This is my first time to read Diane Setterfield. I’ve had her Thirteenth Tale on shelf for years, but never put a mark on the spine since I’ve put it there. Some of my friends can’t believe that I haven’t tried their favorite book before. So when I received my egalley, I didn’t have any expectations of any sorts. I was excited though, because the blurbs I read were enticing.
In a nutshell, this is a wonderful story and worth reading. I was delighted to find beautiful language and phrasing in a Victorian style. Ms. Setterfield wrote with lyrical fluidity that engaged me undividedly. Her eloquence amazed me. From the first few pages, I knew I was hooked. It was actually difficult for me to put this down.
Bellman and Black tells the story of William Bellman, from his youth onto his adulthood. His story is a little too short if I tell it that way, I know. He’s a man blessed with charm, a good head on his shoulders, and a good perspective in life. In between, we will read how William struggled through life. It cannot be disputed that he labored for his success and riches. But life choices, in any cases, have its toll. And it is not paid through currency.
I must add that I do like the Rook Lore weaved into the story. I never looked into it much closer until now. The interspersed mention of rooks is like a blackness hovering above waiting to swoop down. Its eeriness gave the mysterious blend of the story a nice depth.
However, it might be difficult to defend the premise that the story has undertaken. The reader will look for the ghost story in this, as what the subtitle implied. Some will not find it, some maybe will. Some will find that the story was too short, no action, less movement; but it was a life-long story that offered memories and thoughts to follow. The story will lead the reader in a long winding road, all the while forcing us to contemplate. But then again, nothing is ever easy, right?
Bellman and Black gives us an issue to tackle. We are only given one chance to walk this earth. It doesn’t matter how we live our own story, just the same, others will tell it. So it boils down to one question… how do we prize our own life? If we think hard about it, it is a lot scarier than any ghost story. It is a question that will haunt us for a lifetime.
Title: Bellman and Black
Author: Diane Setterfield
Genre: Literature/Adult Fiction
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Release Date: November 5, 2013
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Book Review: Noah’s Rainy Day by Sandra Brannan
This is the 4th book in the Liv Bergen Mysteries, but, unfortunately, only my first book in the series. Why has this series escaped me before? This is a gem from the first moment I read the first page.
Fresh from Quantico, Special Agent Liv Bergen was assigned at Denver Bureau. In the meantime, she’s living with her Sister Frances and her family, while she’s looking for a suitable place for her and Beulah. She was busy training with the bloodhound Beulah, and expecting to spend Christmas with her family in peace, when she was called off for a very controversial abduction case that had happened just a few miles away in Denver International Airport.
Five-year old Maximillian Bennett Williams III, son of a NYC tycoon and a renowned fashion model, disappeared from his connecting flight from New York to California. Little Max had been missing for hours before Denver authorities was alerted. Time is of the essence, or it might be too late.
The narration was shared between Liv and her 12-year old nephew Noah Hogarty, who has a severe cerebral palsy. Noah can’t speak, but he sure knows how to communicate. He’s especially smart and resourceful, something most people discounted because of his twisted body. And he loves solving mysteries with his Aunt Liv.
The mystery is so good, there is no doubt about that; but I perceived that the series is so much more than that. There is much about family values, relationships, and female empowerment. On this particular installment, Ms. Brannan brought the subject of the physically challenged children, which made the whole plot more endearing.
Sandra Brannan carefully built up the mystery, giving the reader a quick peek at every puzzle piece, and then led the reader breathless through the climax. I think I just found my new favorite mystery series. I may have started on the 4th book, but that doesn’t mean I can’t start over. I think I just have enough time until the next book gets printed.
If you are looking for your next best Mystery Series, you’ll not go wrong by picking up the Liv Bergen Mysteries.
Title: Noah’s Rainy Day (Liv Bergen Mysteries #4)
Author: Sandra Brannan
Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group Press
Release Date: September 3, 2013
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Other books in this series:
In the Belly of Jonah (Liv Bergen Mysteries #1)
Lot’s Return to Sodom (Liv Bergen Mysteries #2)
Widow’s Might (Liv Bergen Mysteries #3)
To Greenleaf Book Group Press and Netgalley, thank you for giving me a chance to read this in exchange for an honest review.