The original novel was published in 2015. Translated by Tina Kover.
Nikonor is an eccentric and scholarly snob, a mycomaniac who has just made it to the Château de la Charlanne where he spent his childhood in the company of his twin sister, Anastasie. After all these years, it is not quite clear what brings him back to la Charlanne — an isolated and somewhat derelict castle located in the heart of the French countryside — but he is keen to share various memories with the reader in order to ‘set the record straight’, while he delivers his opinions on literature, cheeses, and, especially, mushrooms.
Winner of both a Prix André Dubreuil and a Prix Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco upon its original publication in France, The Beauty of the Death Cap is a darkly comic and sinister novel, a work that, page by page, becomes ever more disturbing, as we try to discover who Nikonor really is.
“A deliciously poisonous first novel.” — Le Figaro Magazine
“This is Agatha Christie meets Dexter: this novel makes you shudder and laugh in equal measure: a real success.” — La Vie
“Catherine Dousteyssier-Khoze’s mycological début novel unapologetically does away with literary genres.” — Livres Hebdo
Catherine Dousteyssier-Khoze is Associate Professor of French at Durham University, U.K. She is the author of numerous books, critical editions and articles on nineteenth-century literature and French cinema. Her latest book, Claude Chabrol’s Aesthetics of Opacity, was released by Edinburgh University Press in 2018. The Beauty of the Death Cap, published in France in 2015, is her début novel. It won the André Dubreuil Prize awarded by the Société des Gens de Lettres and a Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco Prize.