Synopses & Reviews
Ludwig II, the Fairy-tale King of Bavaria, is today remembered for his beautiful castles — popular tourist destinations that inspired the Disney Castle, but whose origins were much more fantastical than anything Disney could dream up. Also known as the Mad King, Ludwig was deposed in 1886 after being declared insane by doctors who had never met him. He promptly died — mysteriously drowned in waist-deep water — his eccentric castles his only legacy.
Master of historical suspense Oliver Pötzsch brings the Mad King back to life in The Ludwig Conspiracy. An encoded diary by one of Ludwig’s confidants falls into the hands of modern-day rare book dealer Steven Lukas, who soon realizes that the diary may bring him more misery than money. Others want the diary as well — and they will kill to get it. Lukas teams up with a beautiful art detective, Sara Lengfeld, to investigate each of Ludwig’s three famous castles for clues to crack the diary’s code as mysterious thugs and Ludwig’s fanatical followers chase them at every step. Just what in the diary could be so explosive?
Combining contemporary mystery and a gripping historical saga and centered on an ingenious code that can be cracked only with a combination of modern computers and nineteenth-century texts, The Ludwig Conspiracy is a bold new thriller from the best-selling author of The Hangman’s Daughter series.
"German author Pötzsch (The Poisoned Pilgrim and three other books in his Hangman's Daughter historical series) makes clever use of Bavaria's equivalent of the Kennedy assassination in this excellent stand-alone. The death in 1886 of Ludwig II of Bavaria (aka 'Mad King Ludwig') has spawned countless conspiracy theories, despite the official verdict that the monarch drowned himself in Lake Starnberg after strangling his psychiatrist. In the present, Munich bookseller Steven Lukas finds himself the object of unwelcome attention and a murder suspect after he obtains a book entitled Memoirs of Theodor Marot, who was the assistant to the king's personal physician. This document recounts the truth about the events leading up to Ludwig's death. That truth is far from an academic question, since a modern-day self-declared king of Bavaria dispatches violent henchmen to recover the memoirs. While readers will find broad parallels with Dan Brown's thrillers, Pötzsch's sophisticated plotting and good use of a real-life historical puzzle place this far ahead of most Da Vinci Code wannabes. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Intriguing, entertaining." Kirkus Reviews
From the bestselling author of The Hangman's Daughter, a historical thriller set in contemporary Bavaria, about Ludwig II's mysterious death and the long-lost diary that could unlock its secrets.
In 1886, Ludwig II, the fairytale king of Bavaria, was deposed after being declared insane by doctors who had never met him. He died mysteriously soon thereafter, his eccentric and beautiful castles his only legacy.
When an encoded diary by one of Ludwig's confidants falls into the hands of rare book dealer Steven Lukas, he soon realizes that the diary may bring him more misery than money. Others want the diary as well — and they will kill to get it. Believing the diary to contain the secret truth behind Ludwigs death, Steven and the detective Sara Lengfeld go on the run, investigating each of Ludwigs three famous castles for clues. Just what in the diary could be so explosive that Ludwig's deranged modern-day followers will do whatever it takes to keep it hidden?
Combining contemporary mystery and a gripping historical saga, putting computers and smartphones alongside derringers and palace intrigue, The Ludwig Conspiracy is a bold new thriller from the best-selling author of The Hangman's Daughter series.
About the Author
Oliver Pötzsch, born in 1970, has worked for years as a scriptwriter for Bavarian television. He is a descendant of one of Bavaria's leading dynasties of executioners. Pötzsch lives in Munich with his family.