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Mexican Gothic
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Mexican Gothic
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “It’s Lovecraft meets the Brontës in Latin America, and after a slow-burn start Mexican Gothic gets seriously...
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “It’s Lovecraft meets the Brontës in Latin America, and after a slow-burn start Mexican Gothic gets seriously...
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  • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “It’s Lovecraft meets the Brontës in Latin America, and after a slow-burn start Mexican Gothic gets seriously weird.”—The Guardian
     
    IN DEVELOPMENT AS A HULU ORIGINAL LIMITED SERIES PRODUCED BY KELLY RIPA AND MARK CONSUELOS • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post Tordotcom Marie Claire
     
    An isolated mansion. A chillingly charismatic aristocrat. And a brave socialite drawn to expose their treacherous secrets. . . . From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes “a terrifying twist on classic gothic horror” (Kirkus Reviews) set in glamorous 1950s Mexico.
    After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.   
     
    Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.
     
    Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness. 
     
    And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.
    “It’s as if a supernatural power compels us to turn the pages of the gripping Mexican Gothic.”—The Washington Post
    “Mexican Gothic is the perfect summer horror read, and marks Moreno-Garcia with her hypnotic and engaging prose as one of the genre’s most exciting talents.”Nerdist
    “A period thriller as rich in suspense as it is in lush ’50s atmosphere.”Entertainment Weekly

Excerpts-

  • From the book 1

    The parties at the Tuñóns’ house always ended unquestionably late, and since the hosts enjoyed costume parties in particular, it was not unusual to see Chinas Poblanas with their folkloric skirts and ribbons in their hair arrive in the company of a harlequin or a cowboy. Their chauffeurs, rather than waiting outside the Tuñóns’ house in vain, had systematized the nights. They would head off to eat tacos at a street stand or even visit a maid who worked in one of the nearby homes, a courtship as delicate as a Victorian melodrama. Some of the chauffeurs would cluster together, sharing cigarettes and stories. A couple took naps. After all, they knew full well that no one was going to abandon that party until after one a.m.

    So the couple stepping out of the party at ten p.m. therefore broke convention. What’s worse, the man’s driver had left to fetch himself dinner and could not be found. The young man looked distressed, trying to determine how to proceed. He had worn a papier-­mâché horse’s head, a choice that now came back to haunt him as they’d have to make the journey through the city with this cumbersome prop. Noemí had warned him she wanted to win the costume contest, placing ahead of Laura Quezada and her beau, and thus he’d made an effort that now seemed misplaced, since his companion did not dress as she had said she would.

    Noemí Taboada had promised she’d rent a jockey outfit, complete with a riding crop. It was supposed to be a clever and slightly scandalous choice, since she’d heard Laura was going to attend as Eve, with a snake wrapped around her neck. In the end, Noemí changed her mind. The jockey costume was ugly and scratched her skin. So instead she wore a green gown with white appliqué flowers and didn’t bother to tell her date about the switch.

    “What now?”

    “Three blocks from here there’s a big avenue. We can find a taxi there,” she told Hugo. “Say, do you have a cigarette?”

    “Cigarette? I don’t even know where I put my wallet,” Hugo replied, palming his jacket with one hand. “Besides, don’t you always carry cigarettes in your purse? I would think you’re cheap and can’t buy your own if I didn’t know any better.”

    “It’s so much more fun when a gentleman offers a lady a cigarette.”

    “I can’t even offer you a mint tonight. Do you think I might have left my wallet back at the house?”

    She did not reply. Hugo was having a difficult time carrying the horse’s head under his arm. He almost dropped it when they reached the avenue. Noemí raised a slender arm and hailed a taxi. Once they were inside the car, Hugo was able to put the horse’s head down on the seat.

    “You could have told me I didn’t have to bring this thing after all,” he muttered, noticing the smile on the driver’s face and assuming he was having fun at his expense.

    “You look adorable when you’re irritated,” she replied, opening her handbag and finding her cigarettes.

    Hugo also looked like a younger Pedro Infante, which was a great deal of his appeal. As for the rest—­personality, social status, and intelligence—­Noemí had not paused to think too much about all of that. When she wanted something she simply wanted it, and lately she had wanted Hugo, though now that his attention had been procured she was likely to dismiss him.

    When they arrived at her house, Hugo reached out to...

