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The Vanished Bride

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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, 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...


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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, 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...

30 review for The Vanished Bride

  1. 4 out of 5

    Toni

    I am a huge admirer of Bronte sisters ' work, so this mystery, featuring Emily, Charlotte, Anne, and Branwell Bronte was just a treat. In the Vanished Bride Yorkshire Mooresville we all love and cherish because of the sisters's immortal works become a setting of a crime mystery-a young woman, a devoted mother and stepmother, disappears from her room in Chester Grange estate. There is so much blood left behind that few people doubt she came to a grave harm. Emily, Charlotte, and Anne are spending I am a huge admirer of Bronte sisters ' work, so this mystery, featuring Emily, Charlotte, Anne, and Branwell Bronte was just a treat. In the Vanished Bride Yorkshire Mooresville we all love and cherish because of the sisters's immortal works become a setting of a crime mystery-a young woman, a devoted mother and stepmother, disappears from her room in Chester Grange estate. There is so much blood left behind that few people doubt she came to a grave harm. Emily, Charlotte, and Anne are spending summer in their father's house and are feeling bored. Their sense of how precious and awfully short and precarious life is, creative spirit, and wild imagination make them take an active interest in everything that is happening around them, far and near. One of these things is the formation of the first police force detective department, the other the above-mentioned strange occurrence in their own neighborhood. The sisters decide to try to solve the mystery by putting their education, curiosity, deductive powers, social skills and sense of justice in use. Thank you to Edelweiss and Berkley for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Berit☀️✨

    Bella Ellis has crafted a clever and atmospheric tale that will transport you to 1845 Victorian England. This was a captivating historical Mystery featuring the Brontë sisters Charlotte, Emily, and Anne. The story takes place before the Brontës wrote their classic masterpieces and Inc. there curious, clever, and dynamic personalities. There was also much foreshadowing of their future famous works. It was so impressive how creative Miss Ellis was with her approach to the story. So well written an Bella Ellis has crafted a clever and atmospheric tale that will transport you to 1845 Victorian England. This was a captivating historical Mystery featuring the Brontë sisters Charlotte, Emily, and Anne. The story takes place before the Brontës wrote their classic masterpieces and Inc. there curious, clever, and dynamic personalities. There was also much foreshadowing of their future famous works. It was so impressive how creative Miss Ellis was with her approach to the story. So well written and researched it completely captured the essence of this time and place as well as these characters. And it was a brilliant mystery to boot.

 The story starts off with the Brontë sisters finding themselves all under the same roof for the first time in a long time. Then two things happen their friend Matilda's mistress has disappeared leaving behind a pool of blood, and there is an article in the newspaper about male detectives. Always willing to live outside the norm the sisters decide to head to the scene of the crime and do some detecting of their own. The mystery was interesting, intriguing, and well plotted. I read this book as part of a buddy read and none of us had it all figured out. Always great to have a surprise ending, but even better when it is not out of left field. There were definitely clues and hints leading up to the ending I just didn't clue into them. This was an extremely well executed historical mystery and I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

This book in three emojis: 🕵🏻‍♀️ 💍 🔥 
*** Big thanks to Berkley for my copy of this book ***

  3. 4 out of 5

    Book of Secrets

    4.5 Stars → THE VANISHED BRIDE is a unique historical mystery that casts the famous Brontë sisters as amateur sleuths who set out to solve a local missing persons case. It's 1845, and Charlotte, Emily, and Anne are once again living at home with their father Patrick and brother Branwell, before they became published authors. The sisters are struggling to find their place in the world as unmarried women who would prefer to set their own course in life. When they hear a young wife has disappeared 4.5 Stars → THE VANISHED BRIDE is a unique historical mystery that casts the famous Brontë sisters as amateur sleuths who set out to solve a local missing persons case. It's 1845, and Charlotte, Emily, and Anne are once again living at home with their father Patrick and brother Branwell, before they became published authors. The sisters are struggling to find their place in the world as unmarried women who would prefer to set their own course in life. When they hear a young wife has disappeared under gruesome circumstances, the Brontës become "lady detectors" and use their smarts & daring to find out what happened. I enjoyed this book very much! Not only was I intrigued by the twisty mystery, I absolutely loved being able to live in the world of the Brontës for a little while. From what I've previously learned about them, I think the author did a fantastic job capturing the sisters' personalities, conflicts, and closeness to one another. Though the mystery was fictional, it had many elements that would have influenced this Charlotte to write Jane Eyre. THE VANISHED BRIDE is a must read for Brontë fans — intriguing, well-written, and great fun. Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ceecee

