The Vanished Bride

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 8 Nov 2019

Member Reviews

This wonderful slice of historical mystery fiction sees the Brontë sisters as amateur 'detectors' solving their first mystery - the eponymous Vanished Bride. A young wife and mother has disappeared from her home leaving no trace except for a large amount of blood. As friends of the family's governess, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne become entangled in an intriguing mystery. 

I loved it. I am a big fan of the work of the Brontës and I have read lots of books about their lives. The author of this book obviously did a great deal of research evidenced by the fact that their characters rang true. I am especially fond of Emily. The research is also woven into the story, along with lots of details which readers of their work would notice as possible inspiration for characters, plots, and places in their novels. It was very cleverly done. I would definitely read more in this series.

Thanks to NetGalley and publishers, Hodder and Stoughton, for the opportunity to read an ARC.
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A clever, surprising and very satisfying read. The Brontës voices rang true, and the murder mystery premise worked  perfectly.
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Credit where credit is due, this book had a decent plot, some great characters and characters interactions. Add with that some good humour, history, and a dash of the unexplained and you have yourself an enjoyable read.

Unfortunately this just isn’t a genre I could enjoy.
My fault, not yours 

Thanks NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for a review copy.
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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.
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Great fun-a sort of 'what if?' novel which casts the Bronte sisters as amateur detectives,called in to help a friend when the mother of the children she looks after disappears without trace,leaving only a trail of blood.
The author is clearly a big fan of the Brontes and obviously knows a lot about them,as there are all sorts of references to their lives and characters which really bring the book to life.There is a lot of humour in it too,with the constant dialogue between the sisters and their reprobate brother Branwell.
The plot itself has elements of Gothic horror but also cleverly hints at things that might have inspired the plot lines of each of the sisters' novels ,although at this point we only know about their poetry.
There are going to be more books  in the series,and I look forward to reading them.
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Although the outcome of this story was a surprise and will keep you guessing until the end, I found the pace too slow for me. There were too many thought processes about future writings by the sisters. The dynamics of the family was portrayed well and the sensibilities of the time, particularly the role of women, were apt for this era. I received a copy and have voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Writing under the very Brontë-esque pen name of Bella Ellis, Rowan Coleman has come up with a delicious premise for a new series featuring the Brontë sisters before they became published authors. The Vanished Bride is their first outing as detectors.

I’m always a little wary when someone reimagines or writes a mashup of a classic novel but when they’re done well, as in the case of Jo Baker’s Longbourn or Alison Case’s Nelly Dean, they can add a new dimension to the world and characters of the original, as well as being enjoyable in their own right. Happily, given how deftly she achieves both these things in the first of her Brontë Mysteries series, I can now add Bella Ellis’s The Vanished Bride to this list.

Bella Ellis writes the landscape so well and breathes life into the parsonage at Haworth that I had little difficulty in accepting her version of the sisters at work and leisure, and from there, it wasn’t too much of a leap to follow them into these new roles as detectors. I had fun spotting landmarks from their real and imagined geography and personal items I either remember reading about or having seen at the museum in Haworth. I also liked how some scenes in The Vanished Bride suggest where the inspiration for key scenes in the sisters’ own books might have come from.

I think The Vanished Bride works so well because its author doesn’t skimp on any of the elements that go to make up the story, so one doesn’t suffer at the expense of another or ever feel flimsy. Both the central mystery and the depiction of the sisters and the world they inhabit are equally satisfying and strong strands that each hold their own throughout.

I thoroughly enjoyed seeing how Bella Ellis imagines the Brontës, their household and relationships with one another, together with those around them, while also pitting myself against their formidable collective imaginations – as well as that of the author! – to try and solve the mystery before they did.

If you’re a fan of one or more of the Brontë’s books, have ever visited Haworth and the family’s former home, now a museum dedicated to them, or are familiar with the landscape surrounding it in West Yorkshire, you’ll enjoy reading this.

