A Gift Of Poison | Bella Ellis

What an absolute treat! Who would have thought of the Brontë sisters as detectives?

I so wish I had discovered this Bella Ellis series sooner. I am somewhat aghast that the story suggests this might be the last of the Brontë mysteries.

While the reader doesn’t need to know anything about the Brontë sisters, reading A Gift of Poison and spotting references is an absolute joy.

Fresh, accessible and authentic

It makes Bella Ellis’s skill all the more impressive in weaving such a spellbinding tale of murder and guilt. There’s a true love and understanding of these amazing women that shines through the pages, making for a riveting read.

The style and tone are pitch perfect. Totally fresh and accessible, the dialogue resonates with authentic language. The reader can hear and distinguish the three sisters with absolute clarity.

These are women constrained by the society of their time, aware of the disapprobation of many towards their activities. And yet they are feisty, loyal, determined and feminist.

An atmosphere of menace

It was a joy to meet them, especially as they are depicted without flattery, but with their flaws of ambition, snobbery and petulance on occasion too.

Abner Lowood is a delicious villain, appearing out of nowhere like the Devil. The wonderful atmosphere of menace and threat he creates makes the reader desperate to know the truth about him.

As that truth is gradually uncovered it is impossible to set A Gift of Poison aside as the plot twists towards its surprising conclusion. The story is so entertaining.

A Gothic touch of the supernatural

Filled with secrets and mystery, there’s a Gothic touch of the supernatural that thrills and unnerves too.

Equally mesmerising is the Howarth setting. Descriptions of nature and place ensure the reader is immersed in the parsonage, the village and the moors.

A Gift of Poison is visual and striking to read. The oppressive heat matches the intensity of the narrative to perfection.

I loved the themes threaded through the fast-paced and exciting mystery. Bella Ellis explores relationships so carefully, and considers how our own experiences shape our personalities. There is a surprising psychological element to the narrative.

Gripping and perfectly plotted

It’s impossible to say too much more about themes without spoiling the story, but I loved the way the world of the mid- 1840s resonates in the twenty-first century.

A Gift of Poison is a smasher of a read. Totally gripping, thoroughly entertaining, perfectly plotted and exciting. I thought it was fabulous.

A Gift Of Poison by Bella Ellis is published by Hodder & Stoughton, £16.99 HB.

Look out for this week’s issue of My Weekly! You’ll find a charming short story by Bella Ellis, as well as lots more feelgood features and useful advice. In newsagents and supermarkets.