    This has all the essential ingredients of a really good book. The main ingredient is a well written plot line, add in characters that you can visualise, fold in a tale that unfolds well and with clarity, add a dash of humour, wit and sibling banter, a soupçon of cleverness and intrigue, a large spoonful of mystery and secrecy, add atmospheric settings, a splash of ghostliness and stir well! The result? Hopefully, a best seller because this is truly what Bella Ellis deserves. This is a terrific r This has all the essential ingredients of a really good book. The main ingredient is a well written plot line, add in characters that you can visualise, fold in a tale that unfolds well and with clarity, add a dash of humour, wit and sibling banter, a soupçon of cleverness and intrigue, a large spoonful of mystery and secrecy, add atmospheric settings, a splash of ghostliness and stir well! The result? Hopefully, a best seller because this is truly what Bella Ellis deserves. This is a terrific read and I love that this engaging story is embedded in truths about the Brontë sisters as they are the inspiration for this story. The sisters turn Lady Detectors when they try to learn of the intriguing case of Elizabeth Chester of Chester Grange, whose husband is cruel and vicious. Elizabeth’s room is found covered in copious amounts of blood but there is no sign of its occupant. What happens afterwards as the sisters doggedly pursue the truth is a tale full of menace, creepiness, intrigue and deception. I love the idea of the sisters detecting and Emily proves herself very adept and bold , Anne charms witnesses while fierce, independent Charlotte adds dryness and intelligence , aided and supported when sufficiently sober, by Branwell who proves to have perspicacity, wit and intuition. The family come alive before your very eyes as they traipse around the wildly beautiful Haworth location with their easy sibling camaraderie but also their brutal honesty to each other. Their father, Patrick is not for one minute deceived by the inventive lies they tell as the women travel across Yorkshire to search for the truth. He is not a man of his times in that he has almost modern views and allows his daughters latitude. There are some wonderful descriptions and some terrific macabre incidents that send shivers down your spine. There is one jaw dropping moment when Emily breaks into Chester Grange that is deliciously spooky. I like that the story is set in its historical context with real events such as the growth of industry and its effects on expanding West Yorkshire towns which the woman witness and is especially evident in Leeds. I like the inclusion of strong independent women (The Brontë sisters of course, Isabelle Lucas, Dr Prescott's wife] who refuse to be under the control of men as of course, was the norm. The ending is maybe a bit contrived but it fits with a Gothic Tale and so is a minor point. Overall, I enjoyed this book a great deal and will definitely read subsequent stories as I love the premise. Thank you very much for the ARC.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    In this charming and suspenseful first installment in a new series, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Bronte are “lady detectors” a.k.a. detectives! In mid 1840s Yorkshire there’s a missing mother. In her place is a pool of blood. Charlotte, Emily, and Anne live just a few miles away and are upset and eager to know more about the crime. They have not yet published their novels, but they are experts with details and have wild imaginations. Of course women are not typically detectors during this time per In this charming and suspenseful first installment in a new series, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Bronte are “lady detectors” a.k.a. detectives! In mid 1840s Yorkshire there’s a missing mother. In her place is a pool of blood. Charlotte, Emily, and Anne live just a few miles away and are upset and eager to know more about the crime. They have not yet published their novels, but they are experts with details and have wild imaginations. Of course women are not typically detectors during this time period, and the sisters are met with resistance at every turn. No matter, they are too invested to let this case go. They have to find out what happened to the vanished bride, despite the possible cost. The Vanished Bride is a complex and engaging mystery that kept me rapt! If you are a Bronte fan, this book is extra fun visiting the sisters in a different way and getting to know them better. Even if you aren’t, the author has delivered a well-planned historical mystery that kept me guessing and never showed all its cards. I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own. Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    'Oh dear, I do worry about all the deceit that comes with detecting. It doesn't seem very godly at all'. When I started this I thought to myself, who dreams up this kind of stuff, the Brontè sisters as investigators! Now however I'm like this is genius, the Brontè sisters are detectives! Or 'Detectors' as they like to call themselves. From the first page you can tell how much this author adores these sisters and I was astonished when reading the back notes how much fact is woven into this piece 'Oh dear, I do worry about all the deceit that comes with detecting. It doesn't seem very godly at all'. When I started this I thought to myself, who dreams up this kind of stuff, the Brontè sisters as investigators! Now however I'm like this is genius, the Brontè sisters are detectives! Or 'Detectors' as they like to call themselves. From the first page you can tell how much this author adores these sisters and I was astonished when reading the back notes how much fact is woven into this piece of fiction, it's just incredible and researched to a whole new level. The fact and fiction worked so well together and I feel that although the plot is fiction, I understand the lives of girls, who they were, their surroundings, their upbringings so much more. This isn't a book, this literally came alive in my hands, it's very well crafted and so three dimensional I felt like a forth sister. Easily four stars.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    This is the first in what will, hopefully, become a series of mysteries featuring the Bronte sisters as ‘detectors,’ in their words. I am never sure about putting really, historical characters, into fictional settings, but this novel really does utilise the biographies of the Bronte’s and, in no way, does it trivialise, or romanticise, them. Part tribute and part crime story, this is an excellent read. The novel begins in 1851, with the news that a married woman has gone missing from This is the first in what will, hopefully, become a series of mysteries featuring the Bronte sisters as ‘detectors,’ in their words. I am never sure about putting really, historical characters, into fictional settings, but this novel really does utilise the biographies of the Bronte’s and, in no way, does it trivialise, or romanticise, them. Part tribute and part crime story, this is an excellent read. The novel begins in 1851, with the news that a married woman has gone missing from Chester Grange, where Matilda French, an old school-friend, works as governess. Wish to comfort her, and, naturally curious, Charlotte, Emily and Anne, set out to visit their friend. They learn that this is an unlucky house indeed, as Mr Chester’s first wife, Imogen, killed herself and now Elizabeth has gone missing. Determined to help, the three set out to find out where Elizabeth is and whether she is still alive. Much of this mystery hints at later novels the Bronte’s wrote. There is also much about the family; of Branwell, drunk and debt-ridden, their father in poor health and the desire that these three sisters have to become independent and find a way to support themselves. The mystery deals with uncomfortable truths, faced by women at the time; the fact that husbands, and fathers, have a great deal of control over women’s lives, of seduction – and the consequences – of domestic abuse, infant mortality and also the lack of a coherent police force to investigate crime. Indeed, one of the most poignant lines, has to come from Mr Bronte, who unwittingly leaves the sisters feeling diminished, when he comments, “your writing is not work, as it is with your brother.”If you enjoy mysteries and have a love for the Bronte sisters, you will love this.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Whispering Stories

