Monday, November 30, 2009

The Pretty Ones

The Pretty Ones by Dorothy Eden
published by Ace Books
Copyright 1957

Pretty Ones

on earth are they talking about?)

It seemed that nothing would ever
upset the joys of marriage for Emma and
her husband Barnaby, even though she
knew little about the man she had met
and married in a matter of weeks. (so what
exactly are you basing this eternal optimism on?)

Then the unpleasant rumors started
-that Barnaby's first wife disappeared
under sinister circumstances; that no one
really knew what happened to the two
pretty young governesses who simply
ran off without cause or explanation.

Emma trusted Barnaby; there were
no questions she could or would ask him.
But when a pathetic, lonely grave turned
up in the field, her loyalty to her brood-
ing, secretive husband gave way to cold,
hard fear ...

Okay, I knew my husband (Aaron Bias - See Silver Age Gold) pretty well when we got married. In fact, I could, with all confidence say I trusted him completely. (Oh to be 21 and naive again) but I would have to say, I would not have had any hesitation is suspecting that he was responsible for a mass grave in my backyard even without all the suspicious circumstances surrounding this guy.

I mean really. Mysterious disappearances, brooding, secretiveness? Emma, that ugly shirt isn't going to save you from having your neck broken.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Darkest Room

The Darkest Room by Grace Corren
published by Magnum Books
Copyright 1969

Touch of The Dead

Toby had been Anne Gunther's first and
only love - but Toby was three years dead,
killed in a tragic car crash (as opposed to a comic one?)
for which Anne still felt responsible. But was Toby
dead? Or was he still with her, unwilling to
let her know peace as long as she still
lived the life of which he had been
deprived? (sounds kind of like a jerk)
Anne tried to escape to Edith
Allen's country house, but no matter where
she went, how far she traveled, she could
not escape from herself. She saw Toby in
every stranger, in every darkened room,
until she thought that she must be losing
her mind. The old house that was to have
been a refuge soon became a prison -
and then fantasy turned to reality as some-
one in the Allen house tried to kill her! (okay, so was
she even invited)
Was that someone motivated by living
hatred for this girl who was a stranger in
their midst - or was it the ghost of Toby,
who could not rest until Anne joined
him in eternity?

We finally have a woman smart enough to run from a house wearing a sensible matching pant and top active wear set and she doesn't think to wear shoes, or a bra for that matter! Did she leave these items in the darkest room and was unable to find them? Is Toby really such a jerk as to resent her being alive? And, if so, what was Toby's appeal to begin with? I think Anne must just go for the bad boys.

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Fear In Borzano

A Fear in Borzano by Willa Jay
published by Magnum Books
Copyright 1966


From the moment she arrived in
Borzano, Sally Grant Knew that
something was wrong. (it's a
wonder she stayed then)
servants were strangely aloof,
the workmen were sullen, the
natives unfriendly. Everywhere
there was resentment against
the small party of Americans who
were transporting the Mazzini
castle to America - and who might
find the gold that was rumored
to be hidden in the castle walls.

but the greatest danger was not
from the people of Borzano -
it was from the something unseen,
something evil, that lurked within
the castle itself. Sally was the
first to sense it - it stalked her
like a soul-hungry demon. And
the time came when her only
protection was a scream!
in the night! (and how exactly would that help?)

Who would have thought that anyone would have a problem with Americans taking one of their country's landmarks and shipping it back home. Those damn foreigners with their "but that is part of my country's history", and their "that is part our heritage". If it really belongs to them, then why did God give Americans enough money to buy it? You don't have an answer to that do you?

This cover is awesome. I would swear I've seen that fountain outside of Collinwood. And exactly how long does a wine need to age in order to taste like terror and death?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Louise, the Restless

Louise, the Restless by Katheryn Kimbrough
published by Popular Library
Copyright 1978

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.

On the surface, Louise seemed the most perfect of Vic-
torian young ladies - a beautiful, talented, charming
creature, the apple of her physician father's eye, and a
seemingly untouchable ideal to the young suitors who
flocked around her.

