Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Death Lives in the Mansion

Death Lives in the Mansion by Douglas Locke
published by Magnum Books
Copyright 1967


Someone - or something - wanted
Lyman Harpur to die ... die in agony!
Helen Peters watched her patient
in his trance and knew that his soul
was suffering the torment of the
damned ... and the medical doctors
could do nothing to save him!
Their science belonged to the
wrong world. Yet Helen knew that
Lyman Harpur was being murdered
before her very eyes ... and the
would-be killer was his wife!

But which wife?

Was it beautiful Phoebe, current
mistress of the mansion in the
French quarter of New Orleans -
beautiful and vindictive Phoebe?
Or was it Celest, the first Mrs.
Harpur - Celest, who was dead!

I think you answered your own question.

What a fabulous cover. Like something for Night Gallery, but in a good way. No signature and or info inside. I'd love to see the original.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Darwich Castle

Darwich Castle by Bettina Kingsley
published by Dell Books
Copyright 1974

Return of Darkness

Darcy Hudson's perfect beauty was unscathed
(well, that's what's important) but the very
foundations of her sanity seemed shattered
by the shocking death of her husband. Painstakingly
the doctors sought to rebuild the stricken widow's
stability, and she thought they had succeeded - until
the doors of Darwich Castle swung open to her. (what, by themselves?)

From the moment she entered the gloomy hallway,
Darcy felt tremors of foreboding. (i'm surprised that
she didn't turn around right then. I would have. I
mean, any sane person ... oh yeah)
The warm invitation
to visit suddenly seemed a cold-blooded jest. (sounds
like a After School Special I saw once)
love for the man who gave it turned to suspicion
and fear. For this place was ruled by a dead girl
whose power reached out from beyond the grave -
and whose instrument of evil was a dark horse and
a shadowy rider that only Darcy could see, as she
felt herself being picked up and borne back into the
nightmare world of madness ...

WOW this book inspires yet another empty promise! I will read this book and report back to you about its total greatness.

The cover art shows no signature only an illustrated lesson on why insane people should avoid heavy eye make-up.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fear the Light

Fear the Light by Elizabeth Ferrars
published by Dell Books
Copyright 1960

Home of Horror

Peggy Robertson thought she had left the
small town where she was raised far behind
her. Peggy had won honors at college, settled
in the city, and now, despite her good looks
and comparative youth, already had launched
a brilliant career as a scholar and teacher.

But now Peggy was coming home ... back to
a house haunted by violent death and strange
mystery ... back to a man who was a genius
or a devil or both ... back to a love that could
not be spoken, and to a deadly danger that
would not be denied ...

Back to the embarrassing decorating choices of the nouveau riche. Of course if I ever came into any real money I'd purchase my own concrete lion, so I'm just jealous.

Another good thing about money, beside affording concrete lions, is that with money you can hush anything up. Anything, even the scandal of a "love that could not be spoken" and we all know what that is.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Nine Coaches Waiting

Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart
published by Fawcett Books
Copyright 1958


coiled in the shadows behind the brooding elegance
of the huge chateau. It lay there like some dark and
twisted thing - waiting, watching, ready to strike.

Was it only chance encounter that had brought
Linda Martin to Chateau Valmy? Or was it something

Now she could not even trust the man she loved.
For Raoul Valmy was one of them - linked by blood
and name to the dark secrets of the Valmy past.

"A wonderful hue and cry story ... a Mona Lisa tale that
beckons you on while suspense build up."

"A gripping tale ... the suspense is upheld to the very end.
... A rewarding experience."

This book makes a good point. When you chose to connect yourself with someone, be it through love, married, or business, you are connecting yourself to their families. So that is why my rule is to avoid connections with anyone with a potential tainted blood line. My husband being the one exception.

No signature on this cover, but a first for show them being pursued
by someone from the house from which they are running. Very nice touch! But she really needs to work on her hiding techniques. And how about what she is wearing, our pursuer appears to be wearing a warm coat and the trees have already dropped all their leaves but our damsel has chosen to run in a short shirt and heels. I personally wouldn't hire a governess that couldn't teach my children, at least, the most basic of survival stills. Please!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Out of the Fog

Out of the Fog by Dan Ross writing as Clarissa Ross
published by Magnum Books
Copyright 1979


The three neighboring houses on
Maine's seacoast seemed lost in the
fog, cut off from the rest of the world.
The houses belonged to Vera Waters,
her aunt - and now there was a strange
new family, who came shrouded in
mystery as deep as the fog. Who were
the Harpers? Just two men and a
woman who, as they claimed, liked the
area? If so, why did Aunt Samantha's
astrological readings, usually happy
and frequently correct, warn Vera
of impending danger?

