cover image Mrs. Mohr Goes Missing

Mrs. Mohr Goes Missing

Maryla Szymiczkowa, trans. from the Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones. Mariner, $15.99 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-0-358-16146-2

Set in 1893 Cracow, this exceptional debut and series launch from Polish author Szymiczkowa (the pen name of writing duo Jacek Dehnel and Piotr Tarczynski) introduces Zofia Turbotynska, a 38-year-old professor’s wife, who finds household management, novel reading, and the search for social prestige insufficient outlets for her prodigious energy. At a nursing home run by nuns that she visits to promote a charitable cause, she becomes involved in the search for a missing resident, Antonina Mohr, a judge’s widow. Zofia questions the home’s staff and residents, hiding her unofficial investigation from both the mother superior and her husband. After Mohr’s suspiciously pink-hued corpse is found in an attic, Zofia pressures the resident doctor until an autopsy reveals cyanide poisoning. The strangling of one of the home’s impoverished residents complicates the puzzle. The preface offers helpful context on place and period, while the translation showcases the novel’s deliciously ironic voice. Fans who like colorful locales and tongue-in-cheek mysteries will eagerly await Zofia’s next outing. (Mar.)