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The Dark Monk (Die Henkerstochter #2)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  17,251 Ratings  ·  1,363 Reviews
1660: Winter has settled thick over a sleepy village in the Bavarian Alps, ensuring every farmer and servant is indoors the night a parish priest discovers he's been poisoned. As numbness creeps up his body, he summons the last of his strength to scratch a cryptic sign in the frost.

Following a trail of riddles, hangman Jakob Kuisl; his headstrong daughter Magdalena; and th
ebook, 528 pages
Published June 12th 2012 by Mariner Books (first published April 30th 2009)
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J.C. I hadn’t realized this was a sequel when I read it.  You can definitely read it without the prior knowledge from book one.  But you might enjoy it…moreI hadn’t realized this was a sequel when I read it.  You can definitely read it without the prior knowledge from book one.  But you might enjoy it more with the “back story” from The Hangman’s Daughter.(less)
Kelley Yes he evolves into more of a man as it goes due to a strong female character. I think I enjoyed the 2nd more then the first. There were preferences…moreYes he evolves into more of a man as it goes due to a strong female character. I think I enjoyed the 2nd more then the first. There were preferences about the templar knights. Plus the daughter starts to really show a fiestiness and spirit of a strong woman. The council's characters came into play as well. More action.(less)
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Jeffrey Keeten
Jul 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
”Immobilized with terror, Magdalena felt Brother Jakobus throw his whole weight against her and smelled the fire that had turned his robe into gigantic torch. Desperately, she tried to push away his burning body, but his hands held her in a tight grip down on the ground. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see how long strings of a sticky, viscous substance were dripping down on her. Brother Jakobus must have taken pitch from the buckets in the corridor and rubbed it all over his body. The c ...more
Ms. Smartarse
Translated into English as The Dark Monk

The priest of the St. Lorenz Church has been mysteriously killed (I will NEVER eat a bowl of honeyed noodles again!), and the promising young doctor Simon Fronwieser is itching to get his hands on the mystery behind it. Beats having to listen to his father's constant disgruntled lectures, and watching the town folk slowly waste away of yet another mysterious fever.

So first things first, he calls on the Hangman for help, because Jakob Kuisl is a bear of a m
I really wanted to like this series. It has so much going for it. A Bavarian town in the 17th century in the aftermath of The Thirty Years War, a not-so-usual backdrop for historical fiction (mostly we get Tudor England served up this way over and over again). A central character who is the town's hangman, the latest in a dynasty of executioners, his father and grandfather having had the job before him. As the town's hangman, he is treated like a pariah, part of an untouchable caste that include ...more
Jul 20, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, read-2013
3 Stars

This is a really tough book for me to review. I really may have hyped up my feelings about the first book The Hangman's Daughter, as I really believed that it was a dark and dirty period piece with an awesome hero...The Hangman. It is really freaking cool that Oliver Potzsch has taken interest and explored so much about his families history. These books are fantastic pieces of historical fiction mysteries.

As I started to read The Dark Monk, I was confused and unclear with the audience tha
Apr 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was very happy to spend more time with the complex Hangman of Schongau. I really love the Bavaria of the 17th Century the author re-creates . And, as with the first book in the series, I loved the "Author's Note" as much as the book. He is so tuned into his ancestry and the connection he feels to them through the stories his grandmother tells and those that he reads.
Dec 24, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would have rated this at a 4 if the author hadn't used so many modern terms in a medieval novel. Although set in 17th century what would become Germany, the book contains many modernisms. Each time I read one, I cringed. "There's nothing between me and Benedikta Koppmeyer." ".... she's off-limits." "You forget that Scheller has his big day tomorrow."

This is the second book in a series by a German author who has actually traced his ancestory back to a Jakob Kuisl, a hangman in the 17th century.
Aug 08, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
This is a reminder to myself not to read any more of this series. The story is too slow moving, the translation is full of anachronisms, and the characters have the emotional depth of teenagers. The book is about 200 pages too long - one long scavenger hunt.
Mar 25, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
By all accounts I should like this book.
The setting is interesting, the historical details are interesting, the mystery is interesting.
So why didn't I like it? It all comes down to the characters and their relationships with each other. The titular character, Magdalena, actually got a bit more plot in this book (which is nice) but the way she was treated by her father and the man who claims to love her just made me really angry. They're not abusive or anything but they are incredibly dismissive
Duffy Pratt
I didn't like this book anywhere near as much as I liked The Hangman's Daughter. The setting is the same: Bavaria several years after the thirty years war. The hangman, his daughter, and the town medicus again play the prominent roles. And I like all three of these characters. But I don't think they developed much in this book. Nor did the book play to the strength of the first book by showing interesting aspects of life in a small German town in the 17th century.

