"Early Stuart Gothic still shines"
This is one of the earliest Anne Stuart's (Doubleday 1977).
It came out during the period when Gothics ruled the
woman's book market, before Historical Romance came along
and took command. And it's one of the best Gothics ever
written. Since Gothics are making a wee bit of a comeback,
it's a shame this book is not reprinted!
Lorna MacDougall, a big redheaded lass, must enter service
because her father fell and breaking his back. With nine
brothers and sisters, she has to secure the post on
Cameron's Landing - a small island. In the 1880s women had
few choices how they could earn a living, so she knows even
though the island is foreboding, she must impress Lady
Margaret, the matriarch of the Landing. She at first is
accepted as Lady Margaret's companion, but slowly finds
herself being the woman's "ears and eyes" in solving the
mystery of Cameron's Landing. Margaret believes someone -
someone in her family - is a murderer. Her husband was
recently stabbed to death and the killer never revealed.
Josiah Cameron's enemies were legion, so anyone about Lorna
might be the killer. It a classic Gothic with the dark
mysterious hero tossed in.
The writing is pure Stuart, though done in the traditional
first person Gothic voice. Since nearly all Stuart's books
are third person (which I prefer permitting a wider range
of emotions and actions from the hero and secondary
characters) Stuart handles this with panache. It's very
interesting to her fans to see her so effortlessly moving
through this different voice.
This book is well worth reading to any Stuart fan or fan of
Gothics or if you are looking for a super read that is a
wee bit different from today's market.
Posted September 18, 2004
Reviewed by Deborah Macgillivray
Posted November 23, 2006