Secrets of The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl Revealed

The B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog

In the wake of The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter and European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman, Theodora Goss is two-for-two when it comes to delightful, darkly fantastical literary pastiches. (Thanks to the former, she’s also forever a best novel Nebula Award nominee.)

This Fall, she’s wrapping up the story of the crime-solving Athena Club—made up of the daughters of infamous characters from Victorian lit, from Dr. Frankenstein to Mr. Hyde—with The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl.

Below, we reveal the cover for the eagerly awaited concluding volume, with art and letting by Lisa Perrin (filling in for Kate Forrester, who designed the covers for the first two novels but was on maternity leave when the Athena Club came calling a third time). Check it out following the official summary, and then read on, as Theodora Goss herself joins us to deliver 5 tantalizing hints about what readers can expect from the final volume of this wonderfully meta fantasy series.

Mary Jekyll and the Athena Club race to save Alice—and foil a plot to unseat the Queen, in the electrifying conclusion to the trilogy that began with the Nebula Award finalist and Locus Award winner The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter.

Life’s always an adventure for the Athena Club…especially when one of their own has been kidnapped! After their thrilling European escapades rescuing Lucina van Helsing, Mary Jekyll and her friends return home to discover that their friend and kitchen maid Alice has vanished— and so has their friend and employer Sherlock Holmes!

As they race to find Alice and bring her home safely, they discover that Alice and Sherlock’s kidnapping are only one small part of a plot that threatens Queen Victoria, and the very future of the British Empire. Can Mary, Diana, Beatrice, Catherine, and Justine save their friends—and save the Empire? Find out in the final installment of the fantastic and memorable Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club series.

For comparison’s sake, here are all three covers side by side. If you hadn’t just been told, you’d never be able to spot the odd artist out, would you?

And now, here’s Theodora Goss, more than ready to tease you about what’s in store when this novel arrives on shelves in October…

What can readers expect from The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl?

1. They can expect to find out why a dangerous gang would kidnap Alice, the kitchen maid of the Athena Club. What makes Alice important enough to kidnap? After all, she doesn’t have any special powers or abilities… she’s just Alice, or so she keeps telling her mistress Mary Jekyll. But Alice is more important than she believes. In this book, readers will find out who Alice really is, and what makes her the Mesmerizing Girl.

2. They can expect to visit places they might never have heard of before. In this book, the adventures of Mary and her friends take them to the town of Marazion, on the coast of Cornwall, and the castle of St. Michael’s mount, perched on an island that can be approached only over water or by a causeway visible when the tide goes down. I can’t tell you what will happen in that castle, but it will test Mary and the other Athena Club members as they have never been tested before.

3. They can expect to see more of our heroines: Mary, Catherine, Beatrice, Justine, and of course the irritating Diana, who can’t be left behind because you never know whether she’ll make a mess of things or save the day. In this book, they must not only find Alice and the missing Sherlock Holmes, but also save England from a grave and terrible threat. Can they do it? They are, as Holmes has told them, a group of resourceful young women…

4. They can expect to learn more about what it was like to live at the end of the nineteenth century for young women, monstrous or not. The members of the Athena Club don’t let the rules of propriety stop them from having adventures and investigating mysteries, whether that means carrying pistols or dressing as gentlemen. But Mrs. Poole is always there to tell them what is and is not proper, as well as to dispense tea and cakes.

5. They can expect to hear about the group of friends and allies the Athena Club has gathered around itself. How is Lucinda adjusting to life as a vampire? Will Irene and Mina join forces to battle the last of Van Helsing’s creations? What will Beatrice do to save Clarence from her poisonous self? And will the Athena Club ever see the mysterious Ayesha again? All these questions, and more, will be answered in the final thrilling installment of the Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club (two shillings per volume, or five shillings for the set*, at all respectable booksellers).

*Prices in the U.S. may vary

Preorder The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl, available October 1, 2019. The first two books are available now.

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