Sunday Morning Decadence

Took my own sweet time getting up on Sunday. Made myself some coffee and a bagel and spent the morning in bed devouring two gothic novels I’ve been meaning to read for ages.

There’s this writer, Francis Swann, who wrote some of my favorite episodes of Dark Shadows and a couple of years ago, I did a little research on him. He had an interesting if predictable career. Started out with a hit Broadway play, ended up in Hollywood writing screenplays that gradually went from A-pictures to B-pictures. Then he wrote a number of soft gothics and eventually wound up his career by writing for Dark Shadows.

Anyhow, I started out with a number called The Brass Key. Sweet young thing [SYT] goes to her father’s hometown of Seco, Maine with the mission of connecting up with her newfound relatives and also of clearing her father’s name. Unfortunately for her, her grandfather, who runs the town claims that she’s a gold digger and that her father never existed. Whole town seems to be against her. Weird things happen. Some local color. Things go bump in the night. Eventually all is resolved.

Second one was decidely inferior. The cover proclaims that You’ll Hang My Love is soon to be a major motion picture, but I can’t find any trace of that. It’s co-written to boot. Premise isn’t too bad, but the execution is . . . well, let’s just say this is pretty awful. Set in a small village in England, but there’s absolutely no attempt at establishing an English voice for any of the characters or for that matter there’s no attempt at authenticity whatsoever. Anyhow, the SYT in this one is waffling about getting married and is spending time with her grandfather. Turns out that when she was a kid, she possibly witnessed an awful tragedy involving a drowning. Things start getting weird with the mother of the drowning victim real fast.

Still, there are worse ways to spend a morning…


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