Rather, the book decided to focu
Matt Schiariti
Nov 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Dark Monk was every bit as good as the Hangman's daughter.

This one hits the ground running right out of the gate when a local priest is found murdered. Simon is summoned to the scene in order to help the portly old man but by the time he gets there too late but the priest left a clue. Simon thinks there's a bigger mystery than the murder of the priest and ends up enlisting the help of Jakob the hangman. What follows is a whirlwind mystery rich in ancient societies, historical detail, misplac
Sep 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First read The Hangman's Daughter by the same author. That is the first in the series and this one is the second. The author is a descendant of the legendary hangman, Jakob Kuisl and his books are translated into English. It's the 1600's in Bavaria. The three main characters appear in both novels. Jakob Kuisl is the hangman and his other duties in the town of Schongau is to torture the accused/guilty, remove dead animals, and do whatever the city council bids him to do. But he is a hangman with ...more
Dec 16, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Second in this series, historical murder mystery suspense fiction set in 1660 Bavaria--in the winter.

I actually liked the first book more: given the dense detailing done there to establish context and setting, I found it both fun and informative. In this sequel, I fear that the great success of the first volume influenced decisions to dash off another more rapidly, and so the care and precision I saw in the first volume, with regard to establishing character and mood, is not as prevalent here. S
A man digs into his genealogy and finds he's decended from a long line of hangmen - and proceeds to write mysteries based on it. As he says - "..sometimes reality is stranger than fiction...The history of my family was ..there long before I came along. I just embelleshed it a bit and put it down on paper."

I quite enjoyed it - when I read I tend to imagine myself in the story. In this case it didn't take much imagination - real people lived this story in one way or another (sans embellishments ;)
Tim The Enchanter
I have had difficulty getting to my reviews. I will provide a more in depth review if I can remember to get back to it.

The Dark Monk is the second book in the Hangman's Daughter series. They are historical mysteries with thriller aspects. It would be a mistake to call them "cozy" but they do not qualify as a "dark". They provide a pleasing and entertaining read somewhere in between.

The second installment is, in my opinion, even better than the first. The charactes are entertaining and vibrant.
Jun 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really love this series. The premise of this book reminded me a bit of the Da Vinci Code, except the main characters are a million times better. Set in Bavaria during 1660, the unlikely sleuthing trio is comprised of a "dishonorable" hangman, his strong-willed daughter, and a medical school drop-out, who at 5' tall is still considered the local ladies man. Each character is completely flawed, which makes you love them even more. I can't wait until the 3rd book is translated into English. Note- ...more
Apr 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, mysteries, german
Enjoyable but would have benefited from editing to tighten up the writing, shortening the book and eliminating some of the repetitive phrases.
aPriL does feral sometimes
'The Dark Monk' is the the scariest antagonist in this exciting mystery series so far! He means business. The dark monk is killing for god, well, also maybe a bit for his own sake, to tell the truth. It means a hot time is in store for Schongau's hangman, Jakob Kuisl, and his daughter, Magdalena!

In book two of the Hangman's Daughter series, Simon Fronwieser, town medicus, finds himself attracted to two women. Magdalena won his heart in the previous book, but he cannot marry her. As beautiful and
Joyce Lagow
Second in the series of The Hangman's Daughter.

A crushing responsibility Dan Brown must bear for The Da Vinci Code is the number (and usually poor quality) of the subsequent knockoffs. And yes, folks, here we have another one--yes, the hidden treasure of the Templars shrouded in code that take our protagonists Jakob, Magdalena, and he more-or-less lover Simon, a physician, on a journey around the villages, monasteries and towns of the Priest's Corner of Bavaria, trying to locate the treasure. An
Jun 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed The Hangman's Daughter, and I was glad to find that I enjoyed The Dark Monk just as much. I enjoyed the historical part as well as the mystery part.

