Archive for 'Setterfield, Diane'
My husband made me read this book. He saw it on several Best of 2006 mystery lists, ordered it, read it, and basically sat on me until I read it so we could discuss it. Ainâ€™t marriage grand.
First, let me say that this isnâ€™t your typical modern mystery. I think I am correct in labeling it as more of a gothic novel than a mystery. The premise is that a young biographer of obscure literary figures is contacted by Englandâ€™s greatest and most mysterious writer to pen her biography. Her true story â€“ the one the public has been awaiting for many years. And her story is one of an old family gone horribly wrong in their old country home. There is a ghost, a murder, and many secrets.
Second, I will say that this style of book isnâ€™t what I ordinarily like. But I think it is well written and if you like classic gothic novels this will probably be right up your alley. I think it is a little heavy on emotional hand-wringing and light on mystery, but the setting, characters, and suspense are all good. As lovers of books, my husband and I both loved the descriptions of the biographerâ€™s childhood experiences in a vintage book store. And the mystique of the missing thirteenth tale intrigued us and kept us reading this selection, although unusual for us, to the end.
Favorite character? The mysterious Vida Winter. Did I guess it? Mostly. Will I read another? An interesting question. Because it is outside my usual style, my first inclination would be to say no. Frankly, I would suspect this is a one-off because it doesnâ€™t lend itself to a sequel. But the author is talented and I will see what else she has to offer.
Mystery Book Reviews by Liz at http://reviewedbyliz.com Â©2007