The Vanished Bride

Bella Ellis
The year is 1845, and Emily, Charlotte and Anne Bronte are sat around the dining room table, laughing merrily as the rain of their Yorkshire summer falls outside. When their brother, Branwell, returns from The Bull Inn, he brings with him the most shocking revelation: that Elizabeth Chester, wife of Robert Chester and mistress of Chester Grange has gone missing - but the bloody scene found in her bedroom suggests she may have been murdered. The governess at Chester Grange is Matilda French, a close friend of Charlotte's, who resolves to pay her a visit the following day. At Chester Grange, the sisters make the acquaintance of Robert, a rumoured cruel man, who is suspected of having driven his first wife to suicide. Determined that he should be brought to justice, the sisters throw themselves into solving the case. As everyone knows, solving a murder requires sense, morals and a very good imagination - qualities which these sisters have more than enough of...

The Vanished Bride by Bella Ellis is one of the first books I bought this year after lockdown ended. An impulsive buy because the blurb sounded so intriguing. The Bronte sisters solving crime? Impossible or a great idea? Only time would tell if it'd stay on the shelf or be finished. Funnily impulse buy books tend to be read and enjoyed far more than the ones I plan to read. This was the case with The Vanished Bride. It's a great read once you get into it.

So, the Brontes, all reunited at the Haworth Parsonage, find out about the bloody disappearance of a young women from a local manor house. Their friend Mattie works as child's governess at the house and so they decide to pay a visit. Struggling to find anything to do with their lives, they take it upon themselves to solve the mystery. That's when the fun starts.

This novel is written in the mock style of the Brontes. A sort of mid nineteenth century novel. The characters of the Brontes are well thought out, well at least at what I knew of them. At times that seems a bit stereotypical, yet it works very well in the story. There's little threads of the story that match the novels and stories that they will eventually publish. You get the sense of three fiercely independent women who want more out of life than to be someone's bride.

I admit to struggling to get into the style of the book, historically set novels aren't usually my thing. However, when the story started to gather the pace, I was rewarded with an enjoyable read. At times you thought they'd never solve what happened. As with all thrillers there were blind ends and disappointment, yet it all hung together in a glorious way. There was a bit of the famous five to it, three young women wandering at will through Victorian Yorkshire, yet it worked so well.

A five star read that I really enjoyed.

Review by Brompton Sawdon
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Brompton Sawdon - Author

Brompton loves books and is always willing to give a viewpoint on books that have been exciting or disappointing.

From the top of a tower, somewhere in the Pennine Hills, Brompton views the world though world weary eyes. Occasionally ranting or raving over something that may seem irrelevant to you but matters to Brompton.

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