Book Review: The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5) The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter – Theodora Goss

I am a huge fan of classic goth/murder mystery/Victorian literature and I wasn’t sure how I would find this series. I liked the idea of building on the classics in a new and much less masculine way but wasn’t sure how Goss’ execution would turn out. Thankfully, I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book (the whole series) and even liked the cheeky writing style.

Goss utilizes classic Victorian characters such as Jekyll and Hyde, Dr. Frankenstein, Dr. Moreau, Dr. Van Helsing, etc. as the backdrop for her almost entirely female cast of characters who unite to form The Athena Club. The famous alchemists, doctors, and academics from classic literature ‘create’ daughters using their ‘scientific’ methods, all of whom have ‘monstrous’ abilities. Since all of these women find it difficult to fit-in with ‘normal’ society they join together as The Athena Club and solve mysteries while also attempting to stop the alchemists from creating more ‘monstrous’ beings through their dubious (highly unethical) ‘scientific’ means. 

The narrative is written by one of the main characters, Catherine, a half puma, half woman, created on Dr. Moreau’s island, and throughout the story the other women interject commentary and dialogue which at first is off-putting and irritating but once you understand what is happening it’s actually a fun way to get to know the other characters in the story. This is also a bit cheeky in that the author also includes advertisements for her writing/books which helps to bring a light heartedness to the story and a bit of humor. 

This is my second time reading this series and I find it very enjoyable and entertaining! It’s especially fun if you have read the classic books from which the characters are derived! I highly recommend this book/series as a fun, female driven, mystery series that I know I will read again and again.

Read on my friends!

-Haddi encourages you to support local, small, independent bookstores whenever possible. If you would like to purchase online while still supporting independent bookstores, please consider purchasing from

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