Mary Jekyll and the Athena Club foil a plot to unseat the Queen and race to save one of their own in this electrifying conclusion to the Locus Award winning trilogy that began with 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 the Empire?
In the final volume of the trilogy that Publishers Weekly called “a tour de force of reclaiming the narrative, executed with impressive wit and insight” in a starred review, the women of the Athena Club will embrace their monstrous pasts to create their own destinies.
Goss wraps up her gaslamp fantasy adventure trilogy with a novel more political than personal. Mary Jekyll and her found family of the Athena Club return from their Continental deeds of derring-do, fatigued and anxious. Three of their circle who were left behind in London Alice the housemaid, Dr. Watson, and Mr. Holmes have gone missing, as have less-loved figures such as the reformatory director, Mrs. Raymond. Like Mary, the pace at the book's outset is a bit sluggish and confused. A quarter of the book passes before it becomes clear that Alice and the others have been kidnapped as part of a nefarious plot that reaches the highest political strata of the British Empire. The "monstrous gentlewomen" of the Athena Club must rescue them and foil the scheme. Goss's themes have moved well beyond the women's deeply personal struggles with the patriarchy depicted in the first volume. By the time Professor Moriarty opines, "We must regulate our borders so that we no longer accept immigrants and refugees," it's apparent that the storytelling has shifted decisively away from character-driven exploration of identity. The characters remain delightful but develop relatively little. Topicality and tenacity, in the person of the self-effacing but determined Alice, bring the series satisfyingly home. Fans of the first two novels will find this one a solid capstone.