Monday, June 20, 2022

SOMETHING IN THE EYRE? Guest Post by Gayle Leeson

Gayle Leeson: 

When I chose to have my heroine venture into the world of Jane Eyre, I thought I had a new and—pardon the pun—novel idea. Well, as Ecclesiastes 1:9 tells us: What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. And yet, I was surprised at the number of Jane Eyre retellings I’d found after I’d completed my book. I’ll give you some examples in a moment, but first let me tell you more about An Eyre of Mystery. 

First, you might be wondering if I’d have used Jane Eyre as a kick-off point had I known so many novelists had gone before me. I believe I would have, but I might have been a bit more intimidated. 

In An Eyre of Mystery, Gia finds herself inside the world of Jane Eyre after taking a job as an archivist in a library at a manor house in North Carolina. Contemporary North Carolina is a far cry from Victorian England, for sure, and Gia experiences quite the culture shock when she finds herself on a cobblestone street about to visit Edward Rochester in prison. Edward is awaiting an appointment with the gallows since he has been found guilty of murdering his wife. 

Having read the book, Gia knows that’s impossible. Bertha died after setting fire to Thornfield Hall, and Edward was severely injured in the fire himself. Gia discovers that there are silverfish eating classic manuscripts (here is where the book diverges from my usual genre, cozy mystery). Their munching on the words alters the original book to where plots and characters are completely different. In the case of Jane Eyre, Gia must discover who did kill Bertha in order to reset the manuscript to its original state and to be able to return home. 

The series keeps much of its “coziness” in that sex and violence happen mostly off the page, but it certainly requires the reader to agree to a suspension of disbelief. Characters travel through magical portals into the world of classic literature to right wrongs perpetuated by a group of shape-shifting silverfish who eat books and can appear as literary characters to change the outcome of their books. I’ve described the books as Quantum Leap or Dr. Who meets Classic Literature meets Agatha Christie. 

If you’d like to read the first five chapters of An Eyre of Mystery for yourself, please click this link ( It’s not as weird as it sounds, I promise. Or maybe it is! 

Now, here’s that list I promised you: 

Charlotte Bronte published her novel, Jane Eyre, in 1847. Yet, a hundred-seventy-five years later, the retellings just keep on coming. Here are ten Jane Eyre retellings that are currently available or coming soon. 

1) The Eyre Affair: A Thursday Next Novel – Jasper Fforde kicked off his Thursday Next series with a book in which Jane Eyre gets kidnapped from her book. 

2) The Wife Upstairs – Rachel Hawkins gives her retelling a modern twist set in Alabama with Jane being a dog-walker in a gated community. 

3) An Eyre of Mystery – G. Leeson, coming July 12, 2022, the heroine travels through a magical portal to the world of Jane Eyre where she’s expected to solve the mystery of who killed Bertha Rochester before she can leave. 

4) Mrs. Rochester’s Ghost – Lindsay Marcott’s book is a modern retelling set in Big Sur where Mr. Rochester has been accused of murdering his wife. 

5) The Wife in the Attic – Rose Lerner explores the world of Goldengrove in 1813 in a retelling in which the heroine is hired as governess to Sir Palethorpe’s daughter. 

6) Jane Steele – Lindsay Faye’s blurb begins, “Reader, I murdered him.” In this retelling, Jane is a serial killer! 

7) My Mr. Rochester (Jane Eyre Retold) – L. K. Rigel’s story is set in a dystopian world called New Judah. 

8) Jane Deyre – Nelle L’Amour puts a steamy, contemporary spin on the classic and adds a new character with Edwina Rochester, a legendary film star. 

9) Jane Heir – Veronica Cristero’s imagining of the classic novel has Mr. Rochester as rap artist who hires the heroine as a live-in tutor for his daughter. 10) John Eyre: A Tale of Darkness and Shadow – Mimi Mathews turns the titular character into a male and explores the story from an entirely new perspective.


Gayle Leeson writes cozy mysteries, and as G. Leeson, she's writing this portal fantasy series. The name adjustment is to cue her cozy readers that this series lies outside their genre expectations, but she hopes they'll trust her enough to take a chance on An Eyre of Mystery. Gayle is currently working on Book Two of the Literatia series, ​A Tale of Two Enemies​.


Anonymous said...

Gayle, can't wait til the book comes out.

Betty T said...

I asked my library to order it!