Monday, September 25, 2006

The Thirteenth Tale - is it crime/mystery fiction?

From The Sunday Times:
"AN unknown British author has topped America’s fiction bestseller lists after news of her debut novel spread over the internet.

Diane Setterfield, 42, a former university lecturer, took six years to write The Thirteenth Tale after she gave up her career teaching French.

The mystery, published just three weeks ago in America, has beaten established US authors such as James Patterson and Anna Quindlen as well as the latest Frederick Forsyth to top the bestseller lists of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly."

Full article here

The synopsis from, goes thus:
"Vida Winter, a bestselling yet reclusive novelist, has created many outlandish life histories for herself, all of them invention. Now old and ailing, at last she wants to tell the truth about her extraordinary life. Her letter to biographer Margaret Lea - a woman with secrets of her own - is a summons. Vida's tale is one of gothic strangeness featuring the Angelfield family: the beautiful and wilful Isabelle and the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline. Margaret succumbs to the power of Vida's storytelling, but as a biographer she deals in fact not fiction and she doesn't trust Vida's account. As she begins her researches, two parallel stories unfold. Join Margaret as she begins her journey to the truth - hers, as well as Vida's."

The Sunday Times calls it a mystery and the book description on, calls it "A compelling emotional mystery in the timeless vein of Daphne du Maurier's REBECCA, about family secrets and the magic of books and storytelling" ... but based on the above, oh gentle reader, do you?

I've put my name on the library waiting list for the one copy. Perhaps the media publicity will allow more copies to be ordered.

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