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The Taxidermist's Daughter

Sussex, 1912. In a churchyard, villagers gather on the night when the ghosts of those who will die in the coming year are thought to walk. Here, where the estuary leads out to the sea, superstitions still hold sway. Standing alone is the taxidermist's daughter. At twenty-two, Constantia Gifford lives with her father in a decaying house: it contains all that is left of Gifford's once world-famous museum of taxidermy. The stuffed birds that used to grace every parlour are out of fashion, leaving Gifford a disgraced and bitter man. The string of events that led to the museum's closure are never spoken of and an accident has robbed Connie of any memory of those days. The bell begins to toll and all eyes are fixed on the church. No one sees the gloved hands holding a garotte. As the last notes fade into the dark, a woman lies dead. While the village braces itself against rising waters and the highest tide of the season, Connie struggles to discover who is responsible - and why the incident is causing memories to surface from her own vanished years. Does she know the figure she sees watching from the marshes? Who is the mysterious caller that leaves a note without being seen? And what is the secret that lies at the heart of Blackthorn House, hidden among the bell jars of her father's workshop? The Taxidermist's Daughter is the stunning new novel from the multi-million copy bestselling author, Kate Mosse.
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The enthralling new novel from the bestselling author of The Winter Ghosts, Citadel and Labyrinth

About the Author

Kate Mosse is an international bestselling author with sales of more than five million copies in 42 languages. Her fiction includes the novels Labyrinth (2005), Sepulchre (2007), The Winter Ghosts (2009), Citadel (2012), and The Taxidermist's Daughter (2015), as well as an acclaimed collection of short stories, The Mistletoe Bride & Other Haunting Tales (2013). Kate is the Co-Founder and Chair of the Board of the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction (previously the Orange Prize) and in June 2013, was awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for services to literature. She lives in Sussex.


