Thursday, August 29, 2019

She's an Angel Witch: The Witches Series by James Darke (1983-86)

Still so many treasures to be found in paperback horror! I was rereading a Sphere book recently and noticed this back pages ad that I had previously missed, for a horror series I had never heard of before:

Immediately I got on the Google to see what I could see and lo and behold my faithful readers I was rewarded with these delightfully vintage softcore covers for The Witches, an eight-volume series of historical horror novels by one James Darke.

If you were around in the early '80s, then these covers bring back forbidden images of men's mags like Gallery, Oui, Hustler, Penthouse, as well as MTV video starlets and instructional aerobics programs. How the janky lighting, the fog machine, and cheap set design takes me back!

James Darke is, you won't be surprised, a pseudonym; in this case, for a writer new to me, Laurence James (1942 - 2000), who wrote mostly pulp apocalyptic science fiction. The Witches was never published in the States, which certainly accounts for my unfamiliarity with it.

The few reviews I've found online range from good to not-good, neither which makes me eager to read them, but I would not pass up an opportunity to add them to my shelves! If anyone's read them, please, do tell...

3 comments:

andydecker said...

Basically this IS "Witchfinder General" and/or "Mark of the Devil" stretched into a series. Historical adventures and historical atrocities thrown together, spiced up with sex and violence. (while the historical aspects are very simple and shallow.) The novels have a lot in common with James' many westerns, like his series "Herne the Hunter" among others.

The covers are terrible unsuited, though, nothing says more "1645" than a perm and a background out of an then contemporary MTV video.

If you want to read a more fun Lawrence James novel, take "Cut" by "Jerry Bronson" about Snuff movies and a Manson like cult.

Will Errickson said...

Ah yes CUT, I've seen that cover online, amazing! Too bad the only copy for sale is $85...

John said...

I have a few of these that I bought secondhand for cheap. Haven't worked up the courage to read one yet!

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