Death of a Schoolgirl by Joanna Campbell Slan is the first book in the new “Jane Eyre Chronicles” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, August 2012

Jane can’t help but fret when a letter arrives from Adèle Varens—Rochester’s ward, currently at boarding school—warning that the girl’s life is in jeopardy. Although it means leaving her young son and invalid husband, and despite never having been to a city of any size, Jane feels strongly compelled to go to London to ensure Adèle’s safety.

But almost from the beginning, Jane’s travels don’t go as planned—she is knocked about and robbed, and no one believes that the plain, unassuming Jane could indeed be the wife of a gentleman; even the school superintendent takes her for an errant new teacher. But most shocking to Jane is the discovery that Adèle’s schoolmate has recently passed away under very suspicious circumstances, yet no one appears overly concerned. Taking advantage of the situation, Jane decides to pose as the missing instructor—and soon uncovers several unsavory secrets, which may very well make her the killer’s next target.

This was a good mystery that kept me turning the pages as I had to know who was doing what to whom in this charming whodunit. The author did an excellent job in maintaining the essence and writing style of Ms. Bronte. If you are a fan of Bronte’s Jane Eyre, then you’ll enjoy this foray into Jane’s new life.

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