Mosse weaves some difficult themes into the narrative, such as the effects of sexual violence, murder and grief, and her descriptions of the marshlands of Fishbourne - where she herself grew up - are outstanding. Her writing in these passages comes alive and, in turn, breathes life into the setting. The dangers of the marshland - the wind has "teeth", and the water "pulses" - cleverly echo and magnify the suspenseful and precarious nature of its inhabitants' lives. * THE OBSERVER * a heady sense of atmosphere throughout * THE SUNDAY TIMES * bridged the literary-commercial divide * THE OBSERVER * a serpentine yarn about blackmail, murder and dark secrets, told with brio * MAIL ON SUNDAY EVENT MAGAZINE * This eerie thriller centres around Connie, who lives in a house containing all that's left of the once world-famous museum of taxidermy. * MARIE CLAIRE * Murder, haunting, superstition and fear stalk the pages of this superior gothic thriller set in the Sussex salt marshes. An unputdownable read. * WOMAN & HOME * Kate Mosse's deliciously hokey new spinetingler ... anybody seeking a good, gothic spooker to snuggle into as the nights draw in need look no further ... The Taxidermist's Daughter is her best yet * DAILY TELEGRAPH * this cleverly constructed and wonderfully atmospheric mystery won't disappoint * WOMAN * This spooky and enthralling gothic thriller focuses on a village murder mystery. When 17 year old Constantia, who lives in her fathers decaying house (once a world famous taxidermy museum), turns detective, she soon realises she's the one under suspicion. * GLAMOUR * Fans of Mosse will not be disappointed - her ability to draw you in and keep you hooked until the very end makes this novel an addictive read, and the themes of strong women living in a man's world as well as pre-forensics murder investigations are fascinating. Read, but be warned - you may be seriously spooked... -- Stacey Bartlett * THE SUN - FABULOUS MAGAZINE * From the first page, The Taxidermist's Daughter will have you looking over your shoulder, as Mosse draws you into her gothic, chilling world -- Stacey Bartlett * THE SUN - FABULOUS MAGAZINE * Difficult to put down . . . thrilling, mysterious * THE BOOK CLUB BLOG * The Taxidermist's Daughter is a jeu d'esprit in which ghosts and ghoulish patriarchal secrets, estranged female psyches and tumultuous bird-life coexist in a compulsively readable yarn with elements of folklore and beast fable ... Mosse's prose is often exceptionally lyrical in its description of the natural world * THE GUARDIAN * A superb, atmospheric thriller, its Gothic overtones commanding attention from the very first page, and the feathery motifs of the birds - crows, jackdaws, magpies - who fly through its pages growing more menacing with every turn * DAILY MAIL * [Mosse] excels at horror, using language and imagery to create a truly original page-turner and is at her best when creating character * THE LIST * Kate Moss may have been hitting the front pages as one of the stars of London Fashion Week, but it's the author Kate Mosse who's making headlines in the books world this week -- Stacey Bartlett * THE SUN - FABULOUS MAGAZINE * Cassie is a character you warm to very quickly and others are so brimming with personality they leap off the page * WE LOVE THIS BOOK * Laden with life, death and destruction, this novel oozes with a character that shows Mosse's passion for the place where she grew up * THE LIST * MILL ON THE FLOSS meets PSYCHO * OBSERVER SERIES (CHICHESTER) * Mosse throws one bravura scene after another. This is a book full of heart and superb twists, with an unforgettable heroine and a mystery that will have you thinking long after you've turned the last page * THE INDEPENDENT * A cleverly constructed thriller . . . Mosse excels at building up clammy, dank suspense while keeping her readers in the dark. A seriously satisfying read * METRO * This novel drips with Edgar Allen Poe-style gothic touches * METRO * Mosse grew up on the edge of Fishbourne's muddy estuary, and she writes beautifully about its flora and fauna and flowing tides. Against this lyrical background her complex plot moves at rocket speed. Unputdownable, romantic, this is sure to be a bestseller. * THE TIMES * [A] creepy chiller of a novel * SUNDAY EXPRESS * Fans of Mosse will love this haunting tale of murder and suspicion * ELLE * Mosse is an engaging storyteller, deftly dealing with the intricacies of her involving, gruesome plot * SUNDAY EXPRESS * This haunting and atmospheric Gothic novel sweeps you along to its dramatic conclusion * HEAT MAGAZINE * Mosse's rich prose will drag the reader from any sunny poolside to water logged West Sussex and - tellingly - they won't even mind * EASYJET TRAVELLER MAGAZINE * A spine-tingling tale * SUN ON SUNDAY FABULOUS MAGAZINE * Nestled in among the feathers and flesh is a dark and mysterious tale, but one that is also touching and passionate. Mosse strikes a fine balance between character and concept, creating a thriller so unique that her talent is indisputable * THE LIST * This is magnificent. A gothic tale of murder, superstition and mystery that will really keep you glued to your seat ... The build is superbly done. The author is excellent on drawing out the tension, a real page-turner and a thrilling read * LOVEREADING * A beautifully told story of revenge, justice and secrets. If you haven't read any Kate Mosse then this is a gem to start with ... Cast with a Victorian darkness, filled with taxidermy, cemeteries and shifty types it is everything you could possibly want from this genre * WE LOVE THIS BOOK * This latest tale from the bestselling author of Labyrinth, Sepulchre and Citadel (a mere 5 million in sales) is set in Sussex in 1912 and filled with grizzly murders, stuffed birds and suspicious villagers. It's a compulsive read reminiscent of Daphne Du Maurier. * STYLIST * A new novel from Kate Mosse is always a treat. Set in a Sussex village where a grisly murder has taken place, The Taxidermist's Daughter is part ghost story, part psychological thriller and will send shivers down your spine. * GOOD HOUSEKEEPING * It is a cleverly constructed thriller, keeping its secrets for a good two thirds of the book. Mosse excels at building up clammy, dank suspense while keeping her readers in the dark ... A seriously satisfying read * METRO * [A] classic tale of marshland murder and madness ... The strength of this book likes as much in the startling imagery and atmospheric description as it does in the story ... A deliciously dark novel that races towards its grotesque conclusion * DAILY EXPRESS * I loved the atmosphere: the time, the place, the weather, the cold. An unholy collision of Daphne du Maurier and Agatha Christie * ANTHONY HOROWITZ - Creator and Writer of FOYLE'S WAR * THE TAXIDERMIST'S DAUGHTER is amazing - atmospheric, gripping . . . I can't put it down * MARIAN KEYES - Author of THIS CHARMING MAN * Glossy as a crow's wing. Sure as a surgeon's scalpel. I bloody loved it. * JOANNE HARRIS - Author of CHOCOLAT *

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