J. McCoy edited the summary of The Dark Monk Sunday, June 24, 2012.
17th-century Bavaria serves as the backdrop for Pötzsch’s second mystery featuring the main characters from his first novel, The Hangman's Daughter. When the parish priest, Andreas Koppmeyer, eats some poisoned doughnuts after sealing up a mysterious something in his church basement, he manages to scratch a mark on the frost covering a gravestone as he dies. Figuring out what that dying clue means and who doctored the pastries falls to the hangman Jakob Kuisl; his daughter, Magdalena, an apprentice midwife; and her suitor, Simon Fronwieser, a doctor’s son. Fronwieser links a Latin phrase seen in a crypt with the Templars, raising the possibility that Koppmeyer stumbled on a secret.