The Vanished Bride is a novel that’s clearly written by an author who has an abundance of love and respect for the Brontë sisters and their original works. It’s not only a fitting tribute to them but also a wonderful adventure in its own right. I read it as an ebook for review but when it came out this week, I couldn’t resist buying the beautiful hardback version for myself and a friend who’s a fellow Brontë devotee.
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This was a very gothic, atmospheric story that captures the imagination and had me hooked right away from the first few pages.  I have always been fascinated by the Brontes works and Haworth is a favourite place of mine to visit, including the parsonage where the siblings lived . The author captures the atmospere of the place , the moors on a rainy day are very bleak but also beautiful . 
The plot twists were very cleverly designed to keep you guessing what has transpired  and what the fate of Elizabeth is ..... the use of the Brontes as the amateur sleuths ( or detectors, as they call themselves)was a very interesting idea and it works well. There are occurrences incorporated into the story that will later appear in the respective works of the sisters. This was a very well written and researched book and I thoroughly recommend it .
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'The Vanished Bride' is a gem of a find for me. The Brontës were an incredible family whose legacy will deservedly live on forever. Chuck them into an interesting mystery and I was sold. I loved that the siblings were so distinct and fitted in nicely with my personal view of their characters. The speech occasionally became a little modern, but wasn't jarringly so. The nods to the Brontës' various works and inspirations were a delight to spot. A delicate touch foreshadowed the fate of the family, often bittersweet but not too sad. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.
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A crime to solve and my favourite writers turning detectives? Count me in! When I heard that The Vanished Bride, written by Bella Ellis (a brilliant pseudonym for author Rowan Coleman) featured Anne, Emily, and Charlotte Brontë together with their brother Branwell investigating a gruesome crime I knew I had to read it and I couldn’t put it down.

It’s the year 1845, and it’s the first time that all Brontë siblings are together at Haworth. Following the Robinson scandal, Branwell and Anne had to resign their posts and move back home, while Charlotte is back from Belgium and away from her feelings for Monsieur Heger. They still haven’t published their novels under the pseudonyms of Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell, when they become involved in a mysterious case. Their school friend Mattie is a governess at Chester Grange. Following the suspicious death of his wife Imogen, Robert Chester remarried, but now his second wife, Elizabeth, has disappeared and in her room is found a worrying quantity of blood. Is she still alive? Curious and determined to find out the truth, the Brontë sisters start investigating even if it means putting their own lives at risk…

I am a huge fan of the Brontë’s novels. I have read all Anne, Charlotte and Emily’s novels and it was fun to see the famous novelists turn into detectives to solve a dark and creepy mystery. I loved how the author mixed well-researched real life events with fiction: Charlotte’s feelings for her professor, Branwell’s love for a married woman and his downfall, Anne’s resentment at being forced to leave her post as a governess following her brother’s scandal blend well with the mystery of the story. Emily is described as curious and impulsive, while Charlotte is more cautious and a leader of the family. Within Anne’s chest beats “the heart of a fierce warrior” and Branwell is fun and witty, although, following the scandal of his affair with Mrs. Robinson, he spends his nights drinking and gambling and his sisters are worried about him.

The plot is gripping, suspenseful and gothic and there are a few twists that will take you by surprise. Although, The Vanished Bride is mostly a mystery novel, the author perfectly manages to insert social themes in the story. Through the female characters in the novel, the author captures the frustration of the women who don’t have any status in society and are expected to obey their husbands or their father, to have no education or job.

I loved the surprising and well-executed ending, the bleak atmosphere and the slow pace of the story and now I am looking forward to read the next book in the series!
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I enjoyed this and thought the story itself was very good, great twists, nice style, the only criticism I have is the characters felt a bit flat at times and the language couldn’t decide if it was in the past or present. An enjoyable light read.

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
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A book with a difference and one I grew into. Taking famous authors of the Bronte sisters and giving them a new challenge. The author uses historical facts but then adds her own twist. So, follow the 3 sisters and their brother discover the disappearance of Elizabeth or is it a murder? I'll not tell you the end but once you get into the book you can't put it down as I certainly needed to know the truth and see it to the end
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Yorkshire, 1845, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë are all at home at the parsonage when they hear that Elizabeth Chester has gone missing from her home, Chester Grange, leaving no trace, save a large pool of blood in her bedroom and a slew of dark rumours about her marriage. Desperate to find out more & to comfort their friend Matilda French, who is governess to the Chester children the sisters visit Chester Grange, where they notice several unsettling details about the crime scene: not least the absence of an investigation. 
I was unsure about the Bronte sisters becoming detectors but I’m so glad I read this well written intriguing book. It does start slowly but the pace does increase & so did my interest. There are lots of twists & turns & I was surprised at the end. It also makes a believable read about the Bronte family. I thoroughly enjoyed it & hope there are more books to follow
My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read
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3.5 stars rounded up to 4

 Bronte Sisters Mystery #1

Yorkshire 1845. Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte call themselves "the detectors". They are not offical law enforcement officers. Their friend  Maddie tells them that her mistress has went missing and that there was quite a lot of blood in her bedroom. Maddie also tells them that Mr. Chester is a cruel man. The sisters are intrigued and decide that they will try and solve this mystery. The sisters  brother, Bram is very supportive of his sisters and he helps them out when he can. 

