Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Fog Hides the Fury

Paul Hugo Little (1915-1987) authored novels in genres like historical-fiction, romance, erotica, gothics, and crime-fiction. Supposedly, Little authored over 700 novels in his career, averaging a novel every week and a half beginning in 1963. He used numerous pseudonyms like Marie de Jourlet and Leigh Franklin James. My first experience with Little is his gothic novel Fog Hides the Fury. It was published by Magnum in 1967 under the pseudonym Paula Minton. 

Arlene Dade inherits her family fortune when her father dies in an automobile wreck. The fortune stems from a shipping business created by her great grandfather. Since she was a young girl, Arlene has been living with her Aunt Clara, a sickly woman plagued by asthma attacks. After graduating college, Arlene begins an honorary career of attending her company's legislative and leadership meetings to determine the future of the company.

After having her purse snatched at a local restaurant, a young man springs into action and runs after the thief to retrieve the purse. Arlene marries the man, and later discovers that his family had partnered with her family in the shipping business until things went sour to create an amicable split. Could this whole purse-snatching skit just be a sham so that the man can get Arelene to fall in love with him? Is he secretly hoping to marry into her fortune to gain a free ride on easy street?

Unfortunately, the plot is revealed just like it sounds. There is no shocking twist here, as Aunt Clara even predicts the book's ending. At 218 pages of large font (Easy Eye edition), Little simply goes through the motions of writing a narrative about Arlene's life. Her childhood, high school, college, marriage, and discovery of her husband's deceit is all wrung out of this boring, plodding narrative.

Magnum lists “gothic” on the book's spine, but the novel doesn't really have much in common with a gothic aside from a large house (in San Francisco for God's sake) and some thick fog. It's missing the mysterious painting, rumors of ghosts on the upper floors, the family curse, and a penchant for the dark and spooky. Granted, there's a shoreline, a family secret, some bumps in the night, and two deaths, but nothing that stands out as atmospherically “goth”. 

If you are wanting a predictable romance novel, then by all means track this one down. If you want entertainment, look elsewhere. The book is average at best.

Buy a copy of this book HERE

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