    ‘The Vanished Bride’ is an historical novel by Bella Ellis. Ellis has taken the Brontës, before the sisters became famous authors and dropped them in a sinister Victorian tale. The book is written in the third person and each chapter is seen through the eyes of one of the main characters. We join Charlotte in the parsonage in Haworth in December 1851 when she is in reflective mood. She thinks back to a time in 1845 when circumstances led to her having three of her precious siblings li ‘The Vanished Bride’ is an historical novel by Bella Ellis. Ellis has taken the Brontës, before the sisters became famous authors and dropped them in a sinister Victorian tale. The book is written in the third person and each chapter is seen through the eyes of one of the main characters. We join Charlotte in the parsonage in Haworth in December 1851 when she is in reflective mood. She thinks back to a time in 1845 when circumstances led to her having three of her precious siblings living with her. They received word that Elizabeth Chester, a young wife and mother, from a neighbouring village has disappeared under mysterious circumstances and undertake to find out what happened to her. They visit Elizabeth’s home, Chester Grange, under the pretext of concern for their friend, Mattie, who was employed as governess to the Chester children. Was this a crime scene or had Elizabeth disappeared of her own volition? This seemed unlikely owing to the amount of blood on the floor. Had she been murdered and spirited away? These are the questions the sisters, peripherally assisted by their brother, Branwell, set about trying to answer. We can envisage the bleak isolated house set on the moors and it is fair to say the author has had help here, because most of us have read or watched something about the family so we know what to expect of the Brontë home. However, Bella Ellis is more than equal to the task of putting literary devices to good use. She illuminates her tale with metaphors, similes and personification along with occasional bit of gentle humour. I enjoyed their delicate probing of the community of Arunton as they sought clues to help uncover the truth. The more they find out, the more complex the puzzle becomes but gradually we’re drip-fed snippets of information to help unpick the mystery. We see each of the sisters through the author’s interpretation of their mind sets and I suspect she has undertaken a significant amount of background research into the personalities of each on which to base her characterisations. She even has the sibling bickering occasionally, as the romantic Charlotte clashes with the head-strong Emily and gives Anne the part of the pragmatic peacemaker. Throughout the book, Ellis gives the forward-thinking sisters a social conscience as they demonstrate their frustration with the lack of status of women in society. As their confidence increases, they realise that fulfilment can be achieved through channels other than marriage. Bella Ellis is clearly a huge Brontë devotee which is apparent from her choice of pseudonym and the subtle nods to the sisters’ subsequent work running through threads in this tale. Would the sisters be impressed with being plunged into a dark tale of mystery and intrigue? As it is a well-written book with great attention to period detail, I suspect they would. The pace might be a little slow for those who enjoy action-packed drama but for fans of the sisters’ work, this story definitely captures the essence of the Brontë style. This is a delightful whodunit which will appeal to many readers who enjoy a cosy conundrum. I thoroughly recommend this book and award five stars.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)

    It is always fun to have something a bit different than the norm. Something that is fun, entertaining, and stands out from your typical historical mysteries. The Vanished Bride managed to do all of those things and also added a bit of realism along the way. Set in a time when the Bronte sisters still roamed the Earth, The Vanished Bride gives us a curious look at maybe what made them not only fantastic writers but maybe where all their imagination and ingenious ideas came from as well It is always fun to have something a bit different than the norm. Something that is fun, entertaining, and stands out from your typical historical mysteries. The Vanished Bride managed to do all of those things and also added a bit of realism along the way. Set in a time when the Bronte sisters still roamed the Earth, The Vanished Bride gives us a curious look at maybe what made them not only fantastic writers but maybe where all their imagination and ingenious ideas came from as well as giving us a fantastical mystery ripe with intrigue, secrets, and murder and with just a touch of the paranormal and unexplained. Perfect for lovers of historical fiction as well as lover's of the Bronte sisters themselves. The Vanished Bride will keep you turing the pages and wondering what kind of adventures and secrets they will uncover next. *ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

  10. 5 out of 5

    Anna Luce

    DNF at 50% I'm afraid that in spite of the many glowing reviews singing this book's praises I'm not going to finish reading it. I started The Vanished Bride hoping to read a Gothic tale featuring the Brontë sisters...soon I realised that the story and writing of The Vanished Bride were closer to those found in a cozy detective novel. The sisters themselves were perhaps the most disappointing aspect of Bella Ellis' book. I'm sure that it's not an easy endeavour to attempt to create a fictional tale featuring such literary icons however giit'sBride DNF at 50% I'm afraid that in spite of the many glowing reviews singing this book's praises I'm not going to finish reading it. I started The Vanished Bride hoping to read a Gothic tale featuring the Brontë sisters...soon I realised that the story and writing of The Vanished Bride were closer to those found in a cozy detective novel. The sisters themselves were perhaps the most disappointing aspect of Bella Ellis' book. I'm sure that it's not an easy endeavour to attempt to create a fictional tale featuring such literary icons however giving them one note personalities is not the solution. Charlotte is the serious one, Anne is the sensitive one, and Emily is the supposedly headstrong one. Ellis' portrayal of Emily does the woman no favours. Ellis' Emily is rude and arrogant, and most of her actions seem very unbelievable as she is somehow learned on detective methods that were yet part of the 'popular' knowledge. Just because she's read one article mentioning the appearance of a certain type of policeman in London doesn't mean that she should know what a murder investigation would entail. Worse still is that she was so very grating. The typical child-detective that is a little more than a busybody know-it-all. Their views regarding the female question were handled in such a heavy-handed way. They seemed walking-and-talking manifestos rather than real women...the way they comment on the gender inequities seemed far too modern...their language and opinions seem far too current and representative of the feminist movement today (perhaps a bit of wishful thinking on the part of today's readers). There are many cheesy references that make it seem as if the events taking place in The Vanished Bride influenced the Brontë's own novels (for example 'the woman in the attic') that seem so clumsy as to lack any sort of subtlety. I struggled to reconcile Ellis' Brontë sisters with the real ones... The writing is as simplistic as its story and its characters often resorting to cliché phrases such as “Their world was at once very small and also infinite” and “Charlotte was quiet for a very long moment—a moment into which she compressed a lifetime of agony and rage”. If you enjoy light mystery-reads, and you are not as a punctilious reader as I am, you might be able to find The Vanished Bride to be more entertaining than I did. Read more reviews on my blog / / / View all my reviews on Goodreads