The story is told by Charlotte, Emily and Anne's perspectives. It took me a little while to get into this story. There's a strong underlying feminism theme. I quite liked the idea that the sisters were amateur sleuths before they were talented authors. It was nice that the author included their brother into the story. There are references to the books they wrote but you need to look out for them. The book is different to the historical fiction I normally read. An enjoyable story.
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I really enjoyed this book. While I'm familiar with the Brontës, I haven't read any of their work in a very long time and couldn't tell you whether the portrayal of their characters was accurate, but it felt like a very real sister (and brother) dynamic. The plot was engaging and allowed Ellis to discuss a number of feminist issues such as the merits of marriage, domestic abuse and women's independence in an interesting way in keeping with the constraints of the time period. All in all a very enjoyable book.
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This would have been a great read if it had just been fictional characters. The premise of young, intelligent and curious women turning to detecting, despite the constraints of mid-nineteenth century society, is fascinating and told with great skill and humour. However, the use of fictionalised versions of the Brontes as the protagonists is inspired! Using real aspects of their lives brought the characters fully to life, and renewed my interest in them and their novels. I highly recommend this, and look forward to more in the series.
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I’ve always been fascinated by the Brönte sisters, especially the period of their lives at Haworth Parsonage (I really want to visit someday) so I jumped at the chance to read a book in which they have to solve a mystery. Though it is not a bad book by any means, I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would. The writing in the style of the Brönte’s works was good, the mystery, though a bit predictable, was nicely handled and the nods to their future works and life facts were a nice surprise. The biggest dissappointment for me was the characterization of the sisters themselves, being a bit two-dimensional. Also, their constant bickering was too much at times. 

Though it was not all I wanted it to be, my Brönte love will probably make me continue with the series.
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I just adored this charming, enchanting and humorous novel based on when the Bronte sisters turn detectives. You are transported back to Victorian England and the lives of Emily, Anne and Charlotte who take it upon themselves to investigate the disappearance of Elizabeth Chester, a young wife and mother, who lived nearby. Identifying themselves as ‘lady detectors’ they start to look for clues and answers in places they think the local constabulary have missed.

The verbal inter-play between the sisters is brilliant and their different characters are beautifully realised, as is that of their somewhat feckless but charming brother, Branwell. The restrictions they face as unmarried women are cleverly depicted and feminist themes artfully drawn both by their characters and those of other women in the book.

It was great to read a novel set in that period where women take the major roles and, basically, it is all about them, the detectors or the detected. Whether it was purposeful or not (I suspect it was) the male characters are less well drawn and reduced to the supporting cast or in the case of Branwell the role of the annoying younger brother, to be tolerated. 

This is a clever mystery with some nice creepy moments, some very funny but also serious observations. I was completely engaged and really hope that this is the beginning of a great series. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Hodder Books for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you to netgalley for sending me this. I absolutely loved it. The Brontë sisters as detectives sounded great to me. It starts of a little slow but well worth keeping with it. I highly recommend this one.
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The Bronte sisters as amateur detectives is an inspired idea and has been brought to life beautiful by the hand of Bella Ellis, who has captured the style of the era perfectly. Each sister's personality is fully developed and is shown through their own point of view chapters and in their actions and dialogue throughout. The real lives of the whole family have been so thoroughly researched that their fictional escapades in their attempts to solve the dilemma of the disappearance of Elizabeth Chester are weaved into it seamlessly, with elements of the story even suggesting possible fictional inspiration for the Bronte's later works. If you're a fan of the Brontes, you will adore this book, but there's enough story there that even if the Brontes are not usually your thing, the loss of that subtle nuance won't impinge on your enjoyment of what is quite simply a great piece of mystery writing.
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