The Taxidermist's Daughter by Kate Mosse
On the night of St. Mark’s Eve people have gathered in the churchyard to witness the superstitious arrival of the ghosts of those slated to soon die. Constantia Gifford is among them. In the crowd she sees a woman who is later found dead in the river near her home, Blackthorn House, which she shares with her father.
Constantia and her father are quite and well alone in their home. Her father was once the owner of a museum of beautiful birds set in diorama that he lovingly and professionally restored. Constantia learned at her father’s side, but now that they are alone and in ruin, the town shuns them for their grim trade.
Mysterious letters are delivered to people who then disappear. What is their connection, who is watching Blackthorn House and why? Who was the woman found floating so near the house? Who can Constantia trust when her father is among the missing? What happened in her past that she can no longer remember, but others clearly do? Is her father protecting her from something or someone?
I like Kate Mosse’s books and was excited to see she has a new one. The Taxidermist’s Daughter is set on the English coast in a small village, in a dark and decaying home filled with the detrious of an artful life gone bad. It’s cold. Don’t read it on a cold, rainy day because you’ll need a blanket.