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The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl

(The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club #3)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  563 ratings  ·  102 reviews
Mary Jekyll and the Athena Club race to save Alice—and foil a plot to unseat the Queen, in the electrifying conclusion to the trilogy that began with the Nebula Award finalist and Locus Award winner 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 Europea
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published October 1st 2019 by Gallery / Saga Press
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Oct 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Despite what should have been a rather interesting tangent into Alice in Wonderland meets the Mummy with our favorite crew of strong women torn from the pages of Victorian-era penny dreadfuls and classic fantasy literature, this particular book kinda fell flat.

Not particularly bad, mind you, and I did kinda enjoy the whole idea of the Mesmerism meets the Theosophical Society meets the Golden Dawn meets Professor Moriarty... but the the way it was executed? I honestly lost interest de
Forget the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, because now we have The Athena Club. I guess we could call it the League of Monstrous Gentlewomen. Another of the feminist versions of the Victorian time period with plenty of girl power (although the main characters do get justifiably huffy about being called girls when they are full grown women).

Even the female villains outsmart their male counterparts in this particular volume. The women of the Athena Club may sometimes doubt their abi
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The third book in the series has the Athena Club back in London and mostly reconciled with the Société des Alchimistes, but looking into the abduction of Sherlock Holmes and the Athena Club's own maid Alice.

This is a much more concise volume than the previous one and the return to England feels more like familiar ground for the club members. Which is probably the biggest problem here. The first book got the band together, and there was lots of character development as the "monsters" of the club
Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc
You all may remember that I adored a recent read, The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter and was excited to continue with the series.  I was thrilled to receive an ARC of the final book in the trilogy and quickly checked out book two, European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman, but unfortunately it fell short for me.  While I devoured book one, book two felt like a chore because it lacked some serious editing.  

That said, I was still looking forward to the conclusion of The Athena Club series w
Oct 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, stars-3-5

My expectations were exceedingly high for this third instalment, in light of the quality of the previous two titles. Maybe too high... It’s the problem when you keep getting amazing reads from an author. It becomes the norm, and when you get something still very good but not top notch, you get a little disappointed.

This novel features once more the colourful members of the Athena Club, this time focused on finding Alice and Sherlock, who have been taken by some nefarious group.
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved the first book in this series. Then, I was a little disappointed in the second book and thus was apprehensive about this third installment. However, this book brought it home. Total comfort read.
Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
Mar 09, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: own, 2019
Oda Renate
Aug 23, 2019 marked it as to-read

What what?!?
yeayyyyy! :D:D:D:D
Me doing the happy dance :D
Oct 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Diana and Mary Comedy Hour is back, and instead of wandering all over Europe, like they did in book two, the Athena Club has plenty to do in London. Sherlock is missing, Alice is kidnapped, and the young women have much detecting to do to find both individuals.

While I found book two of this trilogy a little too long, I didn't find that the plot dragged this time around. In fact, I found myself laughing more at Diana's antics (insulting everyone else and stuffing her face with nummies) and e
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the third book in the Athena Club series; I hope that there will be more. This one picks up right as the second volume ends, but I believe new readers would follow this one all right without having read the previous pair. I actually didn't enjoy this one quite as much because it follows Alice and some other characters around for much of the time, and I didn't find her as interesting as the core five, nor her travails as captivating as their adventures on the continent. It is a delightful ...more
Nov 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another really fun book with fun characters. The end of this read like the end of a series, so I'm guessing the series is done, but I really enjoyed this book and seeing The Mesmerizing Girl come into her own, along with a little bit of help from the members of the Athena Club. There were a couple of challenges for the women in this book, a couple of "boss fights" as it were. My favorite was the ultimate one, though, the one at the very end. It fit for the team. Although I think this was a fine ...more
Beau North
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A satisfying conclusion to this wonderful series. The last paragraph had me crying in the middle of the grocery store. I’m so glad these books exists.
Jun 26, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
The third installment of The Athena Club trilogy is just as exciting and action-packed as the first two were. It's one of my favorite books of the year and only missed the fifth star for me for a very specific reason which was no fault of the author's. Read on to learn my mistake before you start this one.

Mary Jekyll and her friends from The Athena Club are back, and this book takes off right where the last one left off. Alice, the kitchen made in Mary's London home, has been kidnapp
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: stonecoast, fantasy
The final book in the Athena Club trilogy was delightful in every way I hoped it would be and a few that I was not expecting.

As this entire series has been, Goss's reclaiming of female voices and monstrous stories brings refreshing life and keen insight to these characters. The Victorian adventures and mysteries of the novel are fun to read, bolstered further by deeper moments of significance and beauty.

