Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Lock

The Lock by Janet Lovesmith (Paul W. Fairman)
published by Popular Library
Copyright 1972


The lock was huge, rusted, ungainly. It guarded the
tomb that lay behind the old house - the tomb of the
ill-fated Gantry clan. Lyn Courtney, who had come to
work at Gantry Hill, became fascinated, haunted by
that lock. Her fears, her hopes, her fantasies cnetered
around it.

Could it explain the puzzling behavior of good-looking
Christopher Gantry? The mystery of beautiful, volatile
Lila? The invisible creature that even now was stalking
young Lyn? She must find out - if it wasn't already
too late ,,,

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So, is that supposed to be our heroine on the cover? If it is, isn't Lyn Courtney supposed to be obsessed with a rusted lock? Wouldn't it make more sense to have a big old lock floating above her head? Or, if you really want to sell books, why not depict one of those "fantasies" involving that lock she's been going on and on about floating up there instead? I'm sure that would have all the ladies cat fighting for a copy at Barnes and Nobel.

It really looks like this cover is actually less an illustration of Lyn as it is an illustration of the author thinking about "her" book. As if part of the writing method required Paul W. Fairman to don a long wig and pale lip stain, then to stare off into space and let the story unfold in his mind. Really Mr. Fairman doesn't make a half-bad woman.

If fact, this cover inspires me to write a Gothic novel of my very own. But, being that I see no real point in being subtle, my story would involve the Amityville Horror house, a virginal math tutor and a shirtless land owner with a love of horses and giving presents. Cha-Ching!


  1. Women running from houses? No, but Women with houses on their heads. I'd like to read a novel about that. A spooky, romantic tale about a woman who discovers a house is growing out of her head. Maybe her beloved young baron is living in the house?

  2. The existential agony of a migraine, graphically depicted!

  3. Pidde: I think I saw that on Night Gallery.

    Rob!: Good God man! You need to go to the doctor!

  4. Hmm .. I thought maybe it was some new style of hat. Maybe you could put beer cans in the wing towers and wear it to football games!

    Judging by the dazed and confused look on that woman's face, though, I think someone replaced her beer with absinthe.

    Or maybe maybe Dorothy Gale mistook her for a witch, and due to a miscalculation of scale, chose an inappropriately-sized weapon.

  5. Discovered this blog recently, and I'm really enjoying it. I used to love reading gothics back when I was a teenager, and have come across a few here and there in used bookstores. They seem harder to come across, though, than they should. Anyway, keep up the great stuff here!

  6. Robert: Glad you are enjoying it! I agree that these books are becoming harder and harder to find. I try to pick up any I run across because my 'as of yet unposted' stack is getting smaller and smaller.

  7. Spectergirl: "my story would involve the Amityville Horror house, a virginal math tutor and a shirtless land owner with a love of horses and giving presents. Cha-Ching!"

    Cha-ching in spades, my dear! I'd toss in a lusty housemaid who dates the local town bully, both of whom hate the landed gentry, for good measure.

  8. Mykal: I wasn't sure that my idea could actually be improved on but by God you did it!

    I think if I throw in a Satanic Cult I'll have movie offers rolling in!

  9. I just can't get over the fact that the writer's pen name is "Lovesmith." I mean, really!