Friday 8 January 2021




October 1987...

A small fishing village on the New Jersey coast is ready for the high school football game and an oncoming snowstorm

Willie Davidson... his mother left town when her husband died, leaving her son to fend for himself with winter approaching...

Frankie and Gary Paul... two cousins sharing a public works truck and looking for trouble...

April Schwartz... a lost teenage girl trying to prove how adult she is...

Billy Hunter... the police officer with a chip on his shoulder...

George Smith... an aspiring musician who just wants to play music and hang with his friends...

Jimmy Petrucci... a family man with a wandering eye that could get him in hot water...

Garrett Simms... the star quarterback for the North team, trying to keep his focus on the game...

These and more Belford residents are waiting for you!

The first book in the Belford Stories Series!

Contemporary fiction novel. If you enjoyed Flagler Beach Fiction Series from the author you'll enjoy this book!

A bit of a change of pace for me with some small town every day fiction featuring a diverse cast of characters and the little dramas and worries that affect normal people...... family dynamics, marriage, kids, teenagers, abandonment, relationships, friendships, rivalries, mistakes, employment, poor choices, popularity, insecurity, money worries, hopes, dreams, resentments, grudges, disappointments and the reliving of old glories.

I liked the small vignettes which the author served up, as the focus changes from character to character from chapter to chapter, with some overlap and intersections. I could visualise a similar narrative with the little dramas served up for my own English town thirty years ago, and I'm guessing it wouldn't be that different from Rosamilia's New Jersey Belford. Maybe with a town carnival replacing a big football game.  

No real mystery or mayhem about the events which feature, but I really liked the author's ability to make the everyday and mundane worthy of my attention and interest. That said we do venture into adulterous territory with blackmail and some minor drug use. Some of our stories don't have a finite outcome as such. A bit like our own lives. One problem gets solved or deferred and is soon replaced by another issue which causes worry and needs attention. There's some joy in the book, not every tale is a Debbie Downer. Life has it's fair share of rewarding moments and surprises.

There's a real smoothness to the writing that I perhaps hadn't expected to encounter. It's a book I enjoyed a little bit more than I anticipated. 

Armand Rosamilia has written three other sets of Belford Stories, each set a few years apart and hopefully carrying on and picking up with the same set of characters that I've just met. I'm looking forward to Belford Stories 2 sometime soon.

4 from 5

Read - (listened to) December, 2020
Published - 2016
Page count - 224 (5 hrs 25 mins)
Source  - Audible purchase
Format - Audible


  1. What an interesting way to explore small-town life, Col. I think there is that similarity in small towns, that people's lives intersect. And whether it's a sports game, a carnival, a parade or something else, there is usually an event that draws them together. I'm glad you found the writing smooth and interesting. It sounds like an interesting choice when you're ready for a break from crime fiction.

    1. Margot, I definitely want to continue with this series, as much from curiosity as to seeing where the characters I've met end up. Nice to have a break occasionally from crime, crime, crime.