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The Diabolical Bones

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Member Reviews

There's nothing better to read when the cold wind is howling outside than a cozy mystery. 
The Diabolical Bones is the second book in the Brontë Sisters Mystery, and is a perfect example of a cozy mystery (with a historical twist). 

Bella Ellis once again manages to put a loving spin on the Brontë sisters where everyone of them brings something different to the table, and thus helping solve the mystery. She's also really good at weaving threads that make the reader never be 100% sure who the guilty one actually is. I had my suspicions who the culprit was, but there wasn't enough to be certain so I had to examine all suspects extra close so nothing slipped through that I missed. I really enjoy mysteries where I can't immediately guess who's done it, so this is a perfect book for my taste.

The Diabolical Bones is also suitable for stand-alone reading. Though it has some references to the first book, those events isn't necessary for the reader to know to be able enjoy this one.
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I really enjoyed the first 'Brontës as detectives' novel, The Vanished Bride, but wasn't sure how much room there was for this to become a series. My fears were misplaced - The Diabolic Bones (how awesome is that title?) is even better than the first book.

Once again we have Anne, Charlotte and Emily delving into the world of detection as they investigate the discovery of a human skeleton at a remote Howarth property. We have a larger cast of characters in this novel and also see some characters returning in brief cameos, all of which add to the flavour of the story. Branwell plays a larger part in this novel and I liked his character a lot better this time around, even though he was still a bit of sulky child occasionally! Chapters are told from alternating viewpoints, giving the reader the individual perspective of each of the three Brontë sisters, and the gradual build up to the climax of the story is handled really well.

The author's knowledge of the Brontës history shines through again and these fictionalised historical figures really do feel real on the page. The three women each have their strengths and Ellis paints them as knowing how and when to use those strengths to the advantage of the group as a whole in a way which really makes the story work. The gothic touches and the clear signposts to Emily's inspiration for writing Wuthering Heights are the icing on a delicious cake. I'm really looking forward to seeing where Ellis takes these characters next.
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After reading The Vanished bride the first in the book in The Bronte sisters’ mystery. I was looking forward to reading The Diabolical Bones and after reading it I think it is better than the first one.
When a child bones are unearthed, hidden in a chimney breast in Clifton Bradshaw’s late wife’s room at Top Withens hall with a medallion with the date of their demise etched on it. The Bronte sisters decide to put their detecting skills to work again and find out who the poor soul is and what happened to him to end up there. With the occasional help from their brother Branwell, the girls end up meeting a whole eclectic bunch of characters along the way to find out what happened.
This is another thrilling, atmospheric mystery set in Victorian times. Which I found quite creepy at times. The author portrayed the Bronte sisters well. It was professionally researched and yet again a great unique storyline with the mix of their real lives and the detective skills. 5 stars from me.
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The Diabolical Bones is the second book in the Brontes Mysteries Series and it doesn't disappoint. I love this series ,another mystery for the Bronte sisters to solve .This book is so well written and a real page turner ,the characterizations were brilliant I really felt I knew the characters .Atmospheric ,set near Christmas with snow on the ground I actually felt cold !!!I can't wait for the next book in the series .Many thanks to the Publisher the Author and NetGalley for my copy in return for an honest review .
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This is my first read by Ellis. I was drawn to the book by the original premise but stayed because of the impeccable research and delicious prose. There's humour too peppered across the pages, which was welcome in what is, after all, a dark tale.
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I read and enjoyed the first of these, being a Bronte fan, but this one felt overlong and around 40% through I found myself skipping large chunks without losing any important plot details along the way. It’s a cute idea and anyone who loves the Brontes will enjoy the location and details of life at Haworth, but the story here wasn’t for me in the same way that Sherlock Holmes isn’t to my liking. Three stars for good writing and a good idea.
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I enjoyed The Vanished Bride, the first book in this series, and I am pleased that the author has maintained the same standard in this sequel. 
The book has a melancholic opening with Charlotte in 1852, which is three years after the last of her siblings has died, walking by the scene of one of their investigations and looking back to a time of great horror, but also when there was more laughter and love in the world. And then we switch to a classic mystery scenario with a ghastly scream and a snowstorm whirling around an isolated house. A child′s body is discovered, and the hunt commences for its identity. The journey to the solution reveals many tragedies before coming to an eerie resolution. The sisters intelligence, determination and courage takes them into frightening situations, but at the same time protects them. ″She remembered something Branwell had told her once, and in one swift movement, she kneed Bradshaw hard in his unholies.″ As indicated by this quote there is also a thread of humour which mostly revolves around the sisters′ interactions with each other. Branwell is dragged along on their investigations to make use of his status as a male, but this also gives a chance of showing the sisters′ impatience with him, and their longing for him to become their brother of old. 
There are echoes of the sisters′ books in the locations they visit, and I always end up going off to hunt for information on the family and their writings to tie in with the narrative. There are many strands in these stories:  insights into the Brontës, the social history of the times, a range of emotions while reading, vivid descriptions of the environment. I find them a very satisfying read.

