October 03, 2021

#BookReview: The Corpse Queen by Heather Herrman

Synopsis: In this dark and twisty feminist historical thriller, a teenage girl starts a new life as a grave robber but quickly becomes entangled in a murderer's plans.

Soon after her best friend Kitty mysteriously dies, orphaned seventeen-year-old Molly Green is sent away to live with her "aunt." With no relations that she knows of, Molly assumes she has been sold as free domestic labor for the price of an extra donation in the church orphanage's coffers. Such a thing is not unheard of. There are only so many options for an unmarried girl in 1850s Philadelphia. Only, when Molly arrives, she discovers her aunt is very much real, exceedingly wealthy, and with secrets of her own. Secrets and wealth she intends to share--for a price.

Molly's estranged aunt Ava, has built her empire by robbing graves and selling the corpses to medical students who need bodies to practice surgical procedures. And she wants Molly to help her procure the corpses. As Molly learns her aunt's trade in the dead of night and explores the mansion by day, she is both horrified and deeply intrigued by the anatomy lessons held at the old church on her aunt's property. Enigmatic Doctor LaSalle's lessons are a heady mixture of knowledge and power and Molly has never wanted anything more than to join his male-only group of students. But the cost of inclusion is steep and with a murderer loose in the city, the pursuit of power and opportunity becomes a deadly dance.


Rating: 2 Stars
My Review: This is one of those books that sounds better than the execution. The story lost its luster as it unfolded and the romance didn't bring anything to it either.  The gothic feel and overall creepiness that I was hoping for slowly dwindled as the story progressed.  I did not make it to the end of this one and after reading what I just did on goodreads I think I am really glad that I didn't. As it seems they bring in a live dog to cut up. 

Go Into This One Knowing: Live Animal Harm 


Praise for The Corpse Queen:

“This historical thriller is dark, twisty, and perfect for a spooky fall read.” —Buzzfeed

Dark. Glittering. Dangerous. The Corpse Queen is deliciously macabre and utterly decadent. Like a well-placed scalpel, Molly’s sharp mind and cool determination in a male-dominated world will slip under your skin and snip at your heartstrings. A cinematic story cleverly plotted and intoxicatingly addictive; I gulped it down in one sitting.” —Kerri Maniscalco, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Stalking Jack the Ripper

“A historical mystery that will give you goosebumps.” —Pop Sugar

“The plot rockets along, greased by the rot of the dead, to a satisfying, and somewhat surprising, conclusion. If Poe’s daughter told a story, this might be it.” —Kirkus Reviews

Smartly written with a decidedly dark demeanor . . . this immersive, Frankenstein-tinged novel considers misogyny, socioeconomic divides, and social norms at a specific moment in modern surgery’s beginnings.” —Publishers Weekly

A wonderfully macabre thriller that mines considerable tension and chills from the grotesqueries and disturbing lack of ethics in nineteenth-century medical inquiry, leaning as much on various characters’ utter lack of compassion as on blood and guts for its horror. Molly is appealing in her complexity . . . [and] as taken by new science as any clever girl would be. . . A winner for fans of Bray’s Diviner series.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

About the Author

Heather Herrman's fiction blends beauty and the macabre. Her obsession with horror began with a sixth-grade slumber party viewing of Night of the Demons. She loves prairie winds, tales of wicked women, and landscapes that look like they could eat you. Her debut horror novel, Consumption, is available through Random House/Hydra. She holds an MFA in fiction from New Mexico State University and is an active member of The Horror Writer's Association. Her work has received support from The Prague Writer's Program and The Nebraska Arts Council. Heather currently lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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