Two new novels and a nonfiction graphic guide make clear that authors can sometimes be real characters.
Daphne (Bloomsbury USA), by Justine Picardie, is a literary mystery that builds the layers of its story on the lives of Daphne du Maurier (author of Rebecca and other Gothic romances) and the Bronte family.
The James Boys: A Novel Account of Four Desperate Brothers (Random House), by Richard Liebmann-Smith, is a wild 19th century adventure based on the notion that four famous Jameses — novelist Henry, philosopher William, and outlaws Frank and Jesse — were all one big, not-so-happy family.
Secret Lives of Great Authors (Quirk), by Robert Schnakenberg, dishes about writers' real-life peccadillos, from the well-known, like Emily Dickinson's reclusiveness, to the less familiar, like W.B. Yeats' monkey gland implants.
Colette Bancroft, Times book editor