"Catherine Lowell’s terrific first novel is a mystery, a love story, and a very dark comedy with the Brontës, of all people, playing a role back there in the shadows. The book is about the traces that literature and our ancestors leave in us, and it is about memory as a token of love.”
—Charles Baxter, author of There’s Something I Want You to Do and Feast of Love
"The Madwoman Upstairs is a perfectly paced and plotted literary mystery with a wonderful heroine at its heart."
- Elle UK
"Smart and surprising and fiercely funny. Catherine Lowell is a thrillingly original talent.”
- Jennifer DuBois, Author of Cartwheel
“THE MADWOMAN UPSTAIRS had me hooked well into the wee hours; this book is absolutely addictive. Set in the most romantic parts of Britain, the story takes us on a clever present-day romp through the literary universe of the enigmatic Brontës and drills deeply into all their dangerous secrets. Catherine Lowell has such a unique, inspired turn of phrase that you’ll find yourself laughing out loud even as she lures you deeper and deeper into this delicious mystery that is destined to become the page-turner of the year.”
—Anne Fortier, Author of Juliet
“Catherine Lowell’s debut is a smart and funny literary mystery set among the dreaming spires of Oxford University. Lowell’s deft handling of her quirky characters and unpredictable plot twists make The Madwoman Upstairs a charming and memorable read.”
--Deborah Harkness, author of the All Souls Trilogy
"Part mystery, part picaresque, Catherine Lowell’s The Madwoman Upstairs (Touchstone) is a smartly conceived first novel about modern-day Oxford student Samantha Whipple, whose roots are rumored to go back to the famous Brontës. After her father dies, Samantha’s grief and doubt are usurped by the appearance of a series of Bronte estate manuscripts and mementos that transform her from stubborn skeptic to delightful sleuth.”
- Elle Magazine
“The storyline takes readers on a crazy ride of clues and reveals interesting facts about the Brontë family in the process. Lowell has hit it out of the ballpark with this novel.”
—RT Book Reviews (Top Pick)
“An impossibly smart and original debut.”
"An enjoyable academic romp that successfully combines romance and intrigue."
“Lowell delivers a smart, clever and properly Gothic novel.”
—The Minneapolis Star Tribune
"The Madwoman Upstairs is unlike anything I've read before. There was something about it that made it near impossible to put down. It's a thought-provoking novel that made me take a moment to consider what it means to me to be a reader … This book may have changed the way I read and appreciate books and authors for ever … I loved every minute of this reading experience. Stunning!"
"A funny, smart read with a kick-ass heroine."