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mackenzie - PhDiva Books

    I participated in an absolutely DELIGHTFUL buddy read of The Vanished Bride over the past few weeks. Are you a fan of mysteries? Women empowerment? Historical fiction based around read people or events? The Bronte sisters? If any of these are a yes, pick up a copy of this book! Emily, Charlotte, and Anne Bronte live a quiet life, spending their time exploring their passion to write. When a young wife and mother is seemingly murdered just a few miles from their home, the sisters set ou I participated in an absolutely DELIGHTFUL buddy read of The Vanished Bride over the past few weeks. Are you a fan of mysteries? Women empowerment? Historical fiction based around read people or events? The Bronte sisters? If any of these are a yes, pick up a copy of this book! Emily, Charlotte, and Anne Bronte live a quiet life, spending their time exploring their passion to write. When a young wife and mother is seemingly murdered just a few miles from their home, the sisters set out to investigate. Elizabeth Chester, second wife of Robert Chester, has disappeared, leaving behind two small children and a large amount of blood in her place. Chester’s first wife also died under strange circumstance, leading to some suspicion about what happened to Elizabeth. While Anne and their brother Branwell investigate inside of the house, Charlotte and Emily work the community, gathering information. The more they learn about the events surrounding Elizabeth’s disappearance, the more suspicious they become… I loved this reimagining of the Bronte sisters in their younger years solving mysteries together. The dialogue on what women (particularly women of a certain class) were expected and able to do at the time was so interesting. I loved the alternating narrators as well, getting to know each sister a bit more and what their strengths are in this powerhouse crime-solving trio. Their brother Branwell is a different story.. I liked the inclusion of him in this novel as a contrast to the Bronte sisters. Branwell is part of quite a scandal. In contrast, Emily, Charlotte, and Anne live a quiet, studious life. And yet, being male, Branwell has so much advantage over the sisters. The biggest strife they cause (besides the danger they get themselves into by solving this crime) is that they are approaching an age where they should be focused on getting married. As a non-spoiler for the real lives of the Bronte sisters, only Charlotte ended up married and it was in the last year of her life. It is also, in my opinions, the least interesting thing about her! I loved the feminist themes in this book. A few that I buddy read with thought they were overdone, but I didn’t feel that way at all. I actually felt that among the three sisters, the discussions on women were so enlightening and informative for the time they lived in. Lest we not forget that all three originally published under male pseudonyms. Female writers, of course, not being taken seriously at the time. The mystery was intriguing nearly right from the start. The idea of what seemed to be a murder but with no body was fascinating. There are a number of avenues this could take—did someone hide the body? Is she still alive? If so, whose blood is that? By the last quarter of the novel, I could scarcely put it down! A truly engaging historical mystery that delighted me in every way! Thank you to Berkley for my copy. Opinions are my own.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    I was very fortunate to have received an Advanced Readers Copy electronically from Berkley as part of a Group Buddy Read with other bookstagrammers lead by Berit Lohn from @beritaudiokilledthebookmark, who made this possible. The Vanished Bride by Bella Ellis The Bronte siblings Charlotte, Emily, Anne and Branwell embark in a mystery set in 1845, Yorkshire. The story opens quite dramatically with a possibility of murder and the disappearance of a young mother leaving her tw I was very fortunate to have received an Advanced Readers Copy electronically from Berkley as part of a Group Buddy Read with other bookstagrammers lead by Berit Lohn from @beritaudiokilledthebookmark, who made this possible. The Vanished Bride by Bella Ellis The Bronte siblings Charlotte, Emily, Anne and Branwell embark in a mystery set in 1845, Yorkshire. The story opens quite dramatically with a possibility of murder and the disappearance of a young mother leaving her two children behind and a macabre of a crime scene with pools of blood all over! The Bronte sisters, living in a Parsonage in Haworth, hear about this horrendous crime. Armed with their extraordinary wit and skill, they decide to become "lady detectors" as they set out to solve this murder mystery on their own. I loved that despite this story, being a fictional murder mystery, the historical contexts surrounding the story is actually from known facts about the Bronte's life and family. Ellis beautifully incorporated this into the story and it did make for a wonderful and fascinating read especially for Bronte fans. As to when the story began in August of 1845, it was a well known and well documented time when the Bronte family were once again all together in one roof for at least several months. Incidentally, this was also the time before any of the Brontes started writing their books. I am excited that this is going to be a part of the Bronte Murder Mystery series since I loved and enjoyed reading about these amateur sleuths. Bella Ellis did an exceptional job incorporating and representing strong women during the Victorian era, by using the Bronte sisters to landscape the story. The Brontes were not only legendary but indeed revolutionary, and well ahead of their time. This was a well written and well plotted murder mystery that kept me turning the pages and guessing until the very end. Thank you NetGalley, Berkley Pub and author Bella Ellis for the opportunity to read this and review.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    The word that kept coming to mind when reading this was delightful. Other than some of their written works, I don't know anything about the Brontes or their lives so I found the personification of their various personalities in this work to be extremely fun and interesting. While I did figure out part of the mystery very quickly, I was completely off base as to why and how it all happened which made for a really enjoyable read. The chapters themselves are titled with the alternating characters, The word that kept coming to mind when reading this was delightful. Other than some of their written works, I don't know anything about the Brontes or their lives so I found the personification of their various personalities in this work to be extremely fun and interesting. While I did figure out part of the mystery very quickly, I was completely off base as to why and how it all happened which made for a really enjoyable read. The chapters themselves are titled with the alternating characters, as if they are being told by different POV, but honestly I didn't see any difference in the voice or the perspective and thought it was completely unnecessary. I'm also not sure of the book being shelved as a thriller. There were some dark parts to it but overall I found the tone to be light and enjoyable and might even go as far as to say it could be sophisticated cozy mystery. Overall this was a great debut! Thanks to the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy. The opinions are my own.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    It’s 1851 and the prologue to the book sees Charlotte, now the last surviving member of the Brontë family, looking back on her and her sisters’ lives before they became famous authors. It underlines how tragically short their lives were, Emily having died in 1848 and Anne in 1849. Charlotte herself was to die in 1855. The book’s very engaging premise is that the sisters were enterprising ‘detectors’ before they were novelists and The Vanished Bride represents their first case undertak It’s 1851 and the prologue to the book sees Charlotte, now the last surviving member of the Brontë family, looking back on her and her sisters’ lives before they became famous authors. It underlines how tragically short their lives were, Emily having died in 1848 and Anne in 1849. Charlotte herself was to die in 1855. The book’s very engaging premise is that the sisters were enterprising ‘detectors’ before they were novelists and The Vanished Bride represents their first case undertaken in 1845 (before, for example, the publication of Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights in 1847). In a clever nod to the fact that the Brontë sisters’ novels and poems were initially published under pseudonyms (Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell) in order to disguise their gender, the author has adopted Bella Ellis as her pen-name for this new series of historical mysteries. That’s only one of very many clever nods to the works of the Brontë sisters that feature in The Vanished Bride and readers who are familiar with any of the novels of the Brontës will have great fun in spotting the allusions. I know I did but I probably missed just as many more. (There is also at least one allusion to another famous fictional detective in the reference to what might be described as a ‘curious incident’.) The book also makes references to events in the lives of the sisters. There is one especially poignant scene where Charlotte and Anne visit Scarborough as part of their investigation and Anne remarks that, apart from Haworth, Scarborough is ‘the only other place in the world that she ever wished to be…standing on the clifftops, marvelling at the boundless magnitude of the sea, and wondering at what might lie beyond it’. The sisters take it in turns to relate the story and, as well as making engaging narrators, it allows the reader to appreciate their different strengths when it comes to the art of ‘detecting’, neatly mirroring what you might imagine were their characters in real-life. For example, Emily is all action, emotional and instinct, whereas Anne is methodical and thoughtful, and Charlotte is in her element when dealing with people and eliciting information. Collectively, the sisters find their gender is a positive advantage on a number of occasions, something very different from the position they find themselves in as members of society. Fans of Branwell Brontë will be pleased to know that he also features, although very much in an assisting role. I wouldn’t want what I’ve said so far to put off readers who are unfamiliar with the lives or works of the Brontë sisters because The Vanished Bride works perfectly well as an engaging historical mystery even without such knowledge (although, I suspect readers may be tempted to pick up one of the sisters’ novels afterwards). The sisters’ investigation involves everything you’d expect from a mystery: examining the scene of the crime, looking for evidence, interviewing suspects, even a bit of undercover work and an early outing for what we’d probably recognise today as psychological profiling. Those with good powers of observation may pick up clues along the way but you definitely won’t know if they were significant or ‘red herrings’ until the final chapters. The Vanished Bride is an accomplished, entertaining historical mystery that is also great fun for Brontë fans. I shall certainly be looking out for future books in the series. I received an advance review copy courtesy of Hodder & Stoughton via NetGalley

