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Friday, February 10, 2012

Reading and Reviewing, 22, two shorts - Rosanne Dingli and Dara England

Another short story from Rosanne Dingli:  Nosebleed

An artist, a woman, a rainy day ... this is the setting of the short story Nosebleed by Rosanne Dingli. She has set a tone of mystery with a tinge of vulnerability. But who is more vulnerable, and what sort of danger? 

Marie is invited in out of the rain by the village's eccentric artist, a man who remains aloof from his neighbors and is known only by his somewhat secretive art. Marie's curiosity compromises her responsible, dutiful nature, and she abandons her typical walk to meet a friend for dinner, and instead has a spontaneous and romantic dinner with the artist. 

The setting, the food, the wine, and the attentive conversation ultimately overrules her hesitation ... the hail storm returns and the night follows. Rather than give away the ending, I will stop here and recommend  that you read this novelette on a dark, stormy night, and relish Rosanne's exquisite storytelling talent. Five Stars for this one!

STAFFORD, ENGLAND - MARCH 21:  Shugborough Hal...Lord Litchfield's Manor
Accomplished in Murder, by Dara England

This is a short story in a series of such that can be read in any order. This one takes place in 19th century England, a day's distance from London, in the dusky farmlands surrounding a small village. A family estate, occupied by partially titled family members, is the new home of a young woman married to the eldest son of the Lord Litchfield.  She and her husband, her father in law and brother in law live with a full staff in the once beloved but more recently neglected manor, with a family cemetery nearby.

The young bride, Celeste, writes a letter to her good friend, Drucilla, expressing her wish that her friend would come and visit her to help her feel safe in her new setting. Alarmed at what she perceives as fear in the note, Drucilla sets out with her aunt as an appropriate chaperone, aboard the next morning's train. After a tiring transport by rail and completed by country carts, she, her elderly aunt, and their servants and luggage arrive unexpected at the manor house, only to find that Celeste has died in the short few days between her letter and their arrival.

The bereaved Drucilla observes and measures the apparent grief or lack of among the household of men and servants, and comes to the conclusion that Celeste's death was not a tragic accident but a murder. But who was the murderer? And what was the motive? And what will be the result for this house and these men?

I gave this five stars, not only for the excellent setting so convincingly written, but for the twist in the ending. I recommend it to all age readers.

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  1. Such a pleasure to find your enjoyment of my writing good enough to talk about, Terry! And you have placed me in such good company too - well done, Dara - I must look out for this intriguing piece. Now.

    1. Love reading your shorts, Rosanne! Short stories taught in high school left me with no appreciation of the art form that they truly are ... reading them now is so much more worthwhile. Someone said youth is wasted on the young. I am so enjoying time to read now in retirement :)


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