Only Louise knew of the fever that burned in her blood,
turning her life into an inferno of forbidden desire ... for
a handsome, worldly aristocrat with too much sensual
experience and seductive skill to be trusted ... for a
dazzling concert pianist with a wife who refused to give
him up ... for any man who promised to quench the rag-
ging fires that threatened to consume all of Louise's
hopes and dreams. There had been many Phenwick
women before Louise - but none so blessed with every
grace, and so damned by a curse that turned passion to
peril and made love another word for fear ...

Wow, who would have suspected the inferno of lust that could not be doused even by a center part and hood. Looks like the boys in town have really beaten a path to Louise's door by the looks of those ... wagon tracks?

Oh those wacky Victorians! Clearly, Louise just needs to get laid.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Moon Garden

Moon Garden by Jan Alexander
published by Popular Library
Copyright 1972


Fleeing from the tragedy of a loved-one's death, beau-
tiful Ellen Miles come to her aunt's Southern mansion to
regain her strength. Although she had only recently suf-
fered a nervous breakdown, Ellen found herself gradually
rediscovering life and romance - drawn to two handsome,
charming men and finding love with one of them.

Suddenly strange, terrifying events began to haunt her.
Were the mansion and its garden really possessed by
some diabolic force from the distance past? Or was Ellen's
illness slowly, subtly returning to poison her thoughts?

No one - not even the man she loved - believed her tales
of terror in the night. Was his affection genuine or merely
a means to keep her silent? Struggling against the dark
powers that engulfed her, Ellen began to doubt her own
sanity ...

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"


There is something wrong in the logic that would ever bring someone recovering from a nervous breakdown to a dilapidated old plantation house that looks to be sinking into the swamp. The ambience just wouldn't be good for a fragile mind. Neither would a helmet of hair that looks totally too heavy and out of proportion to your head.

And what is up with all these women falling for jerks? Rule number one, if a guy doesn't believe you when you tell him something, he is probably not the guy for you. Rule number two, if you suspect a guy is dating you to "merely keep you silent" , he is probably not the guy for you. Rule number three, if a guy likes hanging out in a dilapidated old plantation house that looks to be sinking into a swamp, once again, he is probably not the guy for you.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Two Faces of Fear

Two Faces of Fear by Julie Wellsley
published by Magnum Books
Copyright 1971

Blood in the night ...

Seacliff House was ancient, a crumbling ruin
threatened to fall into the sea. The locals avoided it,
claiming that at best it was a house of evil and
at worst - they shuddered, and quickly changed the
subject. But Mary James could not change her
mind so readily. She had accepted the job as nurse to
Gerald Winchley in a desperate attempt to
escape from London and she could not let the fears
of superstitious natives drive her back to the city.
Then the first murder was committed, and the
blood ran free in the night. Was it a harbinger of
things to come - or was it intended as a special
warning to Mary? For the murderer - or murderers -
would not be content to stop now ... and Mary
seemed marked to be their next victim!

London must really suck for someone to prefer possible death to being there. I've never been to London but obviously I should avoid it in the future. AAA should start handing this one out as a travel brochure. Sure it wouldn't be good for their tourist industry but maybe London will think twice before being worse then being murdered.

This cover totally reminds me of a Nancy Drew cover. It could be the the upturned eyes, the clean cut look of Mary James or the face that looks to be piecing together clues but it's probably just Nancy Drew's rampant hatred of London.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Drifthaven by Dan Ross writing as Clarissa Ross
published by Avon Books
Copyright 1974

A Chilling
By An Actor's

When Jean finally regained consciousness in the
hospital, her brother-in-law Ian was at her bedside.
He explained that she'd been lying there unconscious
for five years as a result of the car crash that had
taken her husband Darrel's life.

Darrel had been a successful actor, but a
temperamental one and a hard drinker. Their
marriage had always been a stormy one. Right after
she left the hospital, Jean realized that her problems
with Darrel were far from over. Her husband's
ghost began to make frequent appearances. Jean was
soon aware that Darrel intended to kill her. But a
spirit surely couldn't do her real physical harm ...
or could it?