  15. 5 out of 5

    Pauline

    This is the first book in The Bronte Mysteries series. In this story Charlotte Bronte and her siblings become amateur detectives when a young mother is found missing in their neighbourhood. The story was set in 1945 and reflects the views and language of that time period. I was invited to read this book by the publisher and found this an interesting change from the books I normally read. Thank you to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review

  16. 5 out of 5

    Empress Reece (Hooked on Books)

    Do you know I have never in my life read Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights or any of the Bronte sisters books? I know, I'm ashamed to even admit that. I want to read them though and I need to make time to do that soon. Being an avid reader though, I am familiar with the sisters and it's the reason I found this mystery book intriguing. This story takes you back to a period before the sisters became famous writers. They aren't like most of the women from that era so they would much rather travel around Do you know I have never in my life read Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights or any of the Bronte sisters books? I know, I'm ashamed to even admit that. I want to read them though and I need to make time to do that soon. Being an avid reader though, I am familiar with the sisters and it's the reason I found this mystery book intriguing. This story takes you back to a period before the sisters became famous writers. They aren't like most of the women from that era so they would much rather travel around unchaperoned and dabble in a mystery involving a friend of theirs, then sit at home all day playing nursemaid to their brother Branwell, who is always drunk or hungover. As for the actual mystery, I thought it was really well written. It's complex and extremely engaging. I was glued to the story from beginning to end. It's not a mystery you'll solve quickly either which is always nice I think. I like to be kept in the dark as long as possible. I really hope the author has plans to involve the Bronte sisters in more amateur detection, in the near future. If so, I will gladly tag along with them again on another sleuthing adventure. *I received this ARC from the First to Read program in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Liene

    This book is not even 300 pages but it took me approximately a thousand years to get through it. The only reason I finished it was because I wanted my misery to count for something, that something being my Goodreads challenge. The book never seemed to be able to decide on what tone it was going for - it was, by turns, dramatic, then preachy, then campy, then suspenseful, then woke, and then back to dramatic again. At times the narrative seemed to forget that there was a story to tell and a This book is not even 300 pages but it took me approximately a thousand years to get through it. The only reason I finished it was because I wanted my misery to count for something, that something being my Goodreads challenge. The book never seemed to be able to decide on what tone it was going for - it was, by turns, dramatic, then preachy, then campy, then suspenseful, then woke, and then back to dramatic again. At times the narrative seemed to forget that there was a story to tell and a mystery to solve, as it made frequent pitstops at various conveniently illustrative occurrences to make a case for whatever modern sensibility it was trying to weave into this historical fiction book. I'm all for feminism, but stopping the story once every few pages to have the female leads anachronistically soapbox about women's rights is absurd, especially when said female leads have about as much depth and dimension as the paper their story is printed upon. Setting the shoehorned-in feminism aside, the dialogue and writing in general were clunky, and seemed so keen on throwing in as many "old-timey" words and phrases as possible that grammar was an afterthought. It read the way people at a costume party would speak when attempting to affect older patterns of speech to go along with their dress. And the feminism wasn't the only anachronistic part of the dialogue. There were countless idioms and turns of phrase, references to "brains turning to mush" and the like, which simply would not have been employed by young women who were living in isolation on the moors of Yorkshire in 1845. The result of this hodgepodge of attempts at archaic speech combined with painfully modern turns of phrase was such a mess that it was borderline unreadable. In short, if you want to read a mystery related to the Brontes, I recommend reading the books the women themselves wrote.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Harbour Lau

