Widow in White

The Defenceless Target Of A Mysterious Intruder

It began on a rainy Saturday afternoon as Margo was entertaining her new neighbours at a small housewarming party. A car ran into one of the trees on her property, and an injured man was soon installed in her guestroom.

But the smashup, Margo soon learned, was no accident. The handsome, ruthless stranger was after something in the house, and nothing – not even Margo herself – was going to stand in his way of getting it.

Copyright 1973 by Morris Hershman. First Avon printing, January 1973. Cover art Walter Popp. (Thanks Ruben!)

The goddess of all gifts second-hand has been very good to me recently, with at least one lovely gothic a day picked up at the local charity shops this week. Monday’s acquisition was the very fair of face Widow in White and oh, how I love this cover!

One thing I’ve noticed about my Avon gothics though – the cover art is usually stunning but the covers are particularly vulnerable to wear and tear. Quite often the artwork is almost completely scuffed off. This one is in very good condition for an Avon gothic – well, for one found on this side of the Atlantic anyway.

Here’s a taster from the inside cover:

Morris Hershman (born 1926) wrote under several pseudonyms, including Sara Roffman, Janet Templeton, Lionel Webb and Jessica Wilcox. And it’s his Evelyn Bond persona that looks to be the most prolific, with at least twenty gothics published in the 60’s and 70’s.

Here’s a short biog on the author, taken from the Browne Popular Culture Library page:

Morris Hershman was born on January 31, 1926. He attended New York University. On September 6, 1969, he married Florence Verbell, a writer and editor, though they are now divorced.

Hershman writes under the pseudonyms: Evelyn Bond, Arnold English, Sara Roffman, Janet Templeton, Sam Victor, Lionel Webb, and Jess Wilcox. He also writes under various other private pseudonyms. A member of the Mystery Writers of America, Morris Hershman resides in New York City.

And some more information, with scans of all his lovely gothics, can be found over at Fantastic Fiction HERE.

House of Hate

The Gathering Storm…

The stately mansion of the Thibaults was filled with the treasures and the memories of gracious living… but it held more than that. The world of the Thibaults had been shaped by art and music, but something in the house seemed to feed on a vicious undercurrent of fear and frustration. When Norma Theale came on a mission of mercy, she became a catalyst, around which a storm of dark furies gathered… waiting to burst and spew its evil over all. Because Norma was there, someone was going to die…

Would that someone be Norma herself?

Written by Dorothy Fletcher. A Magnum Book – Complete and Unabridged. Copyright 1967

A little bit of April tomfoolery to usher in the first of the month today. Paul McCartney played the Royal Albert Hall last week and his backing video to Paperback Writer at first glance looked to be a rather fabulous montage of Nurse Romance paperback art.

Nurse romances were very big in the 50′s and early 60′s before the gothic romances eclipsed their popularity. Mind you, the nurses in Sir Paul’s video look rather sinister (something about those surgical masks… and those little trickles of blood..) and they look as if they would be right at home in a gothic, assisting in the horrific experiments of some mad professor, somewhere deep within the dungeons of an isolated asylum…

Anyhow here’s a glimpse of the video taken from another show of his:

I don’t have any Nurse Romances myself, but I have a few gothics featuring nurses on the cover and House of Hate is one of them. Another is Leap in the Dark, written Rona Randall with a stunning cover by Lou Marchetti, which I’ve reviewed earlier on in this blog.

And if you want to have a look at some real Nurse Romances, check out The Vintage Nurse Romance Novels blog HERE.

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