A Fictitious Tale about Family, Friends, and a Startling Felonious Deed

Fiction - Mystery - General
252 Pages
Reviewed on 08/20/2020
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Author Biography

Beverly A. Massey was born in 1932 in a small town in New Hampshire. She and her husband lived there for 48 years. They raised 4 children and then moved to Florida in 1980. In Florida, Ms. Massey taught English at the local high school in New Smyrna Beach, as well as at DBCC, a local community college in Daytona Beach.
In retirement she joined with two others and began a personal writing group. Within 2 years Beverly A. Massey, Betty Tyson, and Nancy Greenleaf had published a collection of poems, philosophies, and opinions entitled: A CAUCUS OF OLD CROWS, and soon a memoir by Beverly A. Massey entitled: LIFE IN BEV’S LANE.
Ms. Massey had now finished her first fictional novel: TARNISHED. The book is a mystery, a love story, and sibling jealousy set among a small town’s history, successes, and dilemmas. It has received two 5-star reviews from the READERSFAVORITE organization.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite

Tarnished: A Fictitious Tale about Family, Friends, and a Startling Felonious Deed by Beverly A. Massey is an emotionally rich family saga with very strong characters and the story of a town. This is a story for readers who enjoy a setting that feels like a character in its own right. The author introduces readers to the life of a small-knit community with its own thrills and low moments, and in center stage is Hal Rollins. He has been the darling of the community and has enjoyed many successes, from sports to becoming the respected principal of the high school. But he is about to experience a tragic fall and miss his biggest opportunity when he is involved in a felony.

The plot is plain and simple, but it is a deception the author uses to craft a story filled with the everyday reality that readers can identify with. I loved the drama and how the author explores family dynamics in this narrative. Each character comes across as a symbolic representation of a group in society. Women sit idly and gossip. Men pursue success and fame. The image of family and honor is impeccably developed. The characters are richly developed, from Hall to Pamela, Ann Louise, James, Octavia, Marion, and many others. Beverly A. Massey’s writing is beautiful and thoughtful, the prose is crisp and the conversations create the drama that makes the narrative an interesting read. I particularly enjoyed the colorful setting and the way the author depicts life in a small community. It is a lovely read, poignant, and meaningful.

Rabia Tanveer

Tarnished: A Fictitious Tale About Family, Friends, And A Startling Felonious Deed by Beverly A. Massey is the story of a man’s fall from grace and how it happened. Living in a small town is a blessing and a curse. There was a time Hal Rollins was the brightest star of his little town. He took his high school team to state basketball championship, he was the beloved principal of their school and it seemed like being Superintendent of Schools in the county was the next deserved step for him. However, something terrible happens and Hal falls from grace. Suddenly the golden boy of Branfield is now the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons. Everyone knows that he was dismissed from his position as the principal and it is rumored he was arrested as well. But only Hal, his Police Chief brother Jim, and their Aunt Virginia know the truth. Or do they? What really happened to Hal? Is he really responsible for a crime? Is this 61-year-old man capable of the questionable things he is accused of?

The mystery is alive in this story. I absolutely loved the introduction as it sets the tone and made me want to read on. Jim is such a caring man, he understands his brother and he knows he is the only one who will be able to help Hal. I wanted to know what really happened to bring this man down. The mental breakdown Hal experienced had me on an emotional edge I was not expecting. Beverly A. Massey chose her words very carefully; she played up the emotions really well and showed the small-town mentality in its true essence. That was what sold this story to me. It isn’t the most conventional story to tell. There isn’t a late 20’s, early 30’s handsome man as the protagonist with a tragic soul. This is a genuine story that could happen to anyone from any part of the world. I enjoyed the characters, I enjoyed their development and I really loved the story as well. The ending made me happy! Tarnished is a perfect story to read on a rainy day.

clyde McCulley

Ms. Massey certainly knows how to cover a small New England town in its place in society, its loves and life and of course gossip.
A story about a community's star, in sports and then as a star high school principal.... But something goes bad in this well known family. The author takes us back through the history of the town, the "famous" family and the star of the town and the book.
The reader will be surprised who the culprit is at the end. Well thought out story and wonderful illustrations through words.
Get a cup of coffee, a big comfortable chair and enjoy "Tarnished".