What started out as promising kind of fell through for me and instead of empathizing with the heroine I just got annoyed with her. Only a three Doom Tower rating on this one because we have a girl with as much detective power as Scooby Doo and no curiosity even when everyone around her lets hints drop left and right.
Corry Collins is an orphan living with her aunt and uncle. Her aunt will never talk of her mother and considers her a fallen woman but won't elaborate for Corry. Corry works as a clothes designer in her aunt's shop. She is suddenly approached by Creagh DeVaney the owner of a famous Irish design agency. She is immediately attracted to his good looks and can't believe it when he offers her (an unknown) a design job in Ireland in his castle's workshop. Corry takes the job and goes with him only to be thrust into a mystery. There's a curse, a sunken treasure ship, a peg-legged ghost, a crazy relative and a hostile family - not to mention an ages old castle and abbey (with relic) that is peppered with hidden chambers and dungeons.
As a side note one of the main features of this book is an ancient sanitation system in which each room had pretty much an outhouse built into it. There is a seat with a hole that was designed so waste was taken through the castles walls. In the book, this system that is no longer in use is used by the bad guy to travel from one room to another in the castle unseen. Now the question I have is do these things really exist? It just doesn't seem like a good way to dispose of waste to me - I mean wouldn't you get poo and pee all over the walls and it would just stay there and smell bad? I thought the main items used were chamber pots and outhouses? Any history buffs out there that know anything about this?
First cover is the American edition of the novel, artist unknown - the one strange thing that jumps out at me about this one is the heroine's bracelet, its an odd ornament that really stands out and is not featured in the story. Second cover is the German edition of this novel - big thanks to Andreas Decker who emailed it to me, he is a contributor at The Groovy Age of Horror. He adds that this one got a new title in its republication as Nightmare in the Castle. No clue on the second artist either.