A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Thursday, January 2, 2020

The Vanished Bride- by Bella Ellis- Feature and Review


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...



The Vanished Bride (Brontë Sisters Mystery #1)The Vanished Bride by Bella Ellis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Vanished Bride by Bella Ellis is a 2019 Berkley publication.

The Bronte sisters as amateur sleuths? Yes, please!

I have read a few mystery novels featuring real life persons as detectives, but with mixed results.

This is the first one I’ve encountered in which the three Bronte sisters work together to solve a mystery, and I must admit I was immediately intrigued by the all the possibilities- although, I was also cautiously optimistic.

However, the author did a stellar job of breathing life into these legendary authors, creating their distinct personalities, and giving readers a few clues as to why they were inspired to write the types of stories they eventually became famous for.

In this first installment of what promises to be a solid cozy mystery series, the ladies are pulled into a most puzzling case in which a young wife vanishes, leaving behind a bloody, gruesome scene, and two small children without a mother. Charlotte, Emily and Anne are horrified, but also titillated, deciding they should get to the bottom of the mystery themselves.

However, they soon learn that many feel female detectors are unladylike and that the women should not be out roaming the countryside alone, scouring for clues. However, that may be the least of their concerns, as their probing into the missing persons case could put them in grave danger.

I am quite impressed with this debut novel! The author has obviously studied the real- life counterparts of her main characters. Readers get a delightful and realistic depiction of their personalities before they became famous authors. The banter between the sisters is crisp and sharp, while the mystery is very well constructed and executed.

The story is atmospheric, occasionally creepy, and is an absorbing whodunit that kept me interested and guessing from start to finish. I loved it!! My kind of story all the way!!

I am very much looking forward to the second book in this series!






Bella Ellis is the Brontë-esque pseudonym of 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 she embarked on a lifelong love affair with Charlotte, Emily, and Anne; their life; their literature; and their remarkable legacy.

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