The threat to Vera's sanity and life
become brutally clear the day a private
investigator arrived in town. One of
the Harpers, and Detective Egan, was
mad, haunted by an ancient murder -
and driven to kill again! Vera, equally
compelled, found herself the unwilling
bait in a trap more terrifying than
her worst imaginings!

I know exactly what Vera is going through. I know that more than once I had to wonder at the true motivation of my own neighbors. It is hard to believe that so many people would actually want to move into a housing development on a edge of Galloway Ohio. Really? You liked the area? I doubt it.

Also, what is that outfit. It's like she is a flasher. Well I guess the white gloves make her a "fancy" flasher, but still.

No signature on this one but this just one more reason I totally want to visit Maine. That has got to be the most exciting State in the Union.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Man in the Shadow

The Man in the Shadow by Rae Foley
published by Dell Books
Copyright 1953

Season of Evil

It all began for Natalie Garrett as an idyllic
vacation at her grandfather's estate near the
resort of Beach Haven. Summer was over, the
tourists had left, the forest and lake were hers
to enjoy undisturbed.

But Natalie had not counted on a handome
stranger name Bill Brown, his life haunted
by a terrible crime. Or on the mysterious
Swedish count and countess, with their
strange links to a nightmare Nazi past. Or on
the horror that opened up before her terror-
bright eyes as she stumbled upon a secret it
was death to discover, and trembled in the
arms of a lover she could neither trust nor

Rae Foley,

whose novels of romance and intrigue have
made her famous throughout the world, has
created one of her most gripping and sus-
penseful tales in THE MAN IN THE

Wow! The one had a little bit of everything. handsome strangers, counts, countesses, Nazis, I don't know where this Beach Haven resort town is but it is hopping!

I believe the illustrator nailed it here. If you have a lover that you can neither trust nor resist, a white cotton granny nightgown is the way to go. From my understanding it was 1953's version of the chastity belt.

Again, we have a signature here. I'm not sure I have it correct. But looks to read Bloscoma. I have not been able to track down any information on this one.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Isle of the Unded

Isle of the Undead by Virginia Coffman
published by Signet Books
Copyright 1978

In the Land of Voodoo ...

St. Cloud, the tropical island where dashing Sir Anthony Fisher
and his beautiful (if a little cross-eyed), wealthy wife, Leslie, made
their home while Tony worked
on his latest novel ... St. Cloud, where native
drums beat out a nightly rhythm calling the islanders
forth for a dance of death ...

And what started for Leslie Fisher as a last attempt to save
her marriage soon became a nightmare of terror as
she helplessly watched Tony fall under a deadly voodoo spell.
Fearing for Tony's life and her own, Leslie turned
desperately to handsome Governor Edmund Durrell for help.
Edmund, devoted to Leslie, swore he would protect her.
Yet the enemy they faced drew on a force much older and more
powerful than any civil authority - a force that once
roused would never let its victims escape ...!

It is hard to believe that there could possibly be any one or thing more powerful then a local government official, but there you have it.

And really, why does one of her eyes appear to be lazy? Unless her lazy eye plays some sort of role in our story I'd think the artist would have changes that. But I haven't actually read the book so who am I to judge. Her eye could play a very important rule for all I know BUT since our back cover synopsis seems to all but tell you the thrilling conclusion of the tale, you'd think they would have mentioned it.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Next week I'll be launching a blog dedicated to Romance Comics.

As Told To Stan Lee

Click on the image to take a look.

The Third Spectre

The Third Spectre by Dan Ross
published by Macfadden-Bartell Books
Copyright 1967

to Terror ...

The newlyweds had come home to the
Marchand mansion. But the silent old manor
house quivered with hidden terrors.

Their life together had just begun, yet,
suddenly, it faced a horrible - and abrupt -
ending. For the beautiful bride had just re-
ceived an invitation to die. And the murderer
was near ... very near ...

The best thing about this book, besides the fabulous eye shadow, is the name of Dan Ross. Under that name Marilyn Ross, Dan Ross wrote 32 Dark Shadows novels between 1966 and 1972.

While, sadly, only the cover of the 2nd novel is graced by a woman running from a house, the Dark Shadows book series is an entertaining addition to one of these best, if a little cheap, Gothic television shows ever.

