Book of the Day

20171106KNBODCoverALadyinShadowsLeneKaaberbol

A Lady in Shadows

By Lene Kaaberbøl

Atria
$16.99
ISBN 978-1476731421
Publication Date: December 5, 2017

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A Lady in Shadows

Review by E.J. Boyd

Lena Kaaberbøl’s latest release, A Lady in Shadows is the second book in the Madeleine Karno series. Set in 19th century France, at a time when women were considered to be little more than distractions to their male counterparts, Madeleine Karno will not accept the docile, submissive role that society has deemed her worthy of.   As the daughter of an esteemed forensic pathologist, Madeleine was quite literally raised around the dead. Attending Heidelberg University as a student of Adrian Althauser, she proves herself to more than a match for her fellow students. It is she that performs the autopsy on the body of a young prostitute that seems to indicate that France may have its own Jack the Ripper.

Kaaberbøl excels at details. From her depictions of 19th century France to the details of an autopsy, she leaves nothing out. Her research is superb and her understanding of the socio-political atmosphere is remarkable. The actual story, the “whodunit” may be a bit predictable, but that is easily forgiven.   Just because you see the end coming, doesn’t make it any less satisfying. I found myself willing Madeleine toward her discoveries and cheering when she found them.

I would expect that historical fiction fans and well as Kathy Reichs’ fans would enjoy this series. Madeleine is a much less flawed, but no less engaging than Temperance Brennan. It is so enjoyable to see characters such as Madeleine develop over time. I enjoyed Doctor Death very much and I look forward to the next installment in the series.