Saturday, December 27, 2014

Off My Shelf: Three Random Vintage Titles

As you know if you've looked at my 'library' link above, I have literally thousands of the vintage gothic romance novels.  My complete intent for this blog was to focus mainly on the vintage books.  However, once I delved into the project I realized (by emails from authors and Amazon book searches) that there seems to be revival of such for the gothic romance novel,  so I began to read and review contemporary authors as well as the older books.

I also wanted to extend the blog to great vintage horror movies (many whose plots move in the same ways as the vintage gothic romance novel) and even great TV shows like Dark Shadows.

And although I do read and review quite a few vintage gothics, I feel I've not been devoting as much time as I'd like to what started the whole blog (and my primary passion for these books): the vintage gothic romance.

So, I have a new weekly post I'll be adding each Saturday titled 'off my shelf,' for which I'll select a few of the vintage gothic romance novels, post some cover art and synopsis of each book so we can all enjoy the beautiful vintage artwork, see what the books are about, maybe find one you'd like to order/read, and just take a trip down memory lane.

For this week, I really just randomly selected three titles from my shelf (which has all my vintage gothics stacked every which way and is not organized at all!).

The first one really caught my attention, Haunted Lady by Mary Roberts Rinehart.


My edition of this book was released in 1942!  I do believe it to be an original first edition as it states so in the copyright page and because the price is listed as a (shocking) .40 cents.  Imagine if we could buy books that cheap in this day and age!

I cropped a part of the book, darkened it and attempted to sharpen it in photoshop for greater detail.  I've never quite seen a cover like this, especially on such an older edition...what with the mirage of the face against the background of the creepy house.

You can actually purchase a collection of 23 Mary Roberts Rineharts novels on Amazon, titled

The Best of Mary Roberts Rinehart: 23 Novels and Short Stories for a mere $1.99.

Back Cover Synopsis:

"One of the great mystery writers of the world presents a brilliant tale of suspense and sudden death in a magnificent old mansion, and of its inhabitants who knew that among them lived a killer..."

The next one I chose was The Third Spectre by Dan Ross.

I'm actually shocked by how many pseudonyms this man used in his publications!  Some of the most broadly known and well-accepted gothic romances were penned by him in the names Clarissa Ross and Marilyn Ross.  Perhaps his most famous gothic romance came from the Dark Shadows series he penned which later was developed into a horror themed TV sitcom that ran for five consecutive years.

Back Cover Synopsis:

"The gothic monstrosity known as Marchand Acres quivered with hidden, haunting terrors!

Nancy Marchand had come to live at her husband's ancestral mansion, Merchand Acres, after she and Ralph were married.  As if Ralph's crippled, dominating mother weren't enough to contend with, Nancy soon found herself fighting three beautiful blonde women for her husband's love and attention, as he drifted strangely away from her and the happiness they had known in their year of marriage.

Then, suddenly, Nancy began to sense more than her marriage was at stake...It was now her someone or something was giving her a warning that she was the next Marchand to die!"

The last I'd like to share is titled Window on the Seine by Frances Y. McHugh.

I thought the cover of this one looked rather interesting, what with the open door and the close-up of what I would suppose is a rather nice, modern-day mansion (note the stain glass!) rather than the castle on the hill in the background (I really think I prefer those most).

I tried to do a bit of research on this author but couldn't find much at all, except for a list of books on Goodreads (for which most have no cover art, sigh).  

Back Cover Synopsis:

"Ann Martin was recovering from the shock and grief caused by her parents' death by accompanying her brother on a business trip to Paris.  There, she met and fell in love with Edward MacDonald, a handsome young engineer who was en route to Cairo to  complete his work on the Suez Canal and participate in the festivities attendant on its opening.

After a whirlwind courtship, Edward persuaded Anna to stay in Europe at the home of his sister to await his return.  But in the luxurious, yet forbidding-looking house on the Seine, where Anna took up residence, strange apparitions, violent tremors, and undercurrents of political intrigue made her fear for her life."

I hope you will enjoy these new Saturday posts.

If you've read any of the books I showcase, please let us know how they were and how you'd rate them so readers can get a better idea of whether they'd want to purchase a particular book or not!

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