The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss
The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter
by Theodora Goss
Published by Saga Press
on June 20, 2017
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Sci-Fi
Pages: 416
Goodreads

 

Based on some of literature’s horror and science fiction classics, this is the story of a remarkable group of women who come together to solve the mystery of a series of gruesome murders—and the bigger mystery of their own origins.

Mary Jekyll, alone and penniless following her parents’ death, is curious about the secrets of her father’s mysterious past. One clue in particular hints that Edward Hyde, her father’s former friend and a murderer, may be nearby, and there is a reward for information leading to his capture…a reward that would solve all of her immediate financial woes.

But her hunt leads her to Hyde’s daughter, Diana, a feral child left to be raised by nuns. With the assistance of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Mary continues her search for the elusive Hyde, and soon befriends more women, all of whom have been created through terrifying experimentation: Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherin Moreau, and Justine Frankenstein.

When their investigations lead them to the discovery of a secret society of immoral and power-crazed scientists, the horrors of their past return. Now it is up to the monsters to finally triumph over the monstrous.


I received a copy of this novel for review, this does not influence my thoughts or the contents of this review.

If you’ve ever wondered what a mishmash retelling of Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Rappaccini’s Daughter, The Island of Doctor Moreau, Frankenstein AND Sherlock Holmes would be like – this is the book for you. I don’t think you have to be familiar with any of the inspirations for this novel to enjoy it though. I’m only vaguely familiar with the last two I mentioned and still enjoyed it immensely.

What I loved most about this novel was the characters & the found family aspect. I am a sucker for found family stories, always. Make it a murder mystery solving monstrous girl gang and I am HERE. FOR. IT. The characterization is extremely well done. All of the girls are smart and tough in their own ways. They each have their own unique voice and brings their own talents (and issues) to the table. They are flawed, realistically written women who make it impossible not to root for them.

I have mixed feelings about the writing itself. While I loved the characters & the overall story, the execution left a lot to be desired. A lot of this had to do with the pacing which was fairly inconsistent. I also didn’t really love the method of telling the story after the fact in the format of Catherine writing a novel. I found a lot of the asides distracting as they pulled me out of the story I wanted to be reading about. It also removed any sense of fear or urgency for the main characters which I think is kind of necessary for a mystery.

If you enjoy history, murder, girl gangs and monsters than this book should definitely be on your TBR.

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