Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye is a wickedly thrilling read! In the first chapter when Jane, the narrator says, “Reader, I murdered him” I was hooked. Set in 19th century England, Jane lives at Highgate House with her mother and unfeeling aunt. Her mother dies and Jane is sent to a dreadful boarding school for girls that’s run by a sadistic and cruel headmaster. Jane escapes and flees to London, living by her wits for a few years. (She has something in common with other literary characters who do bad things to bad people.). She spies an ad in a newspaper for a governess at Highgate House and applies for the job, all the while determined to learn if she is the rightful heir, as she’d been told as a child. I don’t want to give too much away, but just say that the book is a mystery, an adventure, a romance and an historical novel. Marvelously well-written, fascinating characters, carefully plotted : there is much to love about this book! Also, it’s a bit of an homage to Jane Eyre, a favorite book of Jane Steele’s (think Mr. Thornfield instead of Mr. Rochester). One review said: ‘Jane Eyre gets a dose of Dexter’, and Sue Grafton gave it an ‘A-plus’! Highly recommended by Rochelle McKown.
Nominated for the 2017 Edgar Award for Best Novel
The reimagining of Jane Eyre as a gutsy, heroic serial killer that The New York Times Book Review calls “wonderfully entertaining” and USA Today describes as “sheer mayhem meets Victorian propriety.”