About the Author-

  • Silvia Moreno-Garcia is the New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed speculative novels Gods of Jade and Shadow, Signal to Noise, Certain Dark Things, and The Beautiful Ones; and the crime novel Untamed Shore. She has edited several anthologies, includ­ing the World Fantasy Award–winning She Walks in Shadows (aka Cthulhu's Daughters). She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Reviews-

  • Library Journal

    April 1, 2020

    When Mexico City debutante Noem� Taboada receives a desperate letter from her newlywed cousin Catalina, she heads to High Place manor in the Mexican countryside to investigate. As a socialite accustomed to the best that life in the 1950s has to offer, Noem� is appalled at the state of the isolated property and the deteriorating health of her cousin. When Catalina's English husband, Virgil, and Dr. Cummins, the family physician, answer her inquiries evasively, Noem� befriends Francis, the skittish, outcast youngest son who is eager to escape his family's legacy. As the clues about the manor's cursed, violent history and its patriarchal powers compound, Noem�'s chances to escape, and rescue her cousin, fade. Do the answers lie within the pulsing walls of the manor, the flora of the grounds, or the cryptic, coded dreams of its inhabitants? As clarity becomes elusive and hope of outside rescue wanes, Noem� confronts the predestined, secretive pathos of the family, hoping to rectify its corruption. VERDICT This original, well-paced novel from Moreno-Garcia (Gods of Jade and Shadow) has great gothic elements with a little VanderMeer creativity thrown in. [See Prepub Alert, 12/9/19.]--Tina Panik, Avon Free P.L., CT

    Copyright 2020 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 6, 2020
    Moreno-Garcia’s energetic romp through the gothic genre (after Gods of Jade and Shadow) is delightfully bonkers. In the 1950s, Noemí, a flirtatious socialite and college student, travels from Mexico City to rescue her cousin Catalina from the nightmarish High Place, a remote Mexican mountain villa. Catalina has recently married the chilly, imperiously seductive Virgil Doyle, heir to a now defunct British silver mining operation. Beset by mysterious fevers, Catalina has written to her uncle, Noemí’s father, telling him, “This house is sick with rot, stinks of decay, brims with every single evil and cruel sentiment.” Noemí clashes with Virgil’s father, Howard—who subscribes to theories of eugenics—along with a set of oddly robotic British servants. Beset by horrifying dreams and visions, and unsettled by a peculiar fungus that grows everywhere, Noemí soon fears for her own life as well as Catalina’s. In a novel that owes a considerable debt to the nightmarish horror and ornate language of H.P. Lovecraft, the situations in which Noemí attempts to prevail get wilder and stranger with every chapter, as High Place starts exhibiting a mind of its own, and Noemi learns that Howard is far older than he appears to be. Readers who find the usual country house mystery too tame and languid won’t have that problem here.

  • Kirkus

    May 1, 2020
    Moreno-Garcia offers a terrifying twist on classic gothic horror, set in 1950s Mexico. Inquisitive 22-year-old socialite and anthropology enthusiast Noem� Taboada adores beautiful clothes and nights on the town in Mexico City with a bevy of handsome suitors, but her carefree existence is cut short when her father shows her a disturbing letter from her cousin Catalina, who recently married fair-haired and blue-eyed Virgil Doyle, who comes from a prominent English mining family that built their now-dwindling fortune on the backs of Indigenous laborers. Catalina lives in High Place, the Doyle family's crumbling mansion near the former mining town of El Triunfo. In the letter, Catalina begs for Noem�'s help, claiming that she is "bound, threads like iron through my mind and my skin," and that High Place is "sick with rot, stinks of decay, brims with every single evil and cruel sentiment." Upon Noem�'s arrival at High Place, she's struck by the Doyle family's cool reception of her and their unabashed racism. She's alarmed by the once-vibrant Catalina's listless state and by the enigmatic Virgil and his ancient, leering father, Howard. Nightmares, hallucinations, and phantasmagoric dreams of golden dust and fleshy bodies plague Noem�, and it becomes apparent that the Doyles haven't left their blood-soaked legacy behind. Luckily, the brave Noem� is no delicate flower, and she'll need all her wits about her for the battle ahead. Moreno-Garcia weaves elements of Mexican folklore with themes of decay, sacrifice, and rebirth, casting a dark spell all the way to the visceral and heart-pounding finale. Fans of gothic classics like Rebecca will be enthralled as long as they don't mind a heaping dose of all-out horror.

    COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    May 1, 2020
    Moreno-Garcia applies a Mexican-inspired twist across a variety of genres, most recently to crime fiction with Untamed Shore (2020). Now she takes on gothic suspense with a shiver-inducing tale combining touches of Northanger Abbey with bits of the Gormenghast trilogy thrown in for good measure. Noem� Taboada, privileged daughter of a wealthy Mexican industrialist, is a high-spirited flirt who is not prone to flights of fancy and not in the habit of believing in the supernatural. When Noem�'s father sends her to check on her cousin who may be suffering delusions?or could be in danger from her new spouse?she finds a small, tight-knit family with strict rules and a troubled past, living in a mold-infested manor house. They are ruled by a dying patriarch with strong beliefs in eugenics who is oddly delighted to have another young lady come to their isolated estate, despite her inferior blood. The ever-present imagery of twisting vines and snakes swallowing their tails blends with ghostly memories of death and disease to create a fascinating atmosphere of dark dreams and intrigue.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2020, American Library Association.)

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