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

Big big big Bronte fan here! So it’s a given that I have been looking forward to this book for quite a while!

But I will admit I was on the fence about it. This book is a reimagining of the Bronte sisters as lady detectives and for me it could have gone either way. I mean, the sisters wrote romances, not mysteries so I was worried that this book might come across as hokey.

So basically, I had reservations. I worried that I might have a hard time imagining them as detectives but on the other I love all things Bronte and I simply couldn’t pass on the opportunity to find out which way this book was going to go—-all good or all bad!

Summary

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 (summary from Goodreads)

Review

In this book, the sisters are yet to be published but they have huge imaginations and put their talents to use by solving crime—so basically we get to see the same Bronte sisters that we know and love before they were famous and in an entirely different way.

While I don’t know that I loved meeting them in this new way, since it was just so different than what I was expecting, but I do know that this book was exciting and interesting in a completely different way. At times the book was a little over the top and stretch things a bit when it came to some of the sister’s detecting tactics, I thought it was innovative and unique.

I think it takes guts to take three iconic classic authors such as these women, and give them a completely new backstory. As I was reading, I found myself wondering why did these women do before they became writers? And this book gives us a fun and tantalizing options to consider.

I thought this was a well constructed mystery with a truly unique story line not to mention the way the author described the sisters was so spot on and I loved seeing the authors love of the Bronte sisters on each page.

The mystery itself was a lot more complicated than I anticipated. I thought this might be a little more fluffy, but it was actually more complex and give me a lot more to try and work out. It was a fun way either way and I easily spent a few afternoons caught up in a mystery that was well done and different. I look forward to reading more in this series!

Book Info and Rating

Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 10th 2019 by Berkley Books
ISBN 0593099052 (ISBN13: 9780593099056)
Free review copy provided by publisher, Berkley Books, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 4 stars
Genre: historical fiction, historical mystery, mystery

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