Before there was Frankenstein, a young Mary Shelley, her stepsister Jane “Claire” Clairmont, and poet Percy Bysshe Shelley are drawn into a shocking murder investigation in this deliciously captivating new historical mystery revolving around the real-life trio who would later scandalize 19th century England even as they transformed the literary world.
London, 1814: Mary Godwin and her stepsister Jane Clairmont, both sixteen, possess quick minds bolstered by an unconventional upbringing. Mary, whose mother famously advocated for women’s rights, rejects the two paths that seem open to her—that of an assistant in her father’s bookshop, or an ordinary wife. Though quieter and more reserved than the boisterous Jane, Mary’s imagination is keen, and she longs for real-world adventures.
One evening, an opportunity arrives in the form of a dinner guest, Percy Bysshe Shelley. At twenty-one, Shelley is already a renowned poet and radical. Mary finds their visitor handsome and compelling, but it is later that evening, after the party has broken up, that events take a truly intriguing turn. When Mary comes downstairs in search of a book, she finds instead a man face down on the floor—with a knife in his back.
Mary, Jane, and Shelley are all drawn to learn the truth behind the tragedy, especially as each discovery seems to hint at a tangled web that includes many in Shelley’s closest circle. But as the attraction between Mary and the married poet intensifies, it sparks a rivalry between the sisters, even as it kindles the creative fire within . . .
Heather Redmond is the author of the Dickens of a Crime series and the Journaling Mysteries, as well as historical and contemporary romances written under the name Heather Hiestand. Though her last known British ancestor departed London in the 1920s, she is a committed anglophile, Dickens devotee, and lover of all things nineteenth century. She has lived in Illinois, California, and Texas, and now resides in a small town in Washington State with her husband and son. The president of the Columbia River Chapter of Sisters in Crime, she be found online at HeatherRedmond.com.
Praise for Death and the Sisters, Book 1 in the Mary Shelley Mysteries
“Redmond’s rendition of the dynamics of this most unconventional family is lively and colorful. A promising series debut for historical mystery buffs.”- Kirkus Reviews
“The real life story of Mary Shelley and Jane Clairmont is turbulent and thrilling, as is Ms. Redmond’s depiction of their youth, with a (fictional) murder mystery thrown into the mix for good measure. The bonds of sisterhood that would last throughout the lives of these very different young women are exceptionally showcased.” - Criminal Element
“Fans of the Regency period will appreciate the contrast between high society and the literary class as well as the romantic bantering between the married Shelley and the smitten Mary, along with the jealous Jane.” – Booklist
"A terrific blend of gritty history with a mystery that will keep readers turning pages. Impeccably researched and imaginative, Redmond’s first Mary Shelley Mystery immerses readers in the drama of young Mary Godwin and her family, as well as her budding romance with Percy Shelley, as they work together to solve a wonderfully bookish murder." —Susanna Craig, author of The Lady Knows Best
"Death and the Sisers is a rip-roaring murder mystery. Redmond's foray in the world of rational atheists in early 19th century London is a mesmerizing, forceful delight.”—Eilis Flynn, author of The Riddle of Rym
“Crafted with vivid historical detail, an artfully twisted plot, and engaging characters.” —Dianne Freeman, author of the award-winning Countess of Harleigh Mysteries
"It might be the way London comes to life in all of its dark and gritty complexities, or the dynamics between Mary and her step-sister, Jane...Propulsive and immersive, Heather Redmond is at the top of her game until the intense and satisfying end." —Mary Keliikoa, author of Hidden Pieces
“An intrepid cast of characters, a stunningly atmospheric 19th-century London, and a riveting murder… Highly recommend.” —Melissa Bourbon, bestselling author