The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield is one of the most intriquing novels that I have read lately. This would be a great selection for a book club discussion. In this book, Margaret Lea lives in a flat above her father's book store in which they sell, or house, mostly antique books. Margaret writes biographies, though not famous, she has had several published. Her subjects are usually not very familiar to most, but of personalities of great interest to her. One day she receives a very unusual letter. The handwriting was most curious, childlike, but not. As it turns out, the letter was from Vida Winters, one of England's most famous authors. It seems Miss Winters would like for Margaret to write her biography. Not familiar with Miss Winter's work since Margaret doesn't normally read contemporary fiction, she begins to read one of her novels that has been stored behind glass in her father's store. The book, The Thirteenth Tale, begins a series of unusual and mysterious events which leads Margaret to accept the offer of writing her biography. Margaret visits Miss Winters and during her stay and documentation of Miss Winter's story, Margaret becomes entranced with her own story and history.
The Thirteenth Tale has it all, there are ghosts, haunted houses, strange happenings and lots of deep, dark secrets. It is very much a modern day, gothic mystery. Although, this is not usually my pick in a genre, I especially enjoyed the many comments and references to Margaret's passion for books and stories. It was a great read and I'd recommend it any day to anyone that enjoys mysteries, antique books, and an intriguing story. Here is an interview with the author, Diane Setterfield which enhances the story even more.