Mystery and Crime Bowen, Marjorie: Album Leaf. v1. 27 Jan 2023
#1  GrannyGrump 01-27-2023, 06:34 AM
Bowen’s writings present recurring themes of darkness, the supernatural, and the gothic in combination with the historical. Her “Shearing” novels, while based on true crime, still retain sinister gothic undertones. This book is purported to be based on a case in a book of French criminology. (Bowen stated the book and the specific case were lost “in the Blitz” during WWII.)

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Album Leaf, also known as The Spider in the Cup, explores the case of a governess who fell in love with the wrong man and was suspected of being an accomplice to a murder among relatives with a vast inheritance as the motive.

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“A young orphaned Englishwoman accepts an offer to become a paid companion to two reclusive aristocratic women in France. There she encounters the daughter of the house, badly scarred following her suicide attempt after she had been unable to marry a cad now serving in French Algeria, and her prospective husband, a cousin named Louis who is clearly after her money and spends a lot of his time experimenting with his chemistry.”


Margaret Gabrielle Vere Long (née Campbell; 1 November 1885 – 23 December 1952) was a British author who wrote historical romances, supernatural horror stories, popular history and biography. Her total output numbers over 150 volumes, with the bulk of her work under the pseudonym “Marjorie Bowen”, the name she is mostly known by. She also wrote under the names Joseph Shearing, George R. Preedy, John Winch, Robert Paye and Margaret Campbell.

Bowen’s books are much sought after by aficionados of gothic horror, and received praise from many critics. Several of her novels were adapted for film.

Album Leaf was first published in the UK in 1933; published in the USA in 1934 under the title The Spider in the Cup.
This book is in the public domain where copyright is “Life+70” or less.
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