cover image The Taxidermist’s Daughter

The Taxidermist’s Daughter

Kate Mosse. Morrow, $26.99 (432p) ISBN 978-0-06-240215-8

Macabre atmosphere and an appealing heroine can’t save this gothic historical thriller by bestseller Mosse (The Winter Ghosts) from sinking under the weight of its muddled, fantastic plot. Set in 1912 during several sodden spring days in rural West Sussex, the story centers on 22-year-old Constantia “Connie” Gifford—the titular character (and a deft taxidermist in her own right)—who, despite lingering seizures from the fall that almost killed her a decade earlier, is about the only thing keeping her alcoholic widowed father, a once-renowned avian taxidermist, and their isolated household afloat. But then the discovery of a murdered woman near their property, Blackthorn House, and a series of other disturbing events start to trigger Connie’s long-repressed memories of the night she fell, threatening the Giffords’ very lives. As Connie and new friend Harry Woolston, a handsome aspiring painter hunting for his missing father, join forces to investigate, some sparks do fly—as well as far too plentiful feathers (and guts) for some readers to stomach. [em]Agent: Araminta Whitley, LAW Literary Agents (U.K.). (Mar.) [/em]