Jane Eyre plays sleuth in this enchanting historical from Rowland, acclaimed for her mystery series set in 17th-century Japan (

The Secret Adventures of Charlotte Bront

Laura Joh Rowland, Author . Overlook $24.95 (320p) ISBN 978-1-59020-033-9

The author of Jane Eyre plays sleuth in this enchanting historical from Rowland, acclaimed for her mystery series set in 17th-century Japan (The Snow Empress , etc.). After the instant success of Jane Eyre and the lesser success of her two sisters’ novels, Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey , Charlotte Brontë receives a letter from her publisher, George Smith, accusing her of breach of contract: Smith believes the same author penned all three novels, as they each appeared under a pseudonym with the surname Bell. On the train from Haworth to London to meet Smith, Charlotte and sister Anne encounter Isabel White, a mysterious girl who, once in London, is murdered. Charlotte becomes ensnared in a case involving a revenge plot orchestrated by an arch villain shaded with old school orientalism. Brontë fans will delight in Rowland’s portrait of Charlotte, who closely parallels Jane both in personality and station. The men playing opposite Charlotte often echo the character of Edward Rochester, lending an enticing will-they, won’t-they tension to the proceedings. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 12/24/2007
Release date: 00/00/0000
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