Thought breaking on my cover rule, I'll be dedicating all of October to the Dark Shadows series of books.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Silence Is Golden

Silence Is Golden by Elsie Lee
published by Dell Books
Copyright 1971

What nameless evil?

Silence Eddington had been given her name
by the old woman who had found her as a
motherless baby. Now Silence was nineteen,
lovely and alone, wondering what her future
might hold.

It seemed too good to be true she
became companion to the mysteriously ailing
young heiress of Hazelhurst Grange. Here
Silence was treated like a lady born and bred,
her beauty and charm softening even the
harsh, handsome features of the master, the
strangely distant James Ffolliott.

How could she know
that soon the love
around her would turn to
hate? How could she
dream that she was being
wrapped in the
tentacles of evil reaching
out from the
nightmare past ...?

I love this cover. Who wouldn't be intimidated by such decor. Of course there is no information on the artist.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Mortissimo by P.E.H. Durston
published by Dell Books
Copyright 1967


Barbara Eliot was young, bored,
wealthy and beautiful. This was her
first trip abroad; she had visited
London and Paris and was spending
the last leg of her college
vacation in Rome.

Her hosts were a charming,
ultra-sophisticated English couple,
and all signs pointed to her having
a pleasant if uneventful time
in the Eternal City ...
until the shattering events of one
horror-filled night. Now Barbara
wandered lost through
the Roman streets with a story
about a dead man that no one
would believe ... shadowed by
a pursuer who would not let
her escape ... and with only
the dubious protection of a
man as fascinating as
he was mysterious ...

I personally think when one signs up for a "Grand Tour of Terror" one really should be prepared be frightened and not look quite so putout about it.

Here again we have a wonderful little various on a Women Running From Houses cover. Here we have our lovely American tourist hiding from some exciting Roman ruins!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Polly, the Worried

Polly, the Worried by Katheryn Kimbrough
published by Popular Library
Copyright 1979


is one of the spellbinding novels in the greatest
series of gothic romances ever conceived.
You won't want to miss the others,
all exclusively in Popular Library editions.

For many women the Phenwick name seemed a blessing
worth any sacrifice. But for lovely Polly Phenwick, it
was a curse she would do anything to escape. Polly was
born and raised a Phenwick, and from childhood on
every man she loved was struck down by violence and
death. Now when Polly looked into a mirror, she did
not revel in her beauty, but saw it as a trap to lure men
to their doom. Yet still they came, one after another,
refusing to heed her warnings and her pleas. How could
she save them? How could she save herself? As love
turned to self-loathing, the sighs to shudders, Polly
desperately tried to flee her Phenwick fate - and found
herself at the gates of a living hell...

"Soon to be a major TV series"? I would have totally watched that show! But I can't seem to track down if it ever actually came to be. Either way, apparently Katheryn Kimbrough's Saga of the Phenwich Women was a popular series, numbering at least 35 books (number 35 being Letita, the Dreamer) that I am aware of and inspiring an one online fan club here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Good-Bye Julie Scott

Good-Bye, Julie Scott by Alice Abbott
published by Ace Books
Copyright 1975

Julie Scott had never known her
grandfather, but nonetheless he had
left her a sizeable fortune. However,
her grandfather's house was a dilapi-
dated ruin, and his servants, the
Moons, kept her a virtual prisoner.
Then Brian Campbell, her grandfather's
lawyer, claimed her inheritance was
valueless and suggested she leave
Rosemont at once.

Frightened and bewildered, Julie
turned to friends from her past - only
to find that they were an evil part of
the sinister present ...


Back in the good old days when the Surgeon General had ONLY found cigarettes to be dangerous to our health in some general sort of way, there was a place called Newport, a place (sandwiched between pages 64 and 65) that was Alive with pleasure! And in that now mythical place there lived Ontonio J. Gabriele who had no reservation about letting the world know he was the one responsible for the mediocre illustration gracing the cover of Good-Bye, Julie Scott. Good for you Ontonio!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Alibi for Isabel

Alibi for Isabel by Mary Roberts Rinehart
published by Dell Books
Copyright 1971


To lovely young Sally Fielding, beautiful
and sophisticated Isabel Eaton had seemed
a kind of savior, rescuing Sally from misery
and deprivation, and opening up a whole
new life of happiness and fulfillment. (and plunging necklines)

But now all that was to be paid for. Now
Isabel had summoned Sally back to the old
Eaton mansion that held such horror-filled
memories of the past ... and Sally was
faced with the agonizing choice between
losing the man she passionately loved, or
becoming the helpless instrument of
Isabel's evil ... (is it really that hard a decision?)


whose bestselling novels have thrilled mil-
lions the world over, has in these spellbind-
ing tales of romance and intrigue created
one of her most memorable triumphs.