    Most of us know the Bronte sisters for their beautiful, haunting writing. But what did these intelligent, driven ladies do before they were famous writers? In Bella Ellis' charming debut novel, "The Vanished Bride (Bronte Sisters Mystery #1)," Charlotte, Emily and Anne become "lady detectors" when a young mother and wife goes missing in a nearby town. As a big fan of both Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, this fun, historical fiction book really drew me in. I loved learning more about Most of us know the Bronte sisters for their beautiful, haunting writing. But what did these intelligent, driven ladies do before they were famous writers? In Bella Ellis' charming debut novel, "The Vanished Bride (Bronte Sisters Mystery #1)," Charlotte, Emily and Anne become "lady detectors" when a young mother and wife goes missing in a nearby town. As a big fan of both Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, this fun, historical fiction book really drew me in. I loved learning more about each sister, and Ellis did a superb job of allowing the story to reflect the sisters' personalities and allude to their literary futures. Whether learning about Charlotte's past heartbreak and depressing work at a girls' boarding school, watching Emily walk along the moors or cheering for Anne as she comes to the realization that her life doesn't have to consist solely of being a wife or mother, readers are not only privy to the sisters' different points of view on the mystery they're attempting to solve, but also glean inklings of each woman's future, both literary and personal. This well-researched, thoughtful novel also packs a feminist punch. Though it sometimes felt overdone, I really came to appreciate it, especially toward the end of the story. With so many women during this time feeling as though their worth lay largely in being a wife and mother, it was refreshing and empowering to watch the Bronte sisters embark on paths largely dominated by men with such determination. The Vanished Bride is the first book in a series and hits shelves today ( Sept. 10)! If you're looking for a well-written, fast-paced, and engrossing historical fiction book, this one fits the bill! I highly recommend this book, and I can't wait to read more of Bella Ellis' work!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Alysson

    The Vanished Bride takes place before the Bronte sisters were famous writers. The disappearance of a local young wife and mother spurs the sisters to investigate taking on a role inaccessible to women at the time—detectives! I really enjoyed that aspect because I really love seeing strong female characters (with their own special quirks!) and didn’t mind if it was overdone. As for the mystery, I was really impressed with how it was written. It was very engaging and kept me guessing throughout. I The Vanished Bride takes place before the Bronte sisters were famous writers. The disappearance of a local young wife and mother spurs the sisters to investigate taking on a role inaccessible to women at the time—detectives! I really enjoyed that aspect because I really love seeing strong female characters (with their own special quirks!) and didn’t mind if it was overdone. As for the mystery, I was really impressed with how it was written. It was very engaging and kept me guessing throughout. I enjoy being kept in the dark and this did not disappoint. No one in our buddy read saw the ending coming. . This is book 1 in a series so be on the lookout for the next one! Thank you to the publisher for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mandy

            This is the story of the Bronte sisters, who are drawn into the mystery of a young wife and mother who vanishes from her room one night. I enjoyed this, very much, more actually than I believed I was going to. I was drawn into the book from the beginning, and it held my attention throughout. I liked the writing style and would definitely be interested in reading the next book in this series. The storyline does become quite dark, with a lot of t         This is the story of the Bronte sisters, who are drawn into the mystery of a young wife and mother who vanishes from her room one night. I enjoyed this, very much, more actually than I believed I was going to. I was drawn into the book from the beginning, and it held my attention throughout. I liked the writing style and would definitely be interested in reading the next book in this series. The storyline does become quite dark, with a lot of talk of physical abuse, but I did feel that there were accurate depictions based on the time that the book was set

  21. 5 out of 5

    The Lit Bitch

    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 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! 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! See my full review here

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Thank you to Berkley Publishing for the copy of The Vanished Bride which I won through a Goodreads Giveway. This review is left voluntarily. When I saw this was a mystery involving the Bronte sisters I knew I had to read this. I adore them and thought this sounded like an interesting read, it did not disappoint. This follows Emily, Charlotte and Anne (with the help of their brother Branwell) become sleuths as they try to piece together the mysterious disappearance of a youn Thank you to Berkley Publishing for the copy of The Vanished Bride which I won through a Goodreads Giveway. This review is left voluntarily. When I saw this was a mystery involving the Bronte sisters I knew I had to read this. I adore them and thought this sounded like an interesting read, it did not disappoint. This follows Emily, Charlotte and Anne (with the help of their brother Branwell) become sleuths as they try to piece together the mysterious disappearance of a young mother. In a time where women were thought to keep quiet and in the kitchen or tending to their chores the sisters will be quite creative in ways to gather information. At times you feel they are on a wild goose chase as they seem to be hitting dead ends; however, each little piece of information they receive helps them to put all the pieces together to ultimately discover what truly happened that evening. Told through alternating points of views of the sisters this was a truly unique read. I loved their perseverance in breaking gender roles and in their attempts to uncover the truth. Thoroughly enjoyed, I hope to see more sleuthing in the Bronte's future and look forward to reading more from Ms. Ellis.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jannelies

