The bicentennial of Charlotte Bronte's birth has inspired these salutes to her great work, Jane Eyre.
Jane Steele: A Novel (G.P. Putnam's Sons) by Lyndsay Faye (The Gods of Gotham) is an outrageously satirical thriller-romance mashup set in the 19th century that recasts the long-suffering Jane Eyre as a ruthless serial killer trying to solve a mystery while concealing her own identity — and falling in love.
The Madwoman Upstairs (Touchstone) by Catherine Lowell is a comic contemporary mystery about Samantha Whipple, a young woman who is the last living descendant of the Bronte family, sent on a literary scavenger hunt for a mysterious estate by her father's sudden death.
Reader, I Married Him: Stories Inspired by Jane Eyre (William Morrow), edited by Tracy Chevalier, gathers 21 short stories by women in honor of Bronte's novel, ranging from Helen Dunmore's chilling Grace Poole Her Testimony, about Rochester's first wife, to Francine Prose's sly look at what happens to Jane after she marries Rochester in The Mirror.
Colette Bancroft, Times book editor