Karolina and the Torn Curtain (A Zofia Turbotynska Mystery) by Maryla Szymiczkowa & translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones
“An ingenious marriage of comedy and crime” (Olga Tokarczuk, Nobel laureate): when amateur sleuth and cunning socialite Zofia Turbotyńska’s beloved maid goes missing, she dives deep into Cracow’s web of crime, with only her trusted cook for company.
Cracow, 1895. Zofia and her maid Franciszka have their hands full organizing Easter festivities, especially with the household short one servant—where has the capable Karolina disappeared to?
Shortly after, Zofia hears that the body of a young woman, violated and stabbed, has washed up on a bank of the River Vistula. Domestic work can wait—Zofia must go investigate. Shockingly, the body turns out to be none other than Karolina. Working with the police, Zofia’s investigations take her deep into the city’s underbelly—a far cry from the socialite’s Cracow she’s familiar with. Desperate to unearth what happened to Karolina, though, she pushes her prejudice aside, immersing herself among prostitutes, gangsters, and duplicitous politicians to unravel a twisted tale of love and deceit.
“Written with abundant wit and flair,”* Cracow’s finest, and most iconoclastic, amateur sleuth returns in a highly politicized feminist murder mystery.