December 01, 2019

#BookReview: The Vanished Bride (Brontë Sisters Mystery #1) by Bella Ellis

Synopsis: Before they became legendary writers, Charlotte Brontë, Emily Brontë, and Anne Brontë were detectors in this charming historical mystery...

Yorkshire, 1845. A young wife and mother has gone missing from her home, leaving behind two small children and a large pool of blood. Just a few miles away, a humble parson's daughters--the Brontë sisters--learn of the crime. Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë are horrified and intrigued by the mysterious disappearance.

These three creative, energetic, and resourceful women quickly realize that they have all the skills required to make for excellent "lady detectors." Not yet published novelists, they have well-honed imaginations and are expert readers. And, as Charlotte remarks, "detecting is reading between the lines--it's seeing what is not there."

As they investigate, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne are confronted with a society that believes a woman's place is in the home, not scouring the countryside looking for clues. But nothing will stop the sisters from discovering what happened to the vanished bride, even as they find their own lives are in great peril...


About the Author: Bella Ellis is the Brontë-esque pseudonym of Rowan Coleman, an acclaimed author of numerous novels for adults and children. She first visited the former home of the Brontë sisters when she was ten years old. From the moment she stepped over the threshold she was hooked, and embarked on a lifelong love affair with Charlotte, Emily, and Anne; their life; their literature; and their remarkable legacy.

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
My Review: This was a very interesting historical title about the Bronte Sisters. This was all set before the iconic lives of the sisters in history and I just loved learning more about their life.  I know that this isn't a true prediction of their lives but I loved Ellis' take on it.  The pacing was well done and the characters were fabulous.  I loved the mystery surrounding the story and I hope that book two is out soon.  The story was twisty in its telling but still easy to follow. The author did a fabulous job! 


            The first thing Matilda French saw was the blood. There was such a quantity of it that for several moments she couldn’t make sense of the blackish pool of liquid that was spreading slowly under the closed door, not until the iron scent hit her, and she was reminded at once of the day her mother died, and the smell of her blood mingled with freshly cut violets.
Only then did the inevitable violence of what she was looking at begin to make sense of itself, the realisation that something dreadful had happened creeping through her veins like an infection.
            And yet, it was so unexpected, so strange to make such a discovery in the perfect quiet of a pre-dawn house, that at first she did not scream, she did not faint. Shock held her captive and as if mesmerised into a trance-like state, body separated from mind, she did what she always did not knowing what else to do; she knocked twice on the door.
            ‘Madam?’ The boards were sticky underfoot, the room still dark and full of shadows. Dawn had yet to lighten the sky outside. Her voice was barely more than a whisper, her next words made little sense in the face of such horror. ‘Mrs Chester, are you well?’
            When she pushed the door open she found the room silent and empty of its occupant, and covered in so much blood that she felt she might drown simply by inhaling.
            As her eyes adjusted to the light she could make out that her mistress’s bed was empty, though from the head to the foot it was covered in what looked like one great ink stain, spreading outwards from the centre like a monstrous butterfly.
            Trembling, breath held, Mattie crossed to the window, where she dragged open the heavy curtains, and loosened the window latch to let some of the damp, cold air in, sucking it in desperately. The first thin light of morning cast its veil over the room, and when finally she turned back to the bed, Mattie understood the terrible truth of what she was seeing.

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