been in Konigsberg for seven years and had been told to never return there because of an incident between himself and Immanuel Kant, the philosopher and teacher but believes
The setting for this book is what made me check it out of the library. I had never seen a historical fiction set in Prussia and while I’ve never really looked for one, it seemed like such a good location for a mystery that I decided to give it a try.

The year is 1804 and Hanno Stiffeniis, a young magistrate, is summoned to Königsberg to take over the investigation of a series of murders that is paralyzing the city. With the help of his mentor, Immanuel Kant and his new scientific process of solvi
Okay, this book had a great premise: put the character of Immanuel Kant into a murder mystery involving a grisly serial killer. I am a fan of well researched historical fiction, and the setting, East Prussia in the Napoleonic era, is not one I have thought or studied much about, so I went into this book expecting some marvelous philosophical ruminations about using Reason to outsmart a serial killer and some memorable descriptions of social behaviors and life in a city on the Baltic Sea at the b ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This was a very interesting read for me. I had never heard of Kaliningrad, Russia before this mystery novel. The protagonist of this story is Detective Hanno Stiffenis who has been called to the city to find the serial killer. He is assisted by his mentor, Emmanuel Kant.

Although this was a long book, I was immersed in the story, partly because of not knowing anything about Konisberg (in Kaliningrad) and partly beccause of how Detective Stiffenis went about his work at a time whne there was littl
aoi aka

I found this by searching for Prussia at my local public library. I wasn't expecting to find novels taking place in Prussia. I was insanely pleased to find this author.

It is author, but in reality Michael Gregorio is two authors in one. The book doesn't read like that at all.

So this takes place around the time Napoleon was wreaking havoc in Europe and his march east into foreign lands was a given thing that everybody dreaded. In this particular story Napoleon is a distant threat.

Konigsberg, the
O título, por si só, pode servir de repelente para quem tenha estudado Kant e filosofia não tenha sido a disciplina de eleição... No entanto, enganam-se se pensam que este livro trata o método filosófico kantiano de forma enfadonha; pelo contrário, é um thriller misterioso em que a investigação se contrapõe entre a razão e a superstição.
"Um thriller que incorpora ideias de Immanuel Kant numa trama inacreditável."
É, sem dúvida, a melhor descrição deste livro!
Počeci forenzike, eksplicitno jezive scene (barem meni), suradnja s Immanuelom Kantom... Više sam se ježila, nego uživala.
This book was suspenseful, and drew me into the plot from the 3rd page. The author moves into the plot fast, but is not good at writing believably in-depth characters.
He uses a lot of similes, which got old quickly. Some of them are silly, like when the snow outside was compared to 'the whiteness of the lace on a lady's fan' but they all still lend to the atmosphere, which is created beautifully and made believable. I know nearly nothing about philosophy so I will not comment about that, except
This mystery takes place in the early 1800s in Prussia. Hanno Stiffeniis is a small-town adjudicator who receives a summons from the king to investigate a series of murders in Konigsburg. In spite of his misgivings about why he was chosen, he responds to the order and finds himself involved in a ghastly series of events. He is assisted in his efforts by his former professor, Immanuel Kant. In the background of the story are references to family conflict regarding Hanno's role in the death of his ...more
Fighting crime with Immanuel Kant. It was as hilariously bad as it sounds. And boring too.
I don't know why I felt like I needed to keep reading this book when I'd pretty much decided I didn't like it. When it finally ended I wasn't even 100% sure that the mystery was solved! But the plot wasn't really the problem that I had with it. I was a bit worried about the serial killer aspect of the book since I don't care for books about serial killers. In spite of that I decided to try it as it seemed like it might be somewhat like Matthew Pearl's books that use important literary figures.


Francamente deludente. Il protagonista è piuttosto lento di comprendonio e il "mistero" sul suo passato, sebbene continuamente ricordato nel corso del libro, lascia indifferenti (fino alla rivelazione finale, che è intuibilissima e non un granché...): il personaggio non è né "simpatico" né "antipatico", è totalmente incolore. La caratterizzazione di Kant non mi è piaciuta per nulla. Anche i meccanismi del giallo sembrano u
I enjoy historical mysteries and was drawn to this book for its setting - Konigsberg - and time period - Napoleanic. I have also read other several books where fictionalized versions of real people are included in the story. In this case, Immanuel Kant was a key figure. The inclusion of a real person can work - The Pale Blue Eye's Poe was pretty good - or not - Charlotte Bronte as a detective? - and it's always interesting to see how an author handles the character he's created.