    What a delightful entertaining book. I'm a fan of the Brontë sisters, and always wished they would have lived longer to give us more beautiful books and poems. Although this story is sometimes a little over the top (profiling? Seriously?) it is a good read not only because of the characters but also because there is an interesting crime to solve. It is always amazing to see how women were treated then, and so very recognizable how some of them did escape their fate. I'd love to read more in What a delightful entertaining book. I'm a fan of the Brontë sisters, and always wished they would have lived longer to give us more beautiful books and poems. Although this story is sometimes a little over the top (profiling? Seriously?) it is a good read not only because of the characters but also because there is an interesting crime to solve. It is always amazing to see how women were treated then, and so very recognizable how some of them did escape their fate. I'd love to read more in this series. Thanks to Netgalley for this digital review copy.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Carol (Reading Ladies)

    Thank you #netgalley #berkleypublishinggroup for the free e-copy of #thevanishedbride by @brontemysteries (Bella Ellis) in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. The Vanished Bride is the highly imagined story of the famous Bronte Sisters before they were authors. In 1845, when all four Bronte siblings return home to live with their father (for various reasons), Charlotte, Emily, and Anne hear about the disappearance and suspected murder of a young neighbor woman, the Thank you #netgalley #berkleypublishinggroup for the free e-copy of #thevanishedbride by @brontemysteries (Bella Ellis) in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. The Vanished Bride is the highly imagined story of the famous Bronte Sisters before they were authors. In 1845, when all four Bronte siblings return home to live with their father (for various reasons), Charlotte, Emily, and Anne hear about the disappearance and suspected murder of a young neighbor woman, they decide to become lady detectors and embark on an ambitious endeavor to solve the mystery. Relying on their resourcefulness, determination, energy, wits, cleverness, and creativity, they investigate, interrogate, analyze clues, and follow leads. The sisters need to pursue these activities without drawing attention to themselves because of the expectations for women and their roles at that time. Since they are already intrigued by the idea of becoming authors in a male-dominated field, they are already thinking outside the box and challenging boundaries. Although at times they need to involve their brother, most of the investigation is accomplished without the knowledge of their protective father. Will they solve the mystery of the vanished bride? Through careful research, the author creates authentic and delightfully entertaining characterizations of the three sisters. Their different personalities and interactions are my favorite part of the story. If you love the Bronte sisters, you might love this imagined historical mystery based on their lives. Although I had a prediction about the vanished bride's fate early in the story, I didn't figure out the whodunit or how it was done until it was revealed at the end. The mystery kept me engaged. I think the story might fit well in the cozy mystery genre as it involves time for afternoon tea and amateur sleuths. I enjoyed the unique premise of The Vanished Bride, and I think it's cleverly executed. The writing is descriptive and atmospheric and transports us back to the 1800s when the Bronte sisters were young adults and beginning to write. It is written in a style reminiscent of what the Bronte Sisters themselves might have written. There is a definite feminist vibe in the story and the plight of women living at this time is strongly portrayed. Today, we recognize the Bronte Sisters for shattering a glass ceiling in the publishing industry at the time, and the author capitalizes on this to infuse a feminist theme throughout the story. I agree with the sentiments, but I'm in the camp that prefers to draw my own conclusions rather than to have things pointed out. This falls under the category of personal preference and does not affect my recommendation, although it did affect my star rating. As mentioned, The Vanished Bride includes strong feminist themes as well as themes that include friendship, loyalty, complicated sibling relationships, domestic abuse, hidden romance (f/f), and women's roles. Content Warnings: discussion of domestic abuse, description of a crime scene I recommend The Vanished Bride for readers who might be intrigued by a cozy mystery/hisfic, for fans of the Bronte Sisters, and for book clubs because of a variety of discussion topics. With the exception of the discovery of a murder, I consider this an adult PG read. In addition, you might be interested to know that this is the first in a series. For more reviews visit my blog at www.readingladies.com

  25. 4 out of 5

    Erika

    Thank you so much to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group for the free copy of The Vanished Bride by #bronze mysteries in exchange for my honest review. The Vanished Bride follows Emily, Charlotte, and Anne Brontë as they investigate the case of a young wife and mother who has gone missing from her bedchamber. The story switches between Emily, Charlotte, and Anne. I love that it shows the perspective of each sister. I will admit I was extra excited for this book, but it took me longer than I w Thank you so much to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group for the free copy of The Vanished Bride by #bronze mysteries in exchange for my honest review. The Vanished Bride follows Emily, Charlotte, and Anne Brontë as they investigate the case of a young wife and mother who has gone missing from her bedchamber. The story switches between Emily, Charlotte, and Anne. I love that it shows the perspective of each sister. I will admit I was extra excited for this book, but it took me longer than I would have liked to get into it. It was a well told story I just think I needed to be sucked and I wasn’t. It had it’s share of mystery and that’s what kept me reading. All in all, I’d give it 3.5 stars out of 5!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Laurens Bookish Life

