Karolina and the Torn Curtain is the second book in a historical cozy series by Maryla Szymiczkowa. Originally published in Polish in 2015 this English translation was released 23rd March 2021 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on their Mariner Books imprint. It's 416 pages and is available in paperback, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.
This is a capably written historical cozy with beautifully believable characters and sublimely delivered lightly humorous pitch perfect dialogue. The translation work is seamless; it didn't feel translated to me. The disparate plot threads wind ever more closely and the denouement and resolution are clever and very well engineered. The entire read is finely rendered and surprising. I didn't manage to figure everything out despite being given all the information along the way. I'm impressed and will be looking forward to more from this pseudonymous author pair.
Four and a half stars. I would recommend this one unhesitatingly to readers of historical cozies featuring academic types, light humor, and smart female protagonists. Although the time period is completely different, and in this case the protagonist is the professor's wife and not the professor herself, this book reminds me in a lot of nice ways of Amanda Cross' Kate Fansler novels.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.