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Maryla Szymiczkowa Books In Order

Publication Order of Profesorowa Szczupaczyńska Books

Mrs. Mohr Goes Missing (2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Karolina and the Torn Curtain (2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

About Maryla Szymiczkowa
The Polish authors and couple Jacek Dehnel and Piotr Tarczynski both write together under the pseudonym of Maryla Szymiczkowa. Partners in marriage and writing, they have successfully created a pen-name that comprises both their talents and skill-sets as authors. Both a poet and translator, Jacek Dehnel is well known for a number of award-winning novels that he’s written over the years. His husband Jacek Dehnel is equally well regarded for his work as a translator, as well as being a highly renowned and esteemed historian.

Largely they have used this name to create a number of crime novels, with the Szymiczkowa brand essentially taking on a life of its own. Clearly having a lot of fun with their literary creation, Dehnel and Tarczynski’s passion really comes through on the page. Largely writing mysteries, the pen-name of Szymiczkowa is centered around the series of ‘Zofia Turbotynska’ mystery novels. These feature a seemingly buttoned middle-aged professor’s wife Zofia, as she also solves various different mysteries whilst retaining a sense-of-humour and wit.

These stories have been introduced to an international market as well, with Antonia Lloyd-Jones being their chief translator working alongside them. Taking the crime and mystery genres, they’ve adapted them to fit their own idiosyncratic style, one that’s seeing a lot of success worldwide. Using classic examples of the genre such as the work of Agatha Christie and combining them stylistically with the films of Wes Anderson, they’ve come to find an approach that is very much their own. Showing a lot of potential to continue writing under the name indefinitely, it seems that they have plenty more planned on the horizon yet.

Early and Personal Life:
Born and raised in Poland, both Jacek Dehnel and Piotr Tarczynski live and work together in the city of Warsaw. Writing a number of novels prior to creating Maryla, Dehnel would achieve a great deal of success in his own right, largely writing poetry and fiction. His partner, Piotr Tarczynski, is mainly for his work as a leading historian, as well as being a translator too.

This has led to the both of them pooling their talents together, and bringing in an international audience under the name of Maryla Szymiczkowa. Established after they came up with the character of Zofia Turbotynska together, they’d then begin to write the series themselves too. Continuing to live in Warsaw where they write and work, there’s a lot more to follow, with this series carrying on into the foreseeable future.

Writing Career:
Bringing out ‘Mrs Mohr Goes Missing’ under the name of Maryla Szymiczkowa in 2015, their literary creation would see its big debut. Setting up the franchise, it would establish the character for the first time, before being translated for an international audience in 2019. This would be followed up with the second novel, ‘Karolina and the Torn Curtain’ in 2016, itself arriving in 2021 internationally.

There has also been a third and fourth title in the Zofia Turbotynska series, with ‘Seans w Domu Egipskim’, or ‘Seance at the House of Egypt’, coming out in 2018, and ‘Zloty róg’, aka ‘The Golden Horn’, arriving in 2020. Both of these have plans for translations set in motion, as the series fast gains momentum abroad, with its relatable central character being modelled on a composite of older ladies and family members they had both known over the years. Winning awards for their efforts, including positive reviews from critics and fellow writers, their literary creation will live on for a long time yet.

Mrs Mohr Goes Missing
First published through the ‘Point Blank’ imprint in English, this would would come out in 2019 on the 28th of March for an international audience. Originally it would come out on the 13th of July in 2015, but it has since gone on to find a large amount of critical acclaim worldwide. Setting up the ‘Profesorowa Szczupaczyńska’ series, or the ‘Zofia Turbotynska’ series as it’s also known, it would introduce its leading character for the first time, with a self-contained mystery to solve.

Bringing in plenty of inspiration from the likes of Agatha Christie, this draws from a rich vein of socially conscious murder mystery. Commenting on the mores and traditions of the time, it not only provides a quality murder mystery, but it also reflects on issues such as the rights of women, and class at the time. With a strong character in its central protagonist too, it’s well observed and intelligent, displaying clear attention to historical detail for a particular period in Polish history.

Taking place in 1893, this sees Zofia Turbotynska looking to pass the time at the age of thirty-eight, as she now has a lot of free time on her hands, with her husband securing the position of professor at the nearby university. That’s when she decides to organize a charity raffle and, during her attempting to gain attendees and patrons, she finds herself at Helcel House; a retirement home for nuns. During her visit she discovers that one of the residents has been found dead, and she suspects foul play, all whilst the magistrate is declaring it to be nothing of the sort. With the help of her servant and assistant Franciszka, will her own investigation uncover the truth? Who would commit such an act? What happens when Mrs Mohr goes missing?

Karolina and the Torn Curtain
Providing the second title in the ‘Zofia Turbotynska’ series, this would offer another mystery in the intriguing franchise. First released in Poland in 2016 on the 10th of October, it would later come out for an international audience in 2021 on the 23rd of March. Working as another entirely self-contained mystery, it would bring characters and arcs over from the previous novel, whilst paving the way for the following titles.

Once again dealing with the issues of the time, this provides an interesting and compelling feminist take on the historical mystery genre. Drawing the readers in, it manages to surprise with its many twists and turns, whilst not shying away from some of the darker aspects of life. Combining a compelling story with a strong message, this really stands out as an excellent example of mystery done well.

This time set in 1895, this takes place just a few years after the first, with Zofia Turbotynska and her maid, Franciszka, organizing the Easter festivities ahead of them. It seems one of her servants, Karolina, has gone missing though, which is when her body is shockingly washed up on the River Vistula, and Zofa decides to investigate with the help of Franciszka. Working together they head into the seedy underbelly of Cracow, as Zofia witnesses another world inhabited by gangsters, prostitutes, and corrupt politicians. Will they discover the truth of what happened to Karolina? Can Zofia keep her composure immersed in a world she is unfamiliar with? What really happened with Karolina and the torn curtain?

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