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 core of the series.
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