How many of you are guessing that it is actually going to be her brother-in-law Ian. He wants all the money her dead husband left to her. He probably had control of it while she was in a comma and, after five years, doesn't want to loose it.

But it seems to me that after five years in a comma you are bound to wake up with some sort of supernatural powers. I don't see any way around it. Maybe she can read your thoughts. Maybe she knows what is going to happen minutes before it does. Maybe she can send you flying across the room with only an evil stare. It's hard to say, but one thing for sure is nobody better mess with Jean. And not just because she has a tough-girl, Camel smokin', steal your boyfriend and then beat you up kind of name either.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Inheritance

The Inheritance by Daoma Winston
published by Avon Books
Copyright 1972

She was the heiress to
a chilling legacy -
a time of terror,
torment, and death

When Mary Ellen and her six relatives chose to live
in the bleak New England mansion they inherited,
a series of bizarre and baffling events occurred.
Soon, one by one, her relatives were mysteriously
killed. And slowly, Mary Ellen began to feel that
she had inherited something she never guessed -
something creeping up on her out of a maelstrom
of fear and trembling!

I'm going to go out on a limb and say stress. I think stress is killing her relatives. I can't imagine the expense of maintaining a house of that size, not to mention the amount of property taxes involved. Good lord. I'm stressed out about my own house expenses and my place is only about ... um ... well it's just a little smaller than her place, so I should know.

What a great cover. If I was ever to run from a house I would definitely wear a cape. And, if at all possible, a dress that matched the place. In fact I think I may take this book into my next hair appointment and ask Whitney to give me "the trembling heiress". I think this is a beautiful cover. Awesome!

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Tuscany Madonna

The Tuscany Madonna by Miriam Canfield
published by Magnum Books
Copyright 1965

a strange proposal

Strangely impelled by her
father, lovely, spirited
Denise de Bonneville accepts
the wealthy stranger
Brian Cowle's unorthodox
proposal of a 'Marriage
Blanc' - a union in name
only - to save the family's
ancestral chateau Les
Cedres, which houses the
priceless painting of
the Madonna by Raphael.
By authority of the family
will, the rare painting
can not be removed from
the estate.

Reluctantly, Denise returns
to the sullen and isolated
chateau which she feared
in her childhood. Now as
a bride - surrounded by
strangers and without the
protection of her beloved
parents - Denise senses
that Les Cedres is more
ominous and filled with
unexplicable (this is not my typo) danger.

When her withdrawn
husband locks himself
and the painting in his
private chambers, Denise
knows she must fight the
enigmatic forces which
engulf her ... She knows
she must unbolt to door
to survive.

Okay, this one just sounds good. It maybe because it has a little bit of "Night of Dark Shadows" going on with it.

The cover art has an odd finish to is but I like it. It also looks to be signed "Avalon".

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Cat's Prey

Cat's Prey by Dorothy Eden
published by Coronet Books
Copyright 1952

'No-one can suggest an eerie
atmosphere and the sinister trifle
better than Miss Dorothy Eden'

When Antonia arrived in Auckland, the voice that
warned her of danger over the telephone sounded
heavy and menacing. It decoyed her away from the
hotel - and while she was away someone searched her

When she eventually reached her cousin Simon's
house, were the noises she heard in the night those of
an imprisoned and terrified woman, or just echoes in a
mind stretched to exhaustion? Surely she wasn't
imagining the light in the deserted wing ... ?

That is two book in a row with someone being menaced via telephone. Do you think Dorothy Eden had some issues to work through?

Our cover artist appeared to have signed their work "GD" but I have had no luck tracking down any information on them. You've got to love the matching eye shadows and dress though and anytime you can have a font color match someone's hair it is truly marketing genius! But, quite frankly, I am disappointment that there isn't actually a cat.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

An Afternoon Walk

An Afternoon Walk by Dorothy Eden
published by Fawcett Crest Books
Copyright 1971


shattered the peaceful sun-drenched afternoon.

