Thu 28 Jun 2007
I don’t know if you know this, but I collect gothic romances. Nobody’s publishing them today. They’re dead in the water as far as today’s publishing world is concerned, as dead as can be, but from the mid-60s on into the later 1970s, they were as hot a category in bookstores and newsstands across the country as anything you can imagine, except for Harry Potter.
In the later 70s, the so-called bodice-ripper romances began to take over, and the gothics, which themselves on occasion verged into the supernatural, either continued on in that direction into occult fiction of various kinds, eventually becoming the very popular paranormal romances of today, complete with vampires, werewolves and all kinds of sexy shape-changers. Or, to continue on with the “either” in the preceding sentence, they became novels of romantic suspense, still very much a common category today.
I recently had the opportunity, while striving to “clean out” my basement, to go through a box of gothic romances I have – the ones having covers with a girl in the foreground and a spooky house in the background with a light on in a second story window – in order to add anything I find that’s new to add to Al Hubin’s Addenda for Crime Fiction IV. Most of these additions are in the form of previously unknown settings, but once in a while a brand new previously unknown title comes to fore, as happens once in the ten titles below.
All of this data is in Part 16 of the ongoing Addenda, which I’ve just uploaded this afternoon. As for Al, he’s still working and Part 17 is well under way. But please take a special look at the covers, if you would. I’m sorry they’re small enough that you can’t make out all of the details, but for variations on a theme, you probably couldn’t ask for much more than this, from a small sample of size ten.
JAN ALEXANDER. The Glass House. Add setting: Cape Breton Island (Nova Scotia)
LOUISE BERGSTROM. The Pink Camillia. Add setting: Washington state (San Juan Islands)
THERESA CHARLES. The Man for Me. U.S. title: The Shrouded Tower. Ace, 1966. Add setting: England.
SUSAN HUFFORD. The Devil’s Sonata. Add setting: Massachusetts [South Egremont].
PAULE MASON. The Shadow. US title: The Man in the Garden. Add setting: London (England).
SARAH NICHOLS. ADD: Grave’s Company. Popular Library, pbo, 1975. Setting: Ohio; past.
MARY KAY SIMMONS. Smuggler’s Gate. Add setting: Maine.
FRANCES PATTON STATHAM. Bright Star, Dark Moon. Note: Author’s full name is used on this book. Add setting: South Carolina (Charleston); 1883.
SHARON WAGNER. Dark Waters of Death. Add setting: Montana.
DAOMA WINSTON. A Visit After Dark. Add setting: Texas.