Fiction Books:

The Thirteenth Tale


Paperback / softback

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The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
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"A well written gothic tale of mystery & suspense."
5 stars"
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I first read this book when it was published in 2006 and have just re-read it and am studying it in depth as part of a creative writing course. It has all the crucial elements that appeal to me: engaging characters, interesting settings, different time periods and a mystery at the heart of the plot. As the blurb on the cover says, 'Start reading this on the bus and, I swear, you won’t only miss your stop, you might even lose the whole day." (Cosmopolitan). The book was made into a BBC television drama in 2014. The story switches back and forth between the early 20th century and the present, told through the device of a story related by a dying author to a young biographer. Vida Winter (a nom de plume), a prolific and highly successful, but reclusive, novelist with a mysterious past that she has never divulged to any journalist, invites Margaret Lea to her remote home on the Yorkshire moors. Ms. Winter wishes to finally reveal to a trusted source the truth of her background. The themes of twins, loss and withheld parental love as well as mental illness, dysfunctional families and the crumbling of the British country estates, run strongly through this tale of mystery and suspense which ends with a twist in the tail. Highly recommended reading!


Now a major BBC film, directed by Oscar-winner Christopher Hampton (Atonement and Dangerous Liaisons), starring Vanessa Redgrave and Olivia Colman. Angelfield House stands abandoned and forgotten. It was once home to the March family - fascinating, manipulative Isabelle, brutal, dangerous Charlie, and the wild, untamed twins, Emmeline and Adeline. But Angelfield House hides a chilling secret which strikes at the very heart of each of them, tearing their lives apart... Now Margaret Lea is investigating Angelfield's past - and the mystery of the March family starts to unravel. What has Angelfield been hiding? What is its connection with the enigmatic writer Vida Winter? And what is the secret that strikes at the heart of Margaret's own, troubled life? As Margaret digs deeper, two parallel stories unfold, and the tale she uncovers sheds a disturbing light on her own life...

Author Biography

Diane Setterfield is in her early forties. Having spent time in France, she now lives in Harrogate. THE THIRTEENTH TALE is her first novel.
Release date NZ
July 12th, 2007
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
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