February 19, 2015

Doctor Death Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for DOCTOR DEATH by Lene Kaaberbol! I have a great excerpt from the book to share with you - and don't forget to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a copy!

Doctor Death (Madeleine Karno #1)
Author: Lene Kaaberbol
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Release Date: February 17, 2015
Publisher: Atria Books


From the New York Times bestselling coauthor of The Boy in the Suitcase, a gripping historical thriller and poignant coming-of-age story set in nineteenth-century France.

Madeleine Karno is an ambitious young woman eager to shatter the confines of her provincial French town. Driven and strong headed, Madeleine is set apart by her unusual occupation: assisting her father, Dr. Albert Karno, in his job as a forensic doctor.

The year is 1894, and a young girl is found dead on the snowy streets of Varbourg. Dr. Karno is called in to determine the cause of her death, but before he can examine the body, the girl's family forbids the autopsy from taking place. The only anomaly he manages to find is in the form of a mite in her nostril. Shortly after, several other dead bodies are discovered throughout the city, and Madeleine, her father, and the city commissioner must use the new science of forensic evidence to solve the mysterious cases before they all become the next victims of a deadly disease - or of a heinous murderer.


Early the next morning, Arturo Udinese received a shock that gave him indigestion. “Shocking, shocking,” he repeated several times to his wife while he calmed his nerves with a cognac.

Mr. Udinese was the proprietor of a modest but popular bras- serie just off July the 14th Boulevard, not far from the Varbourg East railway station. His customers consisted primarily of regu- lars, a builder or two, a few accountants, an occasional civil ser- vant, and three or four retired officers from the nearby Veterans’ Home—all solid people who appreciated good food at reasonable prices. Mr. Udinese was therefore in the habit of buying his ingre- dients as cheaply as possible, which was the reason he got up this morning a bit after five, while darkness still hung heavily over the town, and made his way to the rail yard behind the station, where he was met by a track worker known to most people simply as the Shovel. The two men walked together across the tracks to a train that had arrived from Stuttgart a bit after nine the previous evening. In the course of the evening, it had been emptied and loaded and was now ready to depart for Paris at six fifteen.

“And these are decent wares?” asked Mr. Udinese.

“First-class quality,” the Shovel assured him. “The entire first car is going directly to Hôtel Grande Duchesse.”

A number of bills changed hands, and the Shovel opened the sliding door—not to the Grande Duchesse’s wares, but to car No. 16AZ, number three in the lineup.

Mr. Udinese climbed into the boxcar. The Shovel handed him the guttering kerosene lantern that served as their only source of illumination. The lantern light flickered across stacks of wooden crates, piles of sacks, and rows of hanging carcasses. Great blocks of sawdust-covered ice kept the temperature at a level that was several degrees lower than the outside, even now in the morning chill. At one end of the car hung the halved or quartered cadavers of several full-grown steers, some pigs, and some lambs, while the plucked and skinned bodies of smaller animals like chickens and rabbits were packed with crushed ice into large wooden crates, a dozen to each one. The rough wooden floor of the boxcar was stained by dark puddles of blood, melted ice, and wet sawdust.

“Those twelve.” Mr. Udinese pointed at a box of plucked cock- erels.“And a veal shank, and one of the lambs.” He moved farther into the car to find what he wanted.

“You can’t have all twelve,” said the Shovel. “What about six cocks and six hens?”

“How do you expect me to serve breast of cockerel in thyme sauce with just six cockerels?”

“Not all twelve,” insisted the Shovel.“The overseer is no more stupid than the next man.”

Mr. Udinese straightened up and looked sternly at the Shovel. “Sir,” he said, “there are other suppliers.”

“Not at this price,” said the Shovel. “Make up your mind. It will soon be light.”

Mr. Udinese sighed.“Fine, then. I suppose I will have to make a fricassee instead. Six cocks, six hens.”

He pushed aside a couple of quartered steers to make more room, hung the lantern on an empty meat hook, and raised the lid on a big crate that according to the label contained twelve soup hens.

It did not. The doubled-up figure of a man had been crammed into the box in a squatting position, and most of the body was covered with flakes of crushed ice. The extreme angle of the head revealed a closely shaved gray nape and two large waxlike ears, and you could see a red line where a collar had habitually rubbed against the base of the skull. The collar in question was a Catholic priest’s dog collar, and it was this, more than anything else, that enabled Mr. Udinese to recognize the man in the crate. His hand moved automatically in the sign of the cross.

“Sweet Jesus,” he said.“It’s Father Abigore!”
Lene Kaaberbøl has been a professional writer since the age of fifteen, with more than two million books sold worldwide. She has won several national and international awards for her fiction, and her work has been translated into more than thirty languages. Kaaberbøl is the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller The Boy in the Suitcase, which received rave reviews, was selected as a New York Times Book Review Notable Crime Book of 2011 as well as an Indie Next List November 2011 Pick,  and won the Harald Morgensen Award for Best Danish Thriller of the Year. Born in Copenhagen, she now lives on the small Channel Island of Sark.  
Author Links:
Giveaway: (2) Hardcover copies of Doctor Death - Open to US Only!

*A huge thanks to the fantastic people at Atria Books for donating the books for my giveaway!*


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