Saturday, September 11, 2010
This Gothic novel is my first one by Maybury; it's another Ace Gothic, published in 1962. I must say that the cover is lovely-- hunter green and black background with a lovely raven haired woman in a champagne colored dress. The author and title stand out in silver, sparkling lettering. This image is a poor one, but that is the cover of the one I have.
The settings were Vancouver, BC (where I lived for a couple years, so that was neat) and London. I had high hopes when I saw the setting. The heroine, Vonnie, meets a man-- Nigel-- and falls in love on a train back to Vancouver. He promises to contact her after his brief stay is over there; she doesn't hear from him after months pass, but she knows he lives in London.
Her friend, Myra, gets a sudden invite to see her old Uncle Joss in London; she doesn't want to go due to a chance to reconnect in Mexico with a lost love, so she offers the trip and an impersonation assignment to Vonnie. Vonnie accepts, and off to London she goes as Myra, in her place. She arrives right after the murder of Uncle Felix and a house with secrets. And then... the story stalls out. It lingers through a boring afternoon and too many exclamation points. Only the heroine and Uncle Joss were remotely interesting.
I thought 80 pages was enough to give the novel. There were virtually no Gothic elements other than secrets and a murder-- and a friendly cat. :) The atmosphere was nil. I'll try another by Maybury, but this one simply fell flat.
I don't recommend it...