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Book Review: The Taxidermist's Daughter by Kate Mosse


The Taxidermist’s Daughter by Kate Mosse

I am a huge fan of Kate Mosse’s Languedoc time-slip trilogy set in Carcassonne, France, so it was with great anticipation I started readingThe Taxidermist’s Daughter. Gothic in flavour, this stand-alone book is a mystery set in Sussex, 1912. Connie is twenty-two and lives with her father in a decaying house that contains what is left of his once world-famous taxidermy. He is a broken man, and Connie has taken over the family business, such that it is now stuffed birds are out of favour. We also learn that years earlier there was a tragic accident that robbed Connie of her childhood memories and of the days when her father was successful.

Connie’s days are ones of routine and sadness as she tries to care for her unhappy father. But then a young woman is found dead, and a number of prominent men go missing. From then on in the novel there is mayhem, blackmail and murder…and somehow these events are linked to Connie’s father and a terrible secret. As the village prepares for a massive storm and the highest tide of the season, Connie find herself remembering an older girl, brief flashbacks of a vibrant person who was much loved…but what does this have to do with the strange circumstances in the village?

Perfectly paced and atmospheric, this accomplished novel will have you turning the pages until all the threads of the story finally come together in an unforgettable ending.

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