The Poisoned Pilgrim: Oliver Potzsch

Book 4 in The Hangman’s Daughter Series

Simon & his wife, Magdalena,  have decided to take a pilgrimage with their fellow citizens. Their group has travelled from Schongau from a variety of reasons, but the Fronwiesers are going to thank God for sparing their sons from dying of a recent illness. Having left their 2 boys with their grandfather, Hangman Jakob Kuisl, & his wife, they embark on the treacherous trip to the Holy Mountain. There, they’ll have the opportunity to give thanks & worship at the Andech monastery during the Festival of the Three Hosts.

But, trouble always seems to follow the Hangman’s family. It’s apparent that several monks in the order are actively conducting scientific experiments. That may not sound odd to us, but in 1666, it was predominantly viewed as witchcraft. Monks practicing black arts is hardly a popular notion & they’ve attracted a bit too much attention. Soon, one of the monks disappears after his lab is destroyed. As is customary, Simon ends up in the middle of the investigation.

Knowing he’s over his head, they send word to Jakob to come to the rescue. What no one could know is how much Jakob will really be needed. With the Festival days away, the Church wants the case wrapped up quickly. For everyone’s safety, Jakob will need every ounce of courage & wit to solve a very complicated situation.

‘Pilgrim’ is a great addition to the series. I really enjoyed it. I thought the plot was fabulous with a tremendous amount of suspense and mystery. Though there is violence, I didn’t find it to be over the top like it was in ‘The Beggar King’. I also loved the scientific angle especially in the context of what adventurous minds endured during this era of history. What we deem as common was scandalous to them. I wonder how they’d react to seeing iPhones?

I hope Oliver Potzsch will consider expanding the series. I’ve grown so fond of the Hangman’s family. Even though he is technically a villain at least to the townspeople- he is adapted to be a hero. ‘Pilgrim’ is definitely worth a read. Don’t let the number of pages sway you. It goes fast once you’re engrossed in the story. Absolutely a 5 star rating from me.

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