Apparently Mary Roberts Rinehart originally published this one in 1941 under its original name of Test Blackout. It was again published in Good Housekeeping Magazine under the name The Time is Ten. Again there is no cover art credit or signature on the art but check out her figure!

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Claws of the Crow

The Claws of the Crow by Ruth Wissmann
published by Warner Books
Copyright 1974

"Don't let Veda walk upon your shadow!"
"Don't let the crow clutch you in his claws!"

My timid Aunt Lydia whispered the warnings
when my Aunt Veda could not overhear. But,
these were the hesitant mumblings of a brow-
beaten spinster who trembled before her older
sister. I was young and strong, and before I
yielded to fear, I would discover for myself the
secrets behind the locked doors in this brooding
house, learn the truth about the mysterious
deaths, and feel the hot, heavy weight of evil

So I gather from the cover that our heroine is inheriting either the Psycho House or a Great Aunt's bird. I vote for the bird, as there is always a damn bird when someone passes away that plans to out live us all.

I suspect the Illustrator had just seen Psycho and couldn't think of anything any scarier. It was the house or a hotel shower. The house just made more sense.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Willow Pond

The Willow Pond by Mary Kay Simmons
published by Dell Books
Copyright 1972


Kate Morrison was glad to get the job as
private secretary to the Bentons, even
though she found their great mansion re-
mote and lonely. Almost in passing, the
Bentons told her of the death of her prede-
cessor, who had mysteriously plunged into
the icy waters of the Willow Pond, deep in
the woodland of the sprawling estate.

At first Kate thought nothing of it. That
was before she found herself falling in love
with a man she suspect was evil ... be-
fore she began to wonder at the strange
medical experiments conducted behind
locked doors ... before she realized that she
must discover the horrifying secret of the
Bentons or else be the next victim of the
Willow Pond ...

Okay, this cover is a portrayal of two extremes. A visual battle between comfort and conflict. Firstly, Kate looks very cozy in her warm cable knit sweater overlooking the biggest pond I have ever seen. But on the other hand, her face looks as if she is sickened, (maybe she has even thrown up a little) perhaps by her attraction to the wrong kind of men. But let those without sin cast the first stone. Which one among us hasn't found are selves drawn to an EVIL mad scientist type.

On another note, I would think that Mary Kay Simmons would have enough pressure trying to sell her Women Running from Houses book on a shelve with so many other Women Running from Houses books, but to have to share your own book with an advertisement for another Author just seem unfair. Especially when the sales pitch is a high pressure as this ...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Ghost of Channing House

The Ghost of Channing House by Genevieve St. John
published by Lancer Books
Copyright 1967

AND HORROR (quite a promising start)

The Channing Mansion was a bizarre pile of
stone stucco ... and misguided hopes. Anita
Collins could remember it only as she had first
seen it: barren, dripping with cobwebs, nearly
ghostly in its state of neglect. Its new owner
had spent thousands of dollars to rebuild it,
furnish it elegantly, and restore it to pulsing,
exciting life. But Anita was right ... for death
hovered over the house, striking unpredictably
and apparently without reason. Death
interrupted the first opulent dinner party; death
lurked in every shadowy corner and cranny ...

Anita was merely a guest, but she felt strangely
responsible. Perhaps, she thought, she might
cast rational light on the seemingly supernatural
menace when others could see only looming
terror. But then it began to appear that only
Anita's own death would lift the sinister curse -
and she learned what real fear was!

Firstly, Anita needs to let go of the past. How disappointing it is to spend thousands of dollars on cleaning up a place only to have your mopey house guest dwell on past cobwebs. Now, the whole death around ever corner thing is a whole other story. But still, she is no life of the party.

The book as a whole is only added to by the wonderful addition of a 4 page foldout advertisement for TRUE® Cigarettes. I don't know about you, I haven't really read a gothic romance novel that warranted a smoke afterwards.

