After Dark in the Playing Fields…

… is not the title of the book the above detail was taken from (The Troubled House by Kate Booton) nor is it a ghost story by M. R. James (well it is, but not for the purposes of this post). No, this is the name of a rather lovely blog bestowing pleasing terrors and warnings to the curious. And Mlle Ghoul has been kind enough to ask me a few questions on my fascination with gothics. So if you’re curious too, follow the link here:  After Dark in the Playing Fields.

And if you want to find out more about the book behind this gorgeous cover, here’s the rest:

Written by Kage Booton. Paperback Library Gothic. First printing January 1966.


Even before Beth Bellamy was offered the job of secretary to brooding, secretive novelist Stanley King, she had heard rumours that he was keeping his wife virtually a prisoner in his gloomy old house. But Beth discounted the ominous whispers and took the job anyway.

From the first she was fascinated by Mrs King’s perfect beauty. Why did her strangely intriguing husband act so cruelly toward her? Why did Debbie, the daughter of Stanley King’s first marriage, fearfully avoid her stepmother? And why did Mrs. Bales, the old housekeeper , openly hate  the lovely Rika King?

At first only her curiosity prodded Beth to explore the mysteries of THE TROUBLED HOUSE. But when an “accidental” death occurred, Beth became not merely a bystander but a potential victim. It was then that she realized curiosity could kill more than a cat – it could kill her!

I’ve not found out much about the author except that she also wrote under her real name of Catherine K. Booton. Other gothics she’s written include Place of Shadows and The Toy. I found this obituary for her on the web, taken from The Buffalo News dated September 1994 –

A private memorial service for Catherine K. Booton, 75, a former North Tonawanda resident who wrote mystery and suspense novels, will be held in Pennsylvania.

She died Tuesday (Sept. 6, 1994) in her home in Selinsgrove, Pa., after a long illness.

Born Catherine Kage in Philadelphia, she grew up in North Tonawanda and graduated from North Tonawanda High School and Perkins Business School.

She left Western New York in the late 1940s and moved to Selinsgrove in the 1960s after living in Amsterdam and Canajoharie.

She married John G. Booton Jr. in 1942. He died in 1987.

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. That interview made for an absorbing read, I particularly liked your unresolved plot-line for the perfect Gothic Romance. It is very heartening to see this gorgeous blog gaining recognition and i’m also very glad to have found After Dark In The Playing Fields which i was previously unaware of. There really is some marvellous stuff about!

    PS: That ‘Troubled House’ cover is another absolute beauty.

    • Cheers demonik, yeah – another gorgeous paperback library cover, where would I be without them?! I’m pretty sure this one’s a Marchetti.

  2. That was a great interview, Sara. Interesting to see how you came to enjoy the Gothic Romances and their covers. And I enjoyed the After Dark site quite a bit. I’ll have some more Gothic related stuff up at my blog as Halloween gets closer as well. There are some interesting links between sword & sorcery and the Gothic novels like Otranto, Udolpho, Melmoth, etc.

    • thanks Charles – and I’m looking forward to learning more about Conan’s more gothic adventures!

  3. If you are looking for info on Catherine Kage Booten, I (Katherine Kage) am a relative.

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