Skip to main content

Karolina, or the Torn Curtain

Maryla Szymiczkowa

 ‘An ingenious marriage of comedy and crime.’ Olga Tokarczuk, 2018 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

Shortlisted for the EBRD Literature Prize 2022

For fans of The Thursday Murder Club and Frank Tallis’s Vienna Blood comes the thrilling sequel to the critically-acclaimed Mrs Mohr Goes Missing

Easter, 1895.

The biggest event in the Catholic calendar is a disaster in Zofia Turbotyńska’s household. Her maid Karolina has handed in her notice and worse, gone missing. When Karolina’s body is discovered, violated and stabbed, Zofia knows she has to investigate.

Following a trail that leads her from the poorest districts of Galicia to the highest echelons of society, Zofia uncovers a web of gang crimes, sex-trafficking and corruption that will force her to question everything she knows. 

Set against the backdrop of the women’s cause, Karolina, or the Torn Curtain refuses to turn a blind eye to the injustices and inequalities of its era – and ours.

Praise for the series:

‘The sprightly narrative and vivid evocation of turn-of-the-century Poland make for an enjoyable tale.’ Guardian

‘It’s fun and sparky and the glimpse of  turn-of-the-century Polish manners and mores is beguiling.’ Daily Mail

‘The story fuses high comedy with an evocative portrayal of the period.’ Sunday Express

 

  • Publication date: July 22, 2021
  • ISBN: 9781786079299
  • RRP: £9.99
  • Pages: 336
  • Publication date: January 14, 2021
  • ISBN: 9781786079282
  • RRP: £6.99
  • Pages: 336

Reviews

‘The novel presents a fascinating picture of life in late-nineteenth century Poland... Recommended.’ 

Mystery People

‘A witty and engaging historical murder mystery, a clever pastiche of British golden-age crime fiction projected onto an earlier time and a distant place… A thoroughly entertaining, breezy thriller.’

European Literature Network

Karolina, or the Torn Curtain has a light feathery touch, it's a witty and engaging mystery that oozes charm. Equally endearing for its clever pastiche of golden age crime fiction and it’s incisive portrait of the customs and manners of the day that are so revealing of Cracow society and its values... This is a crime story rich in period detail and telling observations on human nature.’

Crime Time

‘Szymiczkowa (the pen name of writing duo Jacek Dehnel and Piotr Tarczynski) brings Cracow vividly to life and presents the period’s views on women with sly wit. This mystery will please readers looking for an unusual amateur sleuth and a picturesque setting.’

Publishers Weekly

‘Vividly steeped in the politics and the life and times of 1895 Cracow, this mystery, with its charming heroine and dry humor, will appeal to fans of Anne Perry’s Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series, which also weaves the social issues of the day into the story.’

Booklist

‘Pseudonymous partners Jacek Dehnel and Piotr Tarczyński bring both the do-gooders and the criminals of fin-de-siècle Cracow to entertaining life, but their deepest interest is in the unlikely detective lurking beneath ‘the sedate Mrs. Jekyll’: "the hidden Mrs. Hyde, the fearless stalker of criminals." A gravely decorous period piece that vividly evokes its moment while maintaining an archly amused distance from it.’

Kirkus

Praise for Mrs Mohr Goes Missing:

‘Strong-minded Zofia is an appealing character and the sprightly narrative and vivid evocation of turn-of-the-century Poland make for an enjoyable tale.’ Guardian

‘The unravelling of the mystery is ingenious... It’s fun and sparky and the glimpse of turn-of-the-century Polish manners and mores is beguiling.’ Daily Mail

‘An ingenious marriage of comedy and crime.’ Olga Tokarczuk, 2018 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

Maryla Szymiczkowa

Jacek Dehnel is a writer, poet and translator. He has written several novels, including Lala (Oneworld, 2018) and Saturn (Dedalus, 2012). Jacek writes crime fiction under the pseudonym Maryla Szymiczkowa with partner Piotr Tarczynski, a translator and historian. They live in Warsaw.

Author page

More books by Maryla Szymiczkowa

Sign up to our newsletter

Sign up to our newsletters to find out more about our latest books and offers, straight to your inbox.
Name(Required)
Select mailing lists