There are many wonderful books coming out of or inspired by Eastern European and Russian fairytales and history over the past decade. Perhaps it is just that I have discovered them lately, but it is one of my current reading trends. Examples include The Snow ChildThe Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey, The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden and Uprooted by Naomi Novik.
I just enjoyed reading the historical novel, The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Pötzsch. It takes place in the Bavarian town of Schongau in 1659, located in modern Germany less than an hour and a half from Munich. Someone, or something, is murdering children of this town and it is not long before witchcraft is suspected and the innocent midwife is accused. It is up to the local hangman and young physician to work together to solve the mystery before more children die and the midwife is burned alive.
This book stands on its own, but it is also the first in a series by this author.
The authentic characters and strong sense of place help make The Hangman’s Daughter a compelling read. Recommended for those who love historical mysteries that are fast-paced and richly detailed.
– Kathy Growney