    The Vanished Bride by Bella Ellis is a wonderful historical fiction that follows the famous Brontë Sisters in a time before they were writers. In this tale, the sisters act as detectives to try and discover what happened to a young wife and mother the night she disappears from her home. This book is not something I would normally pick up, but when a buddy read for it was offered to me, I couldn’t pass it up! I am so glad I did! The writing is amazing! BellaEllis does a wonderful job s The Vanished Bride by Bella Ellis is a wonderful historical fiction that follows the famous Brontë Sisters in a time before they were writers. In this tale, the sisters act as detectives to try and discover what happened to a young wife and mother the night she disappears from her home. This book is not something I would normally pick up, but when a buddy read for it was offered to me, I couldn’t pass it up! I am so glad I did! The writing is amazing! BellaEllis does a wonderful job sticking to the language of time period. The writing is very smooth and descriptive without taking away from the action-packed story! Each of the characters are so well developed. The personalities of each Brontë sister seem to be historically accurate, and I loved getting to know each of them through this book. The suspense, mystery, and plot twits are strong! Just when I thought I had solved the mystery; something would happen leaving me speechless! I couldn’t figure out the whole truth until it was shown to me in the last few pages. I also really appreciated the underlying theme of feminism. In real life, the Brontë sisters paved the way for female writers of their time period. In The Vanished Bride the theme that women are just as capable as men is very prevalent, which I think is a wonderful tribute to who these sisters were and all they represent. I am so grateful to Berkley for this complimentary advanced copy, and the opportunity to offer an honest review! I am looking forward to the next book in this series!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    The Vanished bride by Bella Ellis is set in 1840’s Yorkshire about the Bronte Sisters. I must confess I have neve read a book by them but, I have heard good things about this book. The sisters Emily, Charlotte and Anne become detectors with their brother Branwell and investigate the disappearance or possible murder of Elizabeth Chester. They first suspect her husband Chester, who is a brute of a man and is known to be good with his hands because of what happened to his first wife. But when The Vanished bride by Bella Ellis is set in 1840’s Yorkshire about the Bronte Sisters. I must confess I have neve read a book by them but, I have heard good things about this book. The sisters Emily, Charlotte and Anne become detectors with their brother Branwell and investigate the disappearance or possible murder of Elizabeth Chester. They first suspect her husband Chester, who is a brute of a man and is known to be good with his hands because of what happened to his first wife. But when the clues stack up the ladies go around the country visiting friend, family and associates of Chester Grange other things come to light. They investigate with the disapproval of their Father and men, because in Victorian times women wasn’t accustomed do men's work. Who would of thought that a story about the Bronte sisters being detectives work out so well? This is a unique concept, great storyline and characters. I really enjoyed this and I can’t wait to see how this series develops. 4 stars from me.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sarah (thehireader)

    3.5/5 stars What if, before they authored some of the greatest works of fiction of all time, the Brontë sisters were intrepid detectives? Bella Ellis answers that question for us in The Vanished Bride, bringing us into the world of the Brontë sisters and showing us a side of them we may never have otherwise seen. The Vanished Bride follows Emily, Charlotte, and Anne Brontë as they investigate the case of a young wife and mother who has gone missing from her bedchamber, leaving an alarming amount 3.5/5 stars What if, before they authored some of the greatest works of fiction of all time, the Brontë sisters were intrepid detectives? Bella Ellis answers that question for us in The Vanished Bride, bringing us into the world of the Brontë sisters and showing us a side of them we may never have otherwise seen. The Vanished Bride follows Emily, Charlotte, and Anne Brontë as they investigate the case of a young wife and mother who has gone missing from her bedchamber, leaving an alarming amount of blood and a suspicious husband in her wake. The story switches between Emily, Charlotte, and Anne’s perspective, giving us a great glimpse into the mind of each sister. Ellis does a great job capturing each sister’s voice. While I wasn’t the biggest fan of Charlotte, I adored Emily. “Although Emily had never before broken into the manor house of a suspected murderer in the dead of night, it didn’t occur to her once that this wasn’t something she wouldn’t be perfectly good at.” Emily’s dauntlessness and unending sense of imagination made her the most entertaining and lovable character by far. The mystery is also well crafted. I thought I had figured it out and found myself genuinely surprised by the plot twist at the end. I’ll admit that it took me a while to get into this story. I didn’t feel particularly gripped or invested in the mystery at first and felt like it took a while for Ellis to build a sense of intrigue. The final act of the book, however, made it worth it for me. I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Cathy Cole

    When I first learned of The Vanished Bride and the fact that it was the first in the Brontë Sisters historical mystery series, I thought that it was a concept that would require careful tending to keep it from dying on the shallow-rooted vine of cuteness. I am very happy to say that author Bella Ellis is a master gardener. With a writing style that is vaguely reminiscent of the Brontës, she has crafted an excellent mystery that brings the three sisters to life. The major reason why I When I first learned of The Vanished Bride and the fact that it was the first in the Brontë Sisters historical mystery series, I thought that it was a concept that would require careful tending to keep it from dying on the shallow-rooted vine of cuteness. I am very happy to say that author Bella Ellis is a master gardener. With a writing style that is vaguely reminiscent of the Brontës, she has crafted an excellent mystery that brings the three sisters to life. The major reason why I chose to read this book is that I've read all the books the three sisters wrote. I've been to the parsonage at Haworth, wandered through the graveyard, listened to the rooks' depressing calls from the trees shading the house, and I've walked the moors. I've read about the sisters' lives as well. So I suppose you could call me a Brontë fan. As I read The Vanished Bride, I also discovered that the characters got around a lot more than I expected-- and that I'd been to their destinations, too. Bella Ellis was making me feel right at home. As the pages turned, I saw seeds of the future books they would write, and I found the depictions of the three sisters and their occasional squabbles enchanting. (And that's a word that I seldom use.) All three long to be the captains of their fate in a society where they're considered nothing but property. When their brother Branwell wasn't at the local pub, he got underfoot, and it certainly wasn't easy to keep their father in the dark. There are wonderful characterizations and humor in this book, and-- what all mystery lovers crave-- an excellent mystery to solve. I'd fit one piece into its proper place, then another, but I was nowhere close to completing the entire puzzle. In fact, the misdirection with regard to one certain character threw me for the proverbial loop. Brontë fans should really enjoy The Vanished Bride-- and so should historical mystery lovers who don't know (or don't care) about the family who lived in Haworth Parsonage in the mid-nineteenth century. I now find myself looking forward to the Brontë sisters' next investigation.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tanya

    For lovers of the Bronte sisters, this is a brilliant and clever mystery with Charlotte, Anne and Emily as the "Detectors". A governess finds her mistress missing and a pool of blood permiates the bedroom. The Bronte sisters get wind of the Haworth mystery and immediately pursue clues and work diligently to solve the crime. There were slow bits but overall this was a most enjoyable mystery for this Bronte groupie.

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