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Cheating back blurbs
I've just come across something funny: A back blurb of a regular mystery novel piggybacking on the popularity of gothic romances. It's Mary Roberts Rinehart's "The door", well-known though not one of her best, according to my Google results. I've had it in my bookcase for decades and both the cover and the blurb give the impression that it is a true gothic romance.
Quote:When young and lovely Mary Martin passed between the great stone gate posts of the lonely manor, she imagined she was merely assuming a pleasant job for the summer. Certainly the elderly spinster who had hired her as a companion had given no hint of anything amiss behind the thick shrubbery that shielded the house, and the drawn curtains that repelled the burning sun.
At first all seemed to go well. Even better than that. For there was a man, too -- a man who was all Mary had ever dreamed of. But that was before the terrified girl realized the horror enveloping her, the nameless evil that lay behind a door that should never be opened, but refused to stay locked...

Not true, not true, not true!!

Here's another description I found on the net:
Quote:Sarah Gittings, Elizabeth Bell's family nurse, has just been brutally murdered. But all thoughts of a homicidal maniac running amok are banished when the evidence reveals that Sarah actually knew and trusted her murderer. Now, Elizabeth Bell is about to discover that her staid and orderly household harbors more than one suspect with a motive--and unfortunately, more than one victim.

It turns out that not Mary, but the "elderly spinster" is the protagonist. Mary is her secretary for a while and makes but a few appearances in the book. The door also plays a very minor part, as I understand it. There's a scene where a fake person adds a clause to a will, which happens in a hotel room, and this is discovered because in the second hotel room there is no door in the wall where the first hotel room did have a door.

So talk about feeling cheated! I've obviously never read a book by Mary Roberts Rinehart, or I would have known what kind of books she writes. But never mind, I think it's just funny to see how the publishers for this edition (1968) thought they could get more readers when they described the book as a gothic romance. It shows how important the genre was at that time.
Have you just discovered this, Charybdis ??? If so, lucky you!!
However, you are absolutely right. I couldn't begin to describe to you the many books I have opened with great anticipation, (falling for the words on the back and the alluring picture on the cover), only to find that I held no gothic romance in my hands, but only a counterfeit, usually a mystery or historical romance.
In fact, I believe to my chagrin that I am reading one right now. I may post a review about it one day. On the front cover it says . . . "She was a bride of terror in a place of living death." And on the back. . . "Wed to Evil."
This sounded quite promising! But I am over halfway through the book and as you said so well, "Not true, Not true, Not true !!
Ah, the old bait-and-switch. No punishment is too harsh.

One book I ordered, falsely blurbed as a Gothic, was called So Dead, My Lovely. Although it turned out to be a mystery-thriller, the title alone makes it worth keeping.

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