First Chapter, First Paragraph – The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter By Theodora Goss

Book Synopsis

Based on some of literature’s horror and science fiction classics, this “tour de force of reclaiming the narrative, executed with impressive wit and insight” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) debut is the story of a remarkable group of women who come together to solve the mystery of a series of gruesome murders—and the bigger mystery of their own origins.

Mary Jekyll, alone and penniless following her parents’ death, is curious about the secrets of her father’s mysterious past. One clue in particular hints that Edward Hyde, her father’s former friend and a murderer, may be nearby, and there is a reward for information leading to his capture…a reward that would solve all of her immediate financial woes.

But her hunt leads her to Hyde’s daughter, Diana, a 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 befriends more women, all of whom have been created through terrifying experimentation: Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherin 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 return. Now it is up to the monsters to finally triumph over the monstrous.


First Chapter, First Paragraph

Mary Jekyll stared down at her mother’s coffin. “I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord.” The rain had started again. Not a proper rain, but the dreary, interminable driz- zle that meant spring in London. “Put up your umbrella, my dear, or you’ll get wet,” said Mrs. Poole. Mary put up her umbrella, without much caring whether she would get wet or not. There they all were, standing by a rectangular hole in the ground, in the gray churchyard of St. Marylebone. Reverend Whittaker, reading from the prayer book. Nurse Adams looking grim, but then didn’t she always? Cook wiping her nose with a handkerchief. Enid, the parlormaid, sobbing on Joseph’s shoulder. In part of her mind, the part that was used to paying bills and discussing the housekeeping with Mrs. Poole, Mary thought, I will have to speak to Enid about overfamiliarity with a footman. Alice, the scullery maid, was holding Mrs. Poole’s hand. She looked pale and solemn, but again, didn’t she always? 

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