A young woman receives an enigmatic invitation to the home of notoriously reclusive Vida Winter, England’s best-loved writer. Though Miss Winter’s books have been read by millions world-wide, Margaret Lea has not read a single one. However, she finds she cannot easily dismiss the strange letter that has arrived. As she observes, “There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner.” This is precisely how one might describe Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale, a rich and haunting story of two women who each has mystery in her past. Margaret is asked to compose Miss Winter’s biography, but she finds it difficult to discern fact from invention. What results is a captivating read, one which has been favorably compared to classics of gothic fiction such as Rebecca and Jane Eyre.