Bride of Pendorric
St. Martin’s, Jun 2009, $13.95
On Capri, Favel Farrington lives with her widower father in his art studio. When Englishman Roc Pendorric visits her island, they meet and fall in love; they marry, but as they leave for his estate in Rockwell her father dies.
In Cornwall, his family especially his sister greets her with love dubbing her the “Bride of Pendorric”. However, Favel soon learns of the legend of the brides who are usually wealthy and always die young like Roc’s mom, whose portrait haunts the newcomer. When accidents begin piling up, Favel wonders if her spouse really fell in love at first sight or has he brought to her home for a sinister purpose. One thing is for sure she believes someone wants her dead, but could it be her beloved, his sister, her daughters or something from beyond.
This is a reprint of a fun 1960s gothic romantic suspense. The story line is typical of the late great Victoria Holt of a new bride in peril as she adapts to her new home. There are several suspects including the alleged ghosts, but all the possible culprits live and dead are family members by law. Although the plot feels at times too simplistic with a naïve heroine, sub-genre fans will enjoy this fine thriller filled with a sense of foreboding (a trademark of a Ms. Holt novel).