cover image Doctor Death: A Madeleine Karno Mystery

Doctor Death: A Madeleine Karno Mystery

Lene Kaaberbøl, trans. from the Danish by Elisabeth Dyssegaard. Atria, $25 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4767-3138-4

Set mainly in 1894 in provincial Varbourg, France, Kaaberbøl’s excellent first in a new historical series introduces Dr. Albert Karno and his scalpel-sharp 20-year-old daughter, Madeleine, who must figure out who murdered lovely 17-year-old Cecile Montaine. Days later, Father Abigore, the Montaine family priest, is murdered as well, and his body is stolen during a violent attack on the hearse transporting it. The investigation pushes passionate aspiring physician Madeleine well beyond conventional expectations for a proper young woman. She goes to Heidelberg to seek the aid of a dashing academic, and later to the forest-ringed Bernardine convent where Cecile was attending school until her disappearance. Deftly exploring such themes as the struggles between mind and body, science and spirit—without detracting from a gripping plot—the novel transcends its period to contemplate the eternal. Kaaberbøl is the coauthor with Agnete Friis of the Nina Borg series (Death of a Nightingale, etc.). Agent: Lars Ringhof, Lars Ringhof Agency (Denmark). (Feb.)