I had a copy of this book early through Netgalley
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But just as they were about to go out again, there was a knock at the front door. ‘ You stop where you are,’ Tabby ordered them. ‘If that’s fancy people at the door, you can deal with them. I can’t be doing with fancy people on a Wednesday.’
‘Isn’t it a Thursday?’ Emily muttered.
The Diabolical Bones is full of this sort of very funny little scenes, which made me laugh out loud several times. Even for someone who’s never heard of the Brontë sisters or never read any of their books, it must be clear that the author did a great job in giving each sister her own voice – and we get to know brother Branwell a little better too. 
What can I say? It is almost Christmas, so it’s dark and cold, very cold. Despite that, the book has a lot of warmth, the warmth of the love between the three sisters who go out on a new adventure. This story leans heavily on the fact that people in those days were more religious than nowadays, and it is up to Charlotte, Anne and Emily to distinguish between beliefs and real events. 
Reading this book was an absolute delight, for lovers of the Brontë sisters or just lovers of historical crimes and I cannot wait for the next book in this series. 
Thanks to Netgalley for this digital review copy.
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Thank you to the publisher for an ARC of this book.

I found the first Brontë mystery story by Ellis to be good fun, and this continued in a similar vein, with the story beginning at a good pace and continuing that way throughout, to the exciting conclusion.

Ellis clearly has a great deal of affection for the Brontës and their lives and times - there are plenty of random historical allusions scattered throughout, and threads of the sisters' stories are found in the mystery itself, which is satisfying for a fan of their works.

The characters of the sisters move beyond the biographical stereotypes, and Ellis has clearly continued to do a great deal of research to make the setting believable while keeping the story itself fun and fast-paced.
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I found The Diabolical Bones by Bella Ellis to be a really entertaining read. I didn't know that it was the second book in a series featuring the Bronte sisters as detectives, but I definitely want to read the first one now!
The Diabolical Bones is really atmospheric and had a definite Wuthering Heights vibe to it. I found the characters to be intriguing and well developed. It was full of suspense and I was both rushing towards the end wanting to find out what happened, but also not wanting it to end. It is the perfect read for a cold, windy night!
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This is a novel featuring three of the most famous Victorian female writers, the Bronte sisters. 
The book has well rounded characters who feel accurate, in terms of both the place and the period, and also according to what is known historically about the family. It has a compelling plot that lives up to it's dramatic title. 
I enjoyed the plot , and also the little hints of how their adventure and detective work inspired the Bronte novels. The tone and language gives a nod to the period but with a contemporary feel that makes it easy to read. 
My thanks to Net Galley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Yet another enjoyable adventure written by Bella Ellis about the Bell brothers ;-) Very well and thoughtful written. I liked both the characters, and the lack of loose ends, everything being nicely wrapped up in the end. 
I highlighted quite a lot, let me give you just one example:

'Anne smiled; despite the grave circumstances, it was uplifting to see the simple pleasure the dog took in life. It gladdened her heart to remember that for every dark corner and unjust hurt in the world, there was a place of light, hope and goodness.'

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of the book.
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We return to Haworth Parsonage for the much anticipated second book in this series featuring the Bronte sisters. It’s December 1845, extremely cold, there’s snow, ice, frost and wind, it’s chill gripping like a vice on the moors. At Top Withins Hall, after hearing some blood curdling screams,  father and son Clifton and Liston Bradshaw make a diabolical discovery in the chimney of a room that has been closed for thirteen years since the death of Mary Bradshaw. The Bronte sisters don their detecting bonnets, wrap themselves in their cloaks and apply their skills in this chilling Gothic Mystery of high quality. 

There is much to praise in this book but in my opinion it’s the depiction of the Bronte family which is its greatest strength. They are brought to life and it feels so natural and authentic with their individual personalities perfectly captured. I have an especial liking for Emily whose more straightforward, feisty personality appeals to me!! The whole book is full of atmosphere created by the characters, the cold weather is used very effectively, the unsettling and disturbing events and settings with the Parsonage at its epicentre. The novel is extremely well written and evokes the area and times with accuracy. Particularly moving is the inclusion in the storytelling of the life of poverty and subsequent malnutrition of large sections of the population and the treatment of the Irish is heartbreaking but sadly all too accurate and of course, where Patrick Bronte is from.  The story flows and the plot is intriguing with an abundance of strange and mysterious happenings, a feeling of malevolence and the unmasking of a monster. This is not a huge surprise as there are some warning signs but other parts are surprising which I like. There is much darkness in the story as it is revealed. Finally, I really like that the author includes Emily at the end thinking of a new and shocking novel. I wonder what that will be called??!!! 

Overall, this is another very good historical mystery, it’s enthralling, full of atmosphere and suspense. The way that it’s written is prefect for a gothic tale featuring these three famous great authors and is an excellent reflection of the times. If you are a Bronte fan you may love this book too and also if you are a fan of historical fiction. 

