Red Monarch by Bella Ellis- Book Review

I couldn’t resist this cover but the story was even better. Here is my review of Red Monarch by Bella Ellis featuring the Bronte sisters as Detectors.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Source: My own

When Anne Bronte receives a letter from her friend Lydia pleading for help to find her husband, the Brontes rush to London to help given their success as amateur detectors. But they soon find themselves out of depth and in danger in London’s underworld and dealing with the notorious crime king Red Monarch


The book is set just after the Brontes have published their collection of poetry and Charlotte anxiously awaits the critic’s review. So, a little mystery to distract them seems like a good idea but London isn’t Yorkshire. 

Emily Bronte is my favourite classic author but there is very little out there about what she was like as a person compared to her sisters. So, I was fascinated by this book take on her personality and the fictional aspect of her being a detector along with Charlotte and Anne.

I love the descriptions of the Brontes bringing their personalities to London – the part where Emily pulls out a gun from her very feminine skirt to deal with a harasser has to be one of my favourite’s scenes.

The story is told from the third-person points of view of all three sisters and each of them has their own distinct personalities, set of core values and methods of dealing with the problems at hand. I liked how the book was true to the limitations women had to deal with time as well as the ways the sisters had to overcome them.

The developing relationship between Emily and Louis- a troubled actor was touching and gave the story an extra depth.

There are some dark threads to the book but there is enough humour and compassion to balance this out (I found some of Emily’s comments hilarious).

Content warning

Child sexual assault ( off-page), child trafficking, sexual cohesion through blackmail, domestic abuse ( off-page)

Perfect for Fans

Who love literary characters that are brought to life and solve crimes- eg Jane Austin Mysteries and The Pickwick Murders ( review).


I have added the author’s blacklist to my tbr list.

5 thoughts on “Red Monarch by Bella Ellis- Book Review

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