Summary and book reviews of Doctor Death by Lene Kaaberbol

Doctor Death

A Madeleine Karno Mystery

by Lene Kaaberbol

Doctor Death by Lene Kaaberbol X
Doctor Death by Lene Kaaberbol
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Feb 2015, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2016, 304 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez

Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

From the coauthor of the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller The Boy in the Suitcase, a "gripping plot" (Publishers Weekly, starred review) and captivating historical thriller.

Strong-minded and ambitious, Madeleine Karno is eager to shatter the constraints of her provincial French upbringing. She wants to become a pathologist like her father, whose assistant she is, but this is 1894, and autopsies are considered unseemly and ungodly, even when performed by a man - hence his odious nickname, Doctor Death. That a young woman should wish to spend her time dissecting corpses is too scandalous for words.

Thus, when seventeen-year-old Cecile Montaine is found dead in the snowy streets of Varbourg, her family will not permit a full post-mortem autopsy, and Madeleine and her father are left with a single mysterious clue: in the dead girl's nostrils they find a type of parasite normally seen only in dogs. Soon after, the priest who held vigil by the dead girl's corpse is brutally murdered. The thread that connects these two events is a tangled one, and as the death toll mounts, Madeleine must seek knowledge in odd places: behind convent walls, in secret diaries, and in the yellow stare of an aging wolf.

Eloquently written and with powerful insight into human and animal nature, Doctor Death is at once a gripping mystery and a poignant coming-of-age story.

I
February 23–March 20, 1894

It is snowing. The snow falls on the young girl's face, on her cheeks, mouth, and nose, and on her eyes. She does not blink it away. She lies very still in her nest of snow, slightly curled up, with a fur coat covering her like a quilt.

Around her the city is living its nightlife, the hansom cabs clatter by in the cobblestone slush on the boulevard, just a few steps away. But here in the passageway where she lies, there is no life. Her brother is the one who finds her. He has been to the theater with some friends, and then to a dance hall, and he is happy and lighthearted when he returns home, happy and a little bit tipsy. That is why he does not understand what he is seeing, not at first.

"Hello?" he says when he notices that someone or something is lying at the entrance to his family's home. Then he recognizes the coat, which is unusual: astrakhan with a collar of ocelot. "Cici?" he asks, because that is the girl's pet name. "Cici, ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

I read this in one sitting, propping it up against the salt-and-pepper shakers at mealtimes. Right away I was drawn in by Danish author Lene Kaaberbol's descriptive prose.   (Reviewed by Donna Chavez).

Full Review (656 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.

Media Reviews

Library Journal
[An] engrossing mystery that deals with the darker side of life in 19th-century Europe. With its complex characters, this is sure to please fans of historical mysteries.

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Deftly exploring such themes as the struggles between mind and body, science and spirit - without detracting from a gripping plot - the novel transcends its period to contemplate the eternal.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Lupus: A Disease of Body and Mind

The autoimmune disease known as Lupus erythematosus, or Lupus, which forms a major thread of the plot in Doctor Death, affects approximately 1.5 million people in the United States, and some five million people worldwide (estimated). Ninety percent are women who experience onset sometime between the ages of 15 and 44, and about twenty percent of them will also have a parent or other relative with Lupus. Women of color are three times more likely to be affected than Caucasian women.

According to lupus.org.uk, the name for the disease harkens back to the 13th century: "The word Lupus is Latin for Wolf. There are conflicting accounts for the origin of the term Lupus, which was first coined by the physician Rogerius in the 1200s, who used ...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by Lene Kaaberbol

If you liked Doctor Death, try these:

  • The Strings of Murder jacket

    The Strings of Murder

    by Oscar de Muriel

    Published 2017

    About this book

    More books by this author

    The brutal slaying of a violinist in his home in 1888 sparks a locked room murder mystery investigated by two diametrically opposed Edinburgh detectives.

  • Hyde jacket

    Hyde

    by Daniel Levine

    Published 2015

    About this book

    A reimagining of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde from the monster's perspective, Hyde makes a hero of a villain.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Winter Soldier
    The Winter Soldier
    by Daniel Mason
    Imagine the thousands of confounding cases doctors face routinely for which diagnoses are hard to ...
  • Book Jacket: Brother
    Brother
    by David Chariandy
    Brother is the brief, moving account of how a single, tragic moment in time can alter the course of ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Islamic Enlightenment
    by Christopher de Bellaigue
    In this comprehensive and well-researched history, de Bellaigue examines the evolution of Islamic ...
  • Book Jacket: The Spy of Venice
    The Spy of Venice
    by Benet Brandreth
    Benet Brandreth's delightfully diverting historical thriller brings the Bard to vibrant life. ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott

A crowning achievement of one of the finest American writers at work today.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    French Exit
    by Patrick deWitt

    A brilliant and darkly comic novel from bestselling author Patrick deWitt.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Clockmaker's Daughter

The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton

A rich, spellbinding new novel from the author of The Lake House. On sale Oct 9.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T Turn T S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.