Top positive review
The Poisoned Pilgrim Delivers a Delicious Tale of Medieval Mayhem
Reviewed in the United States on August 3, 2020
Sometimes a pilgrimage is way more than a religious journey to give thanks. With the hangman's daughter and her husband, Simon, Oliver Potzsch has created two intrepid investigators who fight ad bicker with each other and all the while must solve not one, but several mysteries — all without putting themselves into too much danger. And their pilgrimage opens a window into not only human greed and suspicions but into a couple's own need to work together as a team.
While the couple's journey begins as a trip to the monastery at Andechs to give thinks for their children's survival, it quickly becomes a lot more complicated as there are mysterious happenings at the religious site. Getting there, they are part of a group that get caught in a dangerous thunder storm and are rescued by an ugly monk.
But a quiet time of prayer and reflection are not in the cards. Two of the monks apparently are early explorers into science and their experiments are being seen for something more sinister. In addition, some of the villagers and the guests are becoming sick. Simon is quickly put to task treating those who have become ill but both begin a bit of snooping as the body count from both illness and mysterious events begin to climb — including the disappearance of one monk, the watchmaker.
Potzsch has created a world of the 1600s in which most of life is still filled with portents of witchcraft and as the mysteries continue, the simple solution is to find a witch causing the mysterious events. And who better than a monk whose explorations are beyond the understanding of those around him. Ugly to boot, the monk is quickly accused.
Simon and Magdalena know better; someone is actually using science to cause misadventure and they are on the hunt for a solution. Time is running out and soon, Magdalena turns to her father to help find the solution to a missing monk and the mysterious deaths.
Potzsch delves into his family history for a strong basis of his mysteries. This world is one of rare education and easy suspicions o those who are different. It is easy to see why someone who can read and explore would be looked at differently and when bad things happen, to place the blame whether right or wrong.
And in creating his characters of Simon, Magdalena and her father, the hangman Jakob, he has indeed come up with a very good read. It is hard not to follow along and be riveted to their efforts to solve not one but several mysteries at the monastery. This may not be great reading but it is a very good read.