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Zebra Gothics

My planned tasks got taken over today by my passion to build a Zebra gothic database. A few years ago I started a list which today I converted to Excel and expanded-- and I am still adding titles.

I developed a passion for these books when they first came out. I remember seeing them in Murder by the Book, a book store I frequented with my aunt in the early 1990's. She was only too willing to buy me any mystery novel I liked-- but I had never succeeded in replicating her taste for mysteries, and my fancy strayed instead to these florid, dramatic covers. My aunt refused to buy me any-- little did she know she was fanning the flames of my deep passion for gothic romance, which has far eclipsed my interest in any other genre fiction.

When the Zebra gothics appeared on the secondhand market years later, I collected and read through them rapidly. I did not appreciate the fact that as years advanced, they would grow scarce. Unlike the 1970's gothics, these books have no collectible value and are nearly worthless. Some, I have no doubt, have been destroyed by secondhand booksellers.

As a tool for myself and as assistance to anyone else collecting these novels, I am building a spreadsheet, which will eventually have a dedicated page. Unlike the Sunfire or Victoria Holt series, I have no means of verifying that I have catalogued every book. I will also scan the cover and rear summary, since I find those invaluable in determining if I have read a book, and also because in their own right, they are pretty amazing, sometimes amazingly awful.

Site summary to be modified: Zebra Gothics; core group of authors, diverse locales, traditional gothic format. Some novels are counted among my favorite; some formulaic and awful; some seem accountable for outright plaigarism. The covers: some strikingly beautiful, some hilariously horrifying, a great archive of late 1980's, early 1990's re-interpretation of historical dress. Captures the gothic grotesque in more ways than one.

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