These books are stylistically unlike any I've read, but they are the perfect ble
Didi Chanoch
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In recent years, we've had a delightful flourishing of stories dealing with some of the deeply problematic foundation of genre literature. Ruthanna Emrys' The Innsmouth Legacy series is both a love letter to and a rebuke of the works of HP Lovecraft. Vivian Shaw's recently completed Dr. Greta Helsing trilogy deals largely with the origins of vampire literature. And Theodora Goss' work looks straight at 19th century penny dreadfuls, adventure stories and detective fiction. This is not a series ab ...more
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unusual story

I recommend this series especially in the fall when you might want a spooky story with strong female characters. The historical and literature connections make it interesting.
somehow not as good

perhaps if i had reread the second book it would have rolled better into the next? it appeared convoluted. complicated and yet abrupt. those characters are just gone? who replaces them? i will certainly read the next to see what happens to the girls next.
Caly ☯ Crazy Book Lady
As much fun as the first 2, I am sorry to see the series come to an end. Hopefully we will see the author return to the Athena Club or at least some of the characters someday.
Tammy Buchli
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed the third installment in this charmingly written and evocative historical / paranormal / literary mystery series. Fun and engaging.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing an ARC copy for my review.
Oct 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Overall I enjoyed this book, but it suffered a bit from too many characters. I had a tough time getting into it, but it moved quickly once the plot got going. This was slimmer than the previous volume and moved a bit quicker, which was an improvement as well and I enjoyed the last chapter.
Oct 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
**As per all of my reviews, I like to preface by saying that I listened to this book in audiobook format. This does indeed slightly skew my rating. I have found that audiobooks, give me a better "relationship" with the characters if done well, but also kills the book for me if narrated poorly. Also due to the nature of listening to the text, names and places may be spelled incorrectly here as I often do not have the physical volume in front of me.**

So, this will be the last book in t
Susan Graves
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl is a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy that took readers into the mysterious world of of the Athena Club. I love following the adventures of Mary Jekyll and friends. I adored this book and gobbled it up in nearly one sitting. If you have any interest in exploring Victorian Europe with legendary horror creatures you'll love this one too.
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This is the third book following the adventures of the Athena club, and I have to say I enjoyed this one. The previous book, at over 700 pages long, felt a little too long. This one, on the other hand, was considerably shorter and I generally felt like the storyline was less meandering. However, I do feel like the pacing of the story was a bit inconsistent in places; there were quite a few spots that the narrative stalled in the extended telling of a character's backstory. Additionally, there we ...more
Linda Bond
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
And thus we have reached the conclusion of the trilogy featuring the members of The Athena Club. If you’ve not found this series before (unthinkable), I suggest you begin with The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter since you will want to begin at the beginning in order to understand the amazing story of how our now dear friends Justine Frankenstein, Lucinda Van Helsing, Diana Hyde (and others) first came together and how they managed to save the British Empire. Goodness what a journey it h ...more
Sep 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
An excellent installment in the Athena Club series! Not as many new characters introduced as in other books, but the cast is fairly extensive now anyway, so I didn't mind that. Strictly speaking, this felt more adventure than mystery, but that's fine by me.
Paul Calhoun
Oct 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
An enjoyable and fairly straightforward outing for the Athena club.

Hero characters were almost all fleshed out further or given good things to do. No one was left out, even the bit players of earlier books. We get more into the history of the SA and of its membership, and it's a somewhat refreshing turn away from the SA rogues to a new set of problems.
The return to the England of Sir Arthur brings us back to the Club's roots and the problems that they didn't entirely solve before go
Geoanna Hutzler
A fun read and certainly worth your time if you loved the previous two books as I have. The characters are still as wonderful as ever, the Athena Club members still bicker and jab at one another with all the good natured half serious annoyance of a close knit family and every one falls all over themselves in appreciation for the wonderful misses Poole just as they should. Mary is still calm and clever, Dianna is still hell on wheels, Justine is slowly coming to grips with a new lease on life aft ...more
Dan Trefethen
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the third book in the author's Athena Club series, about the adventures of a group of 19th-century women 'monsters' (as they describe themselves). Others have called this series “The League of Extraordinary Gentlewomen”, riffing off the Alan Moore concept. With names like Jekyll, Moreau, Frankenstein, and Rappacini, they carry a wealth of association from English literature. They have banded together to fight evil and help others who they identify with (such as Lucinda Van Helsing) and a ...more
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a 3.5.
There are some weird claims about the empire in this book, and I know what the author is trying to saying but it comes across at times as a defender of the empire. Particularly since the claim comes from the one character who seems to be clear thinking and level headed, I want to believe it is because the character is a nationalist to the British identity, but the claim that the empire brought education, medicine and religion to the 'dark parts' of the world, really upset me. Mos
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Theodora Goss's publications include the short story collection In the Forest of Forgetting (2006); Interfictions (2007), a short story anthology coedited with Delia Sherman; Voices from Fairyland (2008), a poetry anthology with critical essays and a selection of her own poems; and The Thorn and the Blossom (2012), a two-sided novella in an accordion format. She has been a finalist for the Nebula, ...more

Other books in the series

The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club (3 books)
  • The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter (The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club, #1)
  • European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman (The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club, #2)