With thanks to NetGalley and Hodder and Stoughton for the much appreciated ARC for an honest review.
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Another Bronte mystery for the siblings to unravel. This time bones of a child are found and they want to find out who they belong to. Depicting some of the hardships of Victorian times coupled with the romantic, wild spirits of the Brontes, this book truly is an historical treat. Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for letting me review this book.
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Another great story from Bella Ellis. about the Bronte sisters and Branwell.. I love these stories but I can see that purists may not appreciate them. I think they're great fun although I note with some sadness that Bella begins THE DIABOLICAL BONES with the deaths of Emily, Anne and Branwell, leaving Charlotte very sadly alone. I'm hoping there will be more of these because they are very enjoyable.
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This is the second mystery involving the Bronte family but can easily be read as a standalone.
Bronte fans will love the authentic references to their lives and the way the book is written, mystery lovers will puzzle over the origin of the diabolical bones of the title.
The author knows her Bronte family well and I felt like I was transported back into a 1845 Yorkshire winter. A good book to read by a roaring fire to compensate for the chill of the snow covered Yorkshire moors.
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The Diabolical Bones is the excellent second book in the Bronte Mysteries series. It is every bit as entertaining and suspenseful as its predecessor The Vanished Bride. 

The bones of a long dead child have been discovered at the remote and foreboding Top Withens Hall and the Bronte sisters, along with brother Branwell, reprise their roles as ‘detectorists’ in order to identify the child and the cause of death. In the course of their investigations they uncover some very unsettling activities and events. 

The plot is very well constructed and the tension builds cleverly. There are some shrewd red herrings which lead the reader down some interesting paths. It is a darker story when compared to The Vanished Bride and it explores a number of themes ranging from child exploitation to the treatment of the Irish residents of the village. 

The narrative is shared between the three sisters and it really brings to life their individual characters; the feisty Emily, the reflective Anne and the occasionally insecure Charlotte. Their interactions with each other and the other personalities in the book are very realistic, sometimes humorous and sometimes profound. They really brought to life a sense of the Victorian era. The secondary characters are equally well drawn. 

The description of winter on the Yorkshire moors enhances the sinister nature of the storyline and you really feel the cold and frost which create a disturbing background. 

This is a well written novel which had me gripped from the outset. It can quite easily be read as a standalone but you are missing a treat if you don’t consider The Vanished Bride too. In essence The Diabolical Bones is a real treat and a homage to the wonderful Bronte sisters who would have made brilliant ‘detectorists’.

Thank you to NetGalley and Hodder Books for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Wow! I am a huge fan of the bronte mysteries by bella ellis, and read the vanishing bride last Christmas and so i was thrilled to get an advanced copy of this! 

This book, just like her previous one, created a warm comforting atmosphere that the Bronte’s would have loved. I felt like i was in Haworth, and the characters felt full of life. 

The story was gripping from the first page, as she hooked me with a mystery that left me wanting to read on. I found that around 30-40% way through it felt a big slow, but it picked up again and when it did it was incredible. I thoroughly loved the twist at the end, and the justice the author gave to the characters, especially for the irish, as an irishwoman myself. Cant wait to read this again when its published, and for the hopefully many more books about the brontes!
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I absolutely loved this book-it’s even better than the first in the series.It’s so cleverly written, and the characters of the three Bronte sisters come through beautifully, along with all the little references to things that appear in their novels.
The plot is dark and Gothic, with a story of murdered children linked to the occult, which the sisters are asked to investigate with the help of their brother Branwell. It’s full of twists and turns, but also some very poignant scenes when the sisters visit an orphanage (run by Mrs Grace Poole!) It’s clearly been very carefully researched by a writer who loves the Brontes.
Highly recommended for all Bronte fans-it’s a delight.
Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an ARC in return for an honest review which reflects my own opinion.
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The Diabolical Bones is an absolute treat for a Bronte fan. The authors love of the Brontes, their work, Haworth, and the era oozes out of every page.
As an admirer of the Bronte sisters and someone who has been to Haworth, I could visualise each scene. 

Bella Ellis' detective novels are a love letter to the Brontes. I love how each sister is given their own chapter and we are able to delve more into their characters. It's such a treat to find out more about them on a personal and historical level. The addition of characters named after or inspired by those from the Bronte novels is a welcome addition too.

This is a spooky tale synonymous of those once told around the Christmas period. I enjoyed the cosy feel that jarred nicely against the macabre, just like a Bronte novel. I geeked out a little when Emily began getting ideas for my favourite novel too!

I won't rehash the plot as that can be found in the blurb. I will say the bones and where they are discovered leads to a detailed and interesting plot. Much of the landscape is explored through the snowy moors. 

This is the perfect Christmas tale for those who don't want the usual Hallmark saccharine sweet offerings. It's not horror but it will give you delicious chills, especially when the origins of the bones are erevealed!

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for this early copy.
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