“Move over, Jane Austen, for the latest literary ladies who snoop in this... lively series debut.”—Kirkus Reviews on The Vanished Bride
Haworth Parsonage, February 1846: The Brontë sisters— Anne, Emily, and Charlotte—are busy with their literary pursuits. As they query publishers for their poetry, each sister hopes to write a full-length novel that will thrill the reading public. They’re also hoping for a new case for their fledgling detecting enterprise, Bell Brothers and Company solicitors. On a bitterly cold February evening, their housekeeper Tabby tells them of a grim discovery at Scar Top House, an old farmhouse belonging to the Bradshaw family. A set of bones has been found bricked up in a chimney breast inside the ancient home.
Tabby says it's bad doings, and dark omens for all of them. The rattled housekeeper gives them a warning, telling the sisters of a chilling rumour attached to the family. The villagers believe that, on the verge of bankruptcy, Clifton Bradshaw sold his soul to the devil in return for great riches. Does this have anything to do with the bones found in the Bradshaw house? The sisters are intrigued by the story and feel compelled to investigate. But Anne, Emily, and Charlotte soon learn that true evil has set a murderous trap and they've been lured right into it...
At the start of Ellis's atmospheric sequel to 2019's The Vanished Bride, likewise set in 1845 Yorkshire, Clifton Bradshaw and his grown son, Liston, discover a child's skeleton in an abandoned chimney of their house on the moors. News of the find reaches Emily, Anne, and Charlotte Bront , who learn that a medallion with 1832 on it was around the skeleton's neck and that 1832 was the year Clifton sealed the room with the chimney. Liston wonders whether his father intended to conceal the bones, and the sisters resolve to try to identify the remains after concluding that they belong to a murder victim. They get help from a friend with medical knowledge, who opines that the child, whose gender or cause of death she can't ascertain, was malnourished and suffered serious illness. Meanwhile, the Bront s' housekeeper declares that Clifton was in league with the devil and that the skeleton was evidence of a human sacrifice. As the creepy plot builds toward a satisfying solution, Ellis succeeds in making the sisters plausible investigators. Bront fans will have a ball. \n