The voice was the voice of a stranger. "Am I
speaking to Mrs. Simpson?"

"Yes," said Ella tensely, "I am Mrs. Simpson."

"The very lady I want. Just a word of advice,
love. Drive carefully."

The caller hung up abruptly.

Not that Ella would have wanted to talk to him.
She hated the sound of his voice. Very vulgar. But
why was he calling her all the time? Warning her?
About lots of things. Even about her small
daughter, Kitty.

"Do you know where Kitty is?" the voice

Her husband didn't believe a word of it. Told her
she was imagining things. That she was loony.

He also didn't believe about the old, empty house
she and Kitty had stumbled upon a few afternoons

But she had seen the house. And so had Kitty. And
now that she thought about it she realized that all
her troubles had begun with the visit to that house.

There was something dark and evil about the
place. Something terrible. But what? And who
would believe her even if she did find out?

Now I don't want to take sides here, but really, I'm sure her husband has some reason to not believe her. A person just doesn't up and decide to call their spouse a loon without some precedent. The poor man has probably been through all this before. He has probably struggle with it only to finally break down and accept that fact that his poor wife was crazy and very likely had passed the "crazy gene" town to their child.

How horrible for him. How utterly hopeless a place to find yourself, with no one to talk to but the loon herself.

Poor, poor Mr. Simpson.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Lute and the Glove

The Lute and the Glove by Katherine Wigmore Eyre
published by Ace Books
Copyright 1955

"Fine psychological
thriller ...
one of the best."

entertaining novel which holds the reader
in bone-thrilling suspense to the end as it
probes the strange affinity of a red-haired
American heroine for the Tudor mansion
of her ancestors.

"The past is not dead for Anne Carey
at the centuries-old estate she visits after
her father's death. Although summer
blooms outside, she alone sees a winter's
rain on non-existent window panes and
a clandestine meeting of lovers, one of
them her double.

"How Anne learns the identity of these
two, and how she escapes from them, pro-
vide unusual suspense."

Wow, this book cover holds a total of 4 reviews. The San Francisco Examiner with its "one of the best" and with The San Francisco Chronicle says it belongs on the "bone-chiller shelf". So what is this "provides unusual suspense" crap from the Washington Post? Did the reviewer even bother to read it? It sounds like a book report you write when you didn't even manage to rent the movie.

"George Orwell's Animal Farm provides an important lesson through barnyard antics."

Just seems like the reviewer is just not committed to the project. If you've got the ego to feel you can judge for others you really need to own it. Go for "You call that a suspense?" or "She actually being a man was obvious from the first." If you're not going to read it, be bold! Have some balls.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Darkwater by Dorothy Eden
published by Fawcett Crest Books
Copyright 1963

My Dear Family -

If ever you have doubts
as to what is happening, if

every you are uneasy, will
you tell me, or send a

message to me or my aunt?
If this injunction seems
like nonsense to you now,
it may not always be nonsense...


Fanny knew then that Adam felt as she did
about the strange events at Darkwater. Even
before the sudden death of the old Chinese
amah, she had sensed a chill of menace in the
atmosphere. Now there was real peril in the
mists and fogs that beshrouded the ancient
English estate. There was danger ... especially
for Fanny - ravishing, lovely young Fanny -
who was too curious and headstrong for her
own good ...

"A gem of its species." - Boston Globe

"Dorothy Eden ... knows how to build
Gothic romance as solidly as a Gothic
tower." - Chicago Tribune

Nature plays a delicate balancing act. The spiders is to a mosquito what wolves are to deer. Everything needs to be kept in check. In this case Fanny is not just lovely, she is ravishing, so it is only fair to the rest of us that she also be "too curious and headstrong for her own good".

In my case, to make up for my own breathtaking cuteness, I am a poor proofreader and grocery stores make me cry.

I had a lot of fun with Dark Shadows October but to be completely honest, I am thrilled to be back to my cover theme. Though I am on a hunt for some weird Thanksgiving or Christmas themed "woman running" cover. We'll see.