I really enjoyed getting to see my favorite characters again from the first book. While sometimes I just wanted to smack Simon, I still enjoyed Magdalena and her father Jakob. However, as in the previous novel, there were still some secondary characters that I would have enjoyed finding out more about. One in particular would be the
Apr 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Dark Monk is a wonderful follow up to Hangman's Daughter. Oliver Potzsch again takes you on an Adventure with the Jacob Kuisl (the hangman) and Simon (the town physcian's son). The characters are well described . I love Jacob's daughter Magdalena who is a spitfire of a woman. As the Hangman's daughter she has to face some unkind words and prejudices in her life and she does so with spunk and spirit. Magdalena is in love with Simon, but not allowed to marry him because she is the hangman's da ...more
Jun 18, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I received this book along with the first in the series for free as part of the BzzAgent program. I thought it sounded like the kind of book I'd enjoy, but it simply wasn't as good as I'd hoped. I enjoyed the period details of daily life, medicine, and even the hangman's duties. However,the mystery felt like a slowed-down Dan Brown knockoff, and as in the first book, none of the characters is particularly likable, interesting, or compelling. I found myself skimming through fight scenes which sou ...more
I'm really enjoying this series and the adventures of Jakob Kuisl, his daughter Magdalena, and the physician Simon.

While the first book in the series explored the superstitions and frenzy around witchcraft, this one took us into the fanaticism of the clergy. Even the Templars play a role as the search for the greatest treasure takes us on a tour of the various monasteries in medieval Bavaria.
Travis sivarT
Jul 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think I enjoyed this just as much as the first in the series.
Not as enchanting or engrossing as the first book, yet it had moments that were worthwhile. I wish more time was spent on the dialogue. There seems to be no attempt made at making these 17th century Bavarians use a realistic vernacular. At times, it was like reading a Sweet Valley High novel.
Lauren Grimley
Aug 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Flashplot: In this historical fiction suspense novel, a sequel to The Hangman’s Daughter, our three main characters, the town executioner Jakob Kuisl, his daughter Magdalena, and the young physician Simon Fronwiesser, return to solve yet another mystery in the small 17th century German town of Schongau. Starting with the suspicious death of a local priest and leading to a full-blown conspiracy involving religious riddles, relics, and a search for the Templar’s treasure, this plot truly could be ...more
Jul 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I have previously read the first entry in this series, The Hangman's Daughter, and enjoyed it enough to want to read further about hangman Jakob Kuisl, his family and the inhabitants of Schongau, a hamlet in 17th century Bavaria.

The novel begins with the poisoning death of priest, Andreas Koppmeyer. Simon, the physicians son and beau to the hangman's daughter Magdalena, soon finds himself investigating the death with the help of Koppmeyer's beautiful and wealthy sister Benedikta. Of course this
Cindy Crawford
Jul 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Where to start....
I'm really enjoying this series...especially the audio narration, but for the past few chapters of the book...I had to shut the man up because he was not reading as fast as I needed to figure out what was going on.

Once again....mayhem has run amuck. (I have never uttered the word amuck in my life, and I feel kind of bad-ass right now...which basically just proves that I'm not bad-ass at all). :(
ANYWAY...a priest is murdered...and there are clues to a templar treasure...every st
Apr 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For some reason I just loved this book! It was fresh and original for me. Now I don't think the writing is all that amazingly lyrical or anything....I really think it was the setting that I liked. Some of the main characters are the Hangman, the Hangman's Daughter, the Medicus, and a great many priests. The mystery is set in 1600s Bavaria. Maybe part of the attraction for me is also that I have a couple of lines of my family who are from Bavaria too. See, the author, Oliver Potzsch, has done som ...more
Dec 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
The second book in The Hangman's Daughter follows the mystery behind the death of a 17th century priest. Jacob the hangman, his daughter Magdalena, and the young physician Simon follow riddles through the Priest's Corner area of Bavarian searching for the killer(s) and the motive behind the the killing of the priest and various merchants. The story follows the history of the Knights of the Templar and their possible hidden cache of treasure.

If you like the first book, you'll likely enjoy the se
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Oliver Pötzsch is a German writer and filmmaker. After high school he attended the German School of Journalism in Munich from 1992 to 1997. He then worked for Radio Bavaria. In addition to his professional activities in radio and television, Pötzsch researched his family history. He is a descendant of the Kuisle, from the 16th to the 19th Century a famous dynasty of executioners in Schongau.
More about Oliver Pötzsch...

Other Books in the Series

Die Henkerstochter (7 books)
  • The Hangman's Daughter (The Hangman's Daughter, #1)
  • The Beggar King (The Hangman's Daughter, #3)
  • The Poisoned Pilgrim (The Hangman's Daughter, #4)
  • The Werewolf of Bamberg (The Hangman's Daughter, # 5)
  • The Play of Death (The Hangman's Daughter, #6)
  • Die Henkerstochter und der Rat der Zwölf (Die Henkerstochter #7)

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“Sometimes belief is the best potion.” 4 likes
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