The Beggar King
is the third volume in The Hangman's Daughter
series of historical murder mysteries (following The Hangman's Daughter
and The Dark Monk
). Set in 17th century Bavaria, the novels center around Jakob Kuisl, the official torturer/executioner for the small, out-of-the-way village of Schongau. In each of the first two books, circumstances have compelled Kuisl to pursue a murderer, and to learn the truth behind the crime before he must take up his executioner's sword and administer the ultimate punishment. Kuisl is assisted in investigations by his friend, physician Simon Fronweiser, and Kuisl's spirited, 20-year-old daughter Magdalena. Despite strong disapproval from her father, who expects her to follow tradition and marry a hangman, Magdalena and Simon have been romantically involved for some time. These three unlikely protagonists are at the...
Beyond the Book
Oliver Pötzsch spent his early years in Bavaria, listening to stories about his family from his grandmother. He says that when he was five or six, she told him that he was a direct descendant of a family named Kuisl, who were employed as executioners. He was too young then to even know what an executioner did, but it sparked a curiosity in him that never left (The Hangman's Daughter
Using this history as a starting point, Pötzsch began creating a fictional world for...