Saturday, November 23, 2019

Review: The Vanished Bride by Bella Ellis

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…

Hardcover | $26.00  

Published by Berkley a division of Penguin Random House
Sep 10, 2019 | 304 Pages | 6 x 9| ISBN 9780593099056

“For it seems that in the early hours of this morning the second Mrs.Chester’s bedchamber was found empty, except for great quantities of blood painted across every surface with no signs of the young woman, nor her remains. She is feared dead of course, but it cannot be determined with any certainty, as she is quite vanished.”

What happened to Elizabeth Chester?  Was she murdered and taken from Chester Grange?

Travel back to summer, 1845, Yorkshire, where the Bronte sisters: Anne, Emily, and Charlotte find out about a death at Chester Grange located just a few miles from Haworth Parsonage. The sisters governess friend, Matilda French works there. They must pay her a visit and give their condolences. If they happen to take a look around Chester Grange and start ‘detecting,’what’s the harm in that?

UK Cover 

Can I just say how very much I loved this book!  I’m not sure if the author, Rowan Coleman intended for her dialogue scenes between the three Bronte sisters and brother Branwell to be funny but I was laughing out loud during chapter one. I could picture all of them in my head and the writing is just so clever. 

I loved following the Bronte sisters on their visit to Chester Grange as they met some of the Chester family and employees. I felt as if I was right there with Charlotte, Emily and Anne as they put the pieces together of the disappearance of the vanished bride, Elizabeth Chester. 

There are twists and turns behind the life of the second Mrs.Chester. I found myself happily surprised at how the mystery unravels. The Vanished Bride is just good fun to read and a good mystery as well. I have to thank Berkley for sending me a review copy.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Dante Gabriel Rossetti napping and Lizzie Siddal

D.G. Rossetti Napping by Ford Madox Brown
Writing on right side reads:
as seen
August 18/79

I love the way he’s balancing his legs on the top of the sofa.

Rossovestita by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1850

Note Rossetti’s name on top:
Dante Rossetti
Fece in Londra

This was the first time Elizabeth Siddal modeled for Rossetti.

St. George and the Princess Sabra by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1862
 Elizabeth Siddal sat for this just a few days before her death.

My Review of Arresting Beauty by Heather Cooper

‘Beggars can’t be choosers. They really can’t.’ Based on true historical events,  Arresting Beauty  follows the extraordinary story of Mary ...