Theodora Goss has won acclaim for her transporting short stories and novellas, which often explore the nebulous boundaries between the real and the fantastic. Having adored her entry in The Starlit Wood, an essential collection of modern fairy tales released earlier this year by Saga Press, we jumped at the chance to show off the cover for her novel-length debut, The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, due next year, also from Saga.
Based on a short story she published in Strange Horizons, the book is a rejiggering of the Jekyll & Hyde legend, with a feminist twist. It sounds utterly fantastic—and look it too, thanks to a beautifully designed cover by artist Kate Forrester.
“The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter is the literary ladybro mashup of my dreams,” said Navah Wolfe, Goss’ editor at Saga. “It’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen with awesome ladies, and this cover is so utterly perfect for it.”
How perfect? Well, we’ll show you, right after the cover blurb.
Mary Jekyll, alone and penniless following her parents’ death, quickly finds herself drawn into the secrets of her father’s mysterious past. A clue leads her to believe that Edward Hyde, her father’s former friend and a murderer, may be nearby, and there still is a reward for information leading to his capture…a reward which would solve all of her immediate financial woes.
But her hunt leads her not to Edward Hyde but to Diana, his daughter, a near feral child left to be raised by nuns. With the assistance of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Mary continues her search for the elusive Hyde, and soon gathers around her more women, all of whom have been created through terrifying experimentation: Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherine Moreau, and Justine Frankenstein.
When their investigations lead them to the discovery of a secret society of immoral and power crazed scientists, the horrors of their past soon arrive on their doorstep as well, and now it is up to the five of them to stop the malicious machinations of the Société des Alchimistes. Quite simply, it is time for the monsters to triumph over the monstrous.
“When I saw the gorgeous cover Saga Press had created, I almost fainted!” Goss said. “Although my heroine would have disapproved—she has no time for such emotional displays. I hope readers like this tale of monstrous gentlewomen sleuthing around late 19th-century London, learning the secrets of their existence, and fighting some serious bad guys. I can’t wait for them to meet Mary, Diana, Beatrice, Catherine, and Justine.”
We can’t wait either. The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter will be released June 20, 2017.