The setting and
Michael Gregorio, autore del thriller a sfondo storico “Critica della ragion criminale” (Einaudi) è un nom de plume dietro il quale si celano Daniela De Gregorio e Michael Jacob. Lei, figlia di un esponente della corrente pittorica dell’informale, insegna filosofia in un liceo; lui di Liverpool, dove è stato insegnante di letteratura, è direttore di una scuola di inglese di Spoleto, cittadina in cui, dopo essersi sposati, vivono da anni. Il loro libro è stato venduto da un’agenzia letteraria di ...more
Jun 19, 2013 Randal rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People I don't like
Shelves: crime
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Okay, I think I am ready to write a review.
Critique of Criminal Reason is titled after Kant's Critique of Pure Reason (Kritik der reinen Vernunft); however, the book itself has nothing to do with philosophy. This is purely a detective story (serial murders, woohoo!) which takes place in the 1800s Konigsberg.
Now, if you are a huge fan of Immanuel Kant, please don't read this, as you probably will feel uncomfortable how he is portrayed in the book. If not, have a go! I (adequately) enjoyed it beca
From wikipedia (not my review):

Critique of Criminal Reason is an English language crime novel written by Michael Gregorio, the pseudonym of Michael G. Jacob and Daniela De Gregorio, two scholars teaching in Spoleto, central Italy. It is set in Königsberg, during the height of Napoleonic wars, in 1804.

It details the attempts of a young Prussian magistrate, named Hanno Stiffeniis, to catch a murderer who has committed a series of grotesque and unsettling murders in the city. He is aided in the tas
It took me a while before I took time to write down a review; not because I don't know what to write, but more how to write it.
I loved the story and I definitely are going to find more book written by Michael Gregorio.
What intrigued me as the way the author(s) used the philosophy of Immanuel Kant to write this crime novel. I love the plot setting in Prussia at the time of Napolean occupation of Europe. I must confess I'm not familiar with Kant's philosophy and that has been probably a lack to
Eh. Historical fiction mysteries have two main tasks, in my opinion: depicting the historical context and presenting a compelling mystery. I wasn't particularly enthused on either count here, although the historical context was much better than it might have been, and I do have to give bonus points for originality, since Koenigsberg amidst the Napoleonic Wars isn't everyone's dream time-travel destination. I wouldn't be opposed to seeing what the authors do next in the series to develop their de ...more
An originally Italian work that I read in German (fitting due to its setting), this book takes place in the winter of 1804 in the Koenigsberg, the capital of Prussia. It’s quite a unique book with its setting and all. The threat of a Napoleonic invasion, the philosopher Immanuel Kant as a main character, and a string of serial killings that leaves its victims kneeling in the snow. While my main purpose of reading the book was to upkeep and improve my language skills, I must confess to having enj ...more
Maria Grazia
Chi può essere l'unico possibile precursore del metodo d'indagine deduttivo, prima ancora di colui che lo ha portato alla fama, vale a dire Sherlok Holmes? Immanuel Kant, il grande filosofo che spinse la sua mente oltre ogni limite della ragione.
E sarà Hanno Stiffenius, procuratore prussiano, uomo che ha visto il male nonché riluttante allievo di Kant, a seguire passo passo la strada che il suo maestro ha preparato per lui, fino a risolvere gli orrendi misteri di Koninsberg, e dell'animo umano.
I had higher hopes for this book than it delieverd. With the tie in to Kant, I had hoped for some philosophy and mystery together. Unfortunately the depiction of Kant is truly not flattering. And the main character was a bumbling idiot who was not likeable and thought too much (and not in a good way).
I might be tempted to read the second book to see if his issues, as resolved in this book, actually help his character.
Otherwise I would not read this, especially if you appreciate or like Immanuel
Awesome story
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Daniela De Gregorio and Michael G. Jacob
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