Monday, June 4, 2012

13 1/2

I like to read fiction books that take place in the location I am visiting, so I recently read Nevada Barr's stand-alone book, 13 1/2. Can you think of a better way to read a book than while eating beignets and drinking coffee at the Cafe Beignet on Royal Street in New Orleans? I originally avoided reading this book because it is a departure from her Anna Pigeon series, and I had been told it was really "different." It is very different.  13 1/2 is a very dark psychological suspense book that I did not want to put down. I really needed to know how it ended!

At the age of fifteen, Polly Deschamps escapes her abusive childhood by running away to New Orleans. On her first night there, a fortune teller at Jackson Square tells her that she will make something of her life. The fortune teller was right;
 Polly finished school, went to college and became a professor of literature. She has two wonderful daughters from a brief marriage. Polly now has an almost perfect life. The only thing missing is true love. Then, one day while walking in Jackson Square, she meets a handsome, eligible, and successful architect, Marshall Marchand. It is an immediate and passionate connection for both of them. Polly's daughters adore Marshall. Polly and Marshall marry quickly with Marshall's brother, Danny, and Polly's daughters as their witnesses. The future looks bright for them.

Polly has continued to visit the fortune tellers on Jackson Square since that first night in New Orleans. One day a fortune teller, known as the Woman in Red, gives her a very distressing reading of the tarot cards. "Your husband is not who you think he is. You will kill him." Polly tells Marshall about this and he immediately begins to withdraw from her. Marshall has a very dark secret. Polly's perfect life quickly begins to unravel.

It was at this point in the book that my vacation ended. I will tell you that my vacation was wonderful, but you will have to read the book to find out how Polly's story ends.

--Gilby G.

(P.S. Don't forget to visit the SummerQuest blog -- we have a spooky new quest to match this book.)


  1. I loved 13 1/2 as well. Read it in one afternoon, cause I couldn't put it down either!

    1. Thanks for commenting, Noelle Girl! I've never read Nevada Barr before, but this post definitely put 13 1/2 on the top of my list.

  2. What an intriguing review/intro! I wouldn't have been drawn so much to "dark psychological thriller" but the description of what preceded the thriller part is irresistible - thanks, I can hardly wait!

  3. Melinda -- that's great to hear! You'll have to let us know what you think.


  4. This book is written in two intertwining parts. One part is Polly's story. The other part is the "dark" side of the story. The excitement begins when the two parts come together. I hope you enjoy it!


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