I can't find a credit on the cover art but I think this illustration is pretty sharp. I mean, I can easily image the overwhelming need to flee a newly remodeled, cobweb free house that was so powerful that I would leave without my shoes.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Unsheltered

The Unsheltered by Dewey Ward
published by Signet Books
Copyright 1966

They had made her an outsider

They had killed her mother, the only person Sara King ever
loved. Now, they nakedly coveted Seabrea, the neglected
hilltop estate - Sara King's last possession.

Mobilized by hate, Sara King struck out. Her target was an
entire community. Her weapon was her breathtaking beauty.
"The book may be highty plotted, but it is well plotted. Mrs. Ward has the storyteller's knack to keeping people in motion."

"An exciting and engrossing examination of the emotional degeneration of a warped and wondering human spirit."


an autobiographical novel


It's the roring sensation of the crazy sixties.

Again, no artist listing here but a nice cover. The story is a nice change from the everyday gothic formula.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Nightmare at Riverview

Nightmare at Riverview by Angela Gray
published by Magnum Books
Copyright 1973

Nightmare House

The plantation house was a three-story, white
frame structure wiht a large portico to the north,
a wide versanda at ground level. The porch was
pillared with thin, fluted columns and the green
blinds offered a pleasing contract to the white
of the walls. It was a house built for happiness,
and for many years the people who lived there had
been happy. But now a gray cloud seemed to
hang over the property, coloring the emotions of
Janet Bowen. Her father was dead, brutally
murdered - and the man convicted of the crime on
Janet's testimony had sword vengeance against
her - even though he was locked behind prison
walls, waiting his appointment with the hangman.
And now it seemed as though someone - or
something - was carrying out his threats as Janet,
besieged, could not fight off the terrors that had
taken control of her life!

Again, no artist information inside or out.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Captain's House

The Captain's House by Mary Kay Simmons
published by Dell Books
Copyright 1970


It was on a dying August day that lovely
Hilary Blair first saw the Claymore man-
sion, high on a cliff above the pounding
ocean, its twin towers jutting violently
into a dimming sky.

A maid led Hilary into the great dining
room, with veiled, averted eyes. There
the Claymores waited, their faces in flick-
ering candlelight, their eyes glittering
with strange intensity as Hilary introduced herself.

Outside night descended. But no night
could rival the black void reaching out
to claim this girl who had come as a
guest - and now felt, cold against her
skin, the tightening grip of evil...

I don't have anything to say about this that the back cover text doesn't say for itself.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Winter Castle

Winter Castle by Alexandra Bel-Robere
Art by Vic Prezio
published by Popular Library
Copyright 1972


Vinterborg (Winter Castle) stands high on a perilous
cliff, overlooking a deep, swift-running and dangerous
fjord. According to legend, a Viking king had build it as
an abode for the Gods.

Now, it is a hotel where the orphaned American girl,
Freya Clinton, has come to work as hostess and tutor
to the little son of its mysterious English owner.

But there are sinister things about the place: madness,
hidden danger and a dark unspoken secret. Freya is
aware that some great force - human or supernatural -
is holding her prisoner for its own evil ends.

QUEEN-SIZE GOTHICS are a new idea. They offer the very best in novels of romantic suspense, by the top writers, greater in length and drama, richer in reading pleasure. Each book is guaranteed to be: "READING FIT FOR A QUEEN"


Reading fit for a queen? How exactly does one go about judging that? I would have to believe that they would have to have had a queen on the payroll.

Okay, so this is quite possibly the greatest Women Running for Houses art I have ever seen. It is without a doubt my favorites cover. My copy of this book has nearly all of the signature cropped off. The name appears to start with an R or a B. But I have not been able to track down the artist. If you recognize the artist please let me know.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Shadow Over Grove House

Shadow Over Grove House by Mary Linn Roby
published by Signet Books
Copyright 1973


Since her husband's tragic death the year before,
Amanda Harcourt had been living in somber
seclusion in her father-in-law's lonely Victorian
house. And now, this stranger, Michael Kyd, a
darkly handsome man who bore a disturbing
resemblance to her dead husband, had crossed the
threshold and declared: " was no accident that
your husband died...he was MURDERED!"... And
so the stage was set for a drama of hate and greed
that would plunge her into a turmoil of malice-
and passion.

Step by step, terror by terror, Amanda learned the
truth about her husband's death. But not before
she was torn by a growing fear of the man she had
come to love...

The art for this cover is signed by Allen Kass. There is a fabulous group on Facebook dedicated to his work where you can view a vast number of his cover illustration. Click here to see their gallery of nearly 600 Kass covers.