Book Review: Death of a Schoolgirl by Joanna Campbell Slan

Death of a SchoolgirlDeath of a Schoolgirl
The Jane Eyre Chronicles
Joanna Campbell Slan
Berkley Prime Crime, August 2012
ISBN 978-0-425-24774-7
Trade PaperbackWritten in a style so like the original Charlotte Bronte the average reader might be unable to tell the difference, Joanna Campbell Slan has penned an elegant new Jane Eyre novel.In this episode, of which I’m certain there will be more, Rochester, badly hurt in the fire that consumed Thornfield Hall, is still recovering from his injuries. Jane has just delivered her own baby son. Nevertheless, when a strange missive comes from Rochester’s ward Adele, Jane feels bound to investigate. In taking the stage for London, she is set upon by a thief who steals the Rochester diamonds, but that is only a minor problem compared to what she discovers at Adele’s school.

Arriving at the school in the pouring rain, she finds authorities carrying the body of one of Adele’s classmates to the morgue. The girl has been murdered in her bed during the night. Fearing for Adele’s life as well, Jane goes undercover in a return to teaching until she can get to the bottom of a mystery reaching to the highest echelon of society and government.

I didn’t find the mystery itself overly strong, although it certainly goes well with the time period, but the characterizations and setting are spot on. Transitioning from Charlotte Bronte to Joanna Campbell Slan is a seamless dream of a read.

Reviewed by Carol Crigger, December 2012.
Author of Three Seconds to Thunder.