Don’t get me wrong, I am not a big fan of mysteries and suspense thrillers but I do love my classics, so I am not sure what you will think of this book if you are more of the former. Still, it is interesting just to read about the unlikely spy that Charlotte Brontë becomes once she sets her mind to it.
Rowland is famous for her Sano Ichiro mystery series set in 17th-century Japan but has moved into English historical fiction with this novel and has also written a sequel called Bedlam: the Further Secret Adventures of Charlotte Brontë.
The book starts when Charlotte is falsely accused by her publisher of breaching her contract. She sets off to London immediately with her sister Anne to straighten out the issue and clear her name. This is the first time she must reveal that she is the author of Jane Eyre, a young woman and not the man Currer Bell, her pseudonym.
In London she witnesses a murder and becomes caught up in a mystery that takes her all the way to the prime minister and the palace. But it is her relationship with the foreign service officer John Slade that is the real page-turner for me.
Okay, so it’s a bit far-fetched but everyone loves a bit of escapism now and then!
The Secret Adventures of Charlotte Brontë (Murdoch Books Australia, 2008, ISBN: 9781741969139, 378 pages).
My rating: ★★★★