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Feb 11

No More Brothers (A Serafina Florio Mystery)

Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 in Books, Mystery/Cop, Reviews

Just last night I finished readind this ebook/novella by Susan Russo Anderson. This summer I read the first book in the series about the midwife and private investigator, Serafina Floria, Fina, who lives in mid-19 century Sicily, Death of a Serpent. I have already reviewed that book, so I’ll move on to the novella.

It was great returning to this ‘universe’. I love Serafina and her family and friends. Sometimes though, I’m a little surprised that this era seems so modern. Was it? That’s perfectly possible. Though I’m a bit of a history fan, I can’t say I’ve delved very deeply into this particular time and place. Or maybe the author has let a bit of anachronism sneak into the story. If so, it doesn’t ruin the experience.

Fina has a big family – seven children and a young orphan who is part servant, part family member. She also has her best friend Rosa, who used to be a madam, but has now retired and lives next door to Serafina. Everyone is quite sympathetic except for Fina’s oldest son, who seems to resent his mother’s sleuthing hobby – though it’s not only a hobby – the police commissioner hires her to help on especially puzzling cases.

This story wasn’t quite as fascinating as the first, but I suppose that’s only natural, since it’s so much shorter, but there was a surprise at the end. The novella was only available as a Kindle download. Fortunately I have a Kindle Touch.

I’m looking forward to reading the third part in the series – Death in Bagheria.

Dec 8

How long is a short story?

Posted on Saturday, December 8, 2007 in Writing

If you want to get your story published in a magazine or ezine there’s usually an upper limit for how long the story can be. It’s understandable, but personally, I can’t write stories that short. How can you develop the characters or the plot in just 1000-3000 words (or even less)?

What do you think? Do you prefer short short stories that are getting more and more popular these days, or do you agree with me that a story needs to be a little longer to qualify as a story?

Starting with novels, I’ve always heard that they’re supposed to consist of 70000 words and more, and a novella (or a novel for kids) needs to be at least 30000 words long. That has to mean that anything less would be a short story. Maybe it’s time to have more levels. For instance short short story, short story and long story (or possibly, though this sounds illogical, a long short story). Why not? I’d be interested to know what you guys think.


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