I am not particularly a fan of romantic suspense, except for Mary Stewart, but I do love old-fashioned gothic romance, which fits this square as well.
Vintage gothic romance has been a stable of my Halloween bingo games since the very beginning, in 2016, when we started HB with a group read of Ammie Come Home by Barbara Michaels. This was great fun, a ghost story set in Georgetown, of all places, and first published in 1968. It was just the right amount of creepy.
In addition to Ammie Comes Home, I have read:
- Falonridge by Jennifer Wilde
- The Looking Glass Portrait by my friend, Linda Hilton, who also plays Halloween Bingo with me on Goodreads
- Greygallows by Barbara Michaels
- Listen for the Whisperer by Phyllis Whitney
- Columbella by Phyllis Whitney
- The Walker in the Shadows by Barbara Michaels
- The Lost Island by Phyllis Whitney
- The Sea King’s Daughter by Barbara Michaels
- The Singing Stones by Phyllis Whitney
Last year, in 2020, was the first and only year that I didn’t read anything by Michaels or Whitney. I’m surprised to see that there aren’t any Victoria Holt gothics, and also that there isn’t any Mary Stewart in past bingo games. The large number of Phyllis Whitney books makes sense to me, though – Open Road has reissued her entire backlist, and I’ve ended up buying most of them as they have gone on sale for $1.99 to $2.99. And my library has a bunch of the Barbara Michaels ebooks, so that also makes sense. This is one of the great things about ebooks – many of these old fashioned gothics that are long out of print are newly available through small publishers (same is true of vintage mysteries).
Last year I was browsing my UBS and someone had just dropped off a stack of old paperback gothics. I grabbed some of them and have been kicking myself ever since for just not buying them all – this is a lesson to me. There have been a few times that I have let books that I wanted go unbought, and I’ve always regretted it. I have never regretted buying the book. I love old paperbacks and used copies are difficult to acquire. A lot of them are pretty battered, but they were quite a find nonetheless.
So, this year I am planning on something by one of my big 4: Holt, Whitney, Michaels or Stewart. I have many that I am considering, including:
I own unread copies of Emerald and Airs Above the Ground and they are waiting for me on my kindle. I also checked out Into the Darkness by Barbara Michaels. If I end up not reading it for this round of bingo, I am sure I will check it out again at some point.