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Doctor Death: A Madeleine Karno Mystery by…

Doctor Death: A Madeleine Karno Mystery

by Lene Kaaberbøl

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Madeleine Karno Mysteries (1)

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1049171,197 (3.63)3



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English (7)  Danish (2)  All languages (9)
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
This first book in the series sets up the heroine's story: daughter of the coroner. When a young woman is found dead on her family's doorstep Dr. Karno begins to investigate, but Madeleine becomes more involved as the mystery takes them to a cloister where she has access the men don't.

This book took a bit of a supernatural turn that I wasn't expecting, but I am looking forward to seeing where the next volume goes. This series reminded me a bit of the Lady Darby mysteries by Anna Lee Huber.
  4leschats | Oct 22, 2018 |
This is a very dark, Gothic-like historical mystery book set in 1894 when it was inappropriate for women to me involved in early forensic science. Madeleine Karno's father is known as Doctor Death. When he becomes injured in an accident, he asks his daughter, Madeleine, to take over his cases. Madeleine wants to become a pathologist like her father and is bound and determined to follow her goal. When 17 year old Cecile Montaine's body is found in the snowy streets of Varbourg, France, it has bite marks, mites and bacterial disease. Another body, a priest, is found murdered. Madeleine is left to determine how these deaths are connected. She must seek knowledge in odd places: behind convent walls, in secret diaries, and in the yellow stare of an aging wolf. This is a gripping mystery and a coming-of-age story about the relationship between man and beasts (wolves). This was a very unique story and I enjoyed it very much. I now look forward to reading the 2nd book in the series. I would highly recommend this book to those who love historical mystery. ( )
  EadieB | Jan 15, 2018 |
Excruciating, and hardly believable that the author co-wrote The Boy in the Suitcase and the other fabulous, compelling books in the series about Nina Borg. Not recommended. ( )
  librarianarpita | Nov 19, 2017 |
Although bestselling and multi-award-winning author Lene Kaaberbol is quite a prolific author, you may know her best as the co-author of the highly acclaimed novel The Boy in the Suitcase. When I saw that she had written Book #1 in a new historical mystery series, Doctor Death, I knew I was going to be in for a treat and I was not disappointed in that prediction. If you like a strong, independent female sleuth and a gripping thriller then you will definitely want to learn more about Doctor Death at http://popcornreads.com/?p=8180. ( )
  PopcornReads | Mar 3, 2015 |
Set in provincial France during the late 1800's, Doctor Death is the first book in a new historical mystery series from Lene Kaaberbøl, featuring Madeleine Karno.

"My father was reluctant to let me assist when he examined the dead. He said it could only hurt my reputation and my future – by which he meant my chances of marriage. For the most part, my father was a man of progress, absorbed by the newest ideas and the latest technology. But he was incomprehensibly old-fashioned on this particular point."

The daughter of a widowed surgeon/coroner, Madeleine dreams of one day following in his footsteps but for now must be content with those rare times when her father allows her to assist him. Intelligent, rational and ambitious, Madeleine is an admirable character who chafes at the expectations of the era though rarely in an overt way. When her father is injured she seizes the opportunity to become more involved in his current case that begins with a dead girl, scarred with human bites, found on her snow covered doorstep.

Solving the complex mystery involves a combination of common investigation techniques led by Madeleine's father's colleague, the Commisioner, and the fledgling science of forensics utilised by Madeleine and her father. It is a strange case that involves an unidentified parasite, a missing boy, a pack of wolves, a murdered priest and it becomes increasingly unsettling as Madeleine gets closer to unmasking a killer. There are red herrings and twists that keep the reader guessing as Kaaberbøl explores the conflicts of human and beast, science and faith.

"Illness is not necessarily a punishment from God.... Sometimes it just comes to us. If we are lucky, it is a trial from which we can learn. Other times, we must just accept that we humans do not understand everything."

The tone is quite dark overall and there are elements of the story which readers may find disturbing. There is a touch of unconventional romance which will be interesting to see develop in further installments. The pace is good but the narrative does feel a little dry and formal at times, perhaps a consequence of the translation as much as a reflection of the period.

I did enjoy Doctor Death, the mystery was intriguing and Madeleine is an interesting lead but I have to admit I wasn't as engaged as I hoped to have been. I do hope to continue with the series though to see how it develops. ( )
  shelleyraec | Feb 20, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lene Kaaberbølprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dyssegaard, ElisabethTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Watanabe, KyokoDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my sister Eva--with love and with admiration for the work she does and the strength it takes to do it
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"Centered around Madeline Karno, an ambitious young woman eager to shatter the confines of 1890s France, this novel is a gripping mystery that takes the reader on a captivating journey to find the cause behind a series of suspicious deaths" --

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