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Mysteries of Winterthurn (The Gothic Saga #3)

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  220 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
The first paperback reprint since 1986 of the author's favorite among her several acclaimed and controversial Gothic novels.

In Mysteries of Winterthurn, the brilliant young detective-hero Xavier Kilgarvan is confronted with three baffling cases—"The Virgin in the Rose-Bower," "The Devil's Half-Acre," and "The Blood-Stained Gown"—that tax his genius for detection to the utm
Hardcover, 482 pages
Published January 25th 1984 by Dutton Books (first published 1984)
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Oct 08, 2009 Kinga rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Everyone read Bellefleur or them or Blonde. Everyone loved them. Me too. But this is an author who should write approximately tenth of the amount she is actually writing and stop and think first instead. 75% of her oeuvre is – although very popular in Reading Clubs I guess - totally mediocre (and I am very generous now). Mysteries of Winterthurn is not an exception either.

Success traps you much more easily than failure. While failure might discourage you success often makes you stuck-up and over
Laura J. W.
Feb 22, 2011 Laura J. W. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, it was a wild read...very intense at times, I could not put it down, I stayed up way too many nights late reading it! It was over the top creepy and beautifully written too...if you can imagine, an odd combo, beauty and creepy, not quite a 'you got chocolate in my peanut butter''s one of those combined flavors you've never had before and not sure if you're gonna like...which is a typical JCO novel. There are books that are an acquired taste and some books require a reader to have the f ...more
Sarah Pierce
Jun 16, 2008 Sarah Pierce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a HUGE Oates fan now. This is a book I borrowed from my mom, who is also an Oates fan. The book is put together as three Victorian crime novellas, all featuring the same detective, Xavier Kilgarvin, at three different points in his life and career. It’s definitely odd to try to get into Victorian-style writing, and it’s amazing to me that Oates immersed herself so much in a bygone era. I’m still not certain what went on in the first mystery…
Sep 19, 2015 Michelle rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
I once read an article which listed a Top 10 of Gothic Novels, and Mysteries of Winterthurn was on the list. I decided to try and track it down, along with some of the others, as I thought 'Gothic' might be a genre I could be interested in.

I've had the book for two or three years, but only just got around to reading it now. Unfortunately though, I couldn't get past the first couple of pages. I couldn't get on with the Victorian style of writing (though I've been able to in other books), and I ju
My Inner Shelf
Joyce Carol Oates nous propose avec Les mystères de Winterthurn un roman aux accents gothiques délicieusement prononcés, mais nous surprend par sa forme inattendue et tout à fait originale. L’action se déroule à la fin du XIXe siècle, dans l’est des États-Unis, et nous plonge dans l’intimité d’une famille déchirée donc les trois héritières auront un bien étrange et tragique destin.
Xavier, jeune rejeton de la branche « coupée » des Kilgarvan, démarre précocement une carrière de détective en enquê
Anne Hawn Smith
Nov 15, 2013 Anne Hawn Smith rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I have read the first two books in this combined novel. I have to say I have been disappointed. There are so many loose ends in the books and so much is left to the reader to explain. I understand that the author started from the idea that crimes do not all have tidy endings, but some major plot elements, even ones that lead to the conclusion are just left dangling. I could write a "locked-room" mystery if I didn't have to explain how the murder was committed or who did it, and I am not a writer ...more
The Wee Hen
I first read this book back when I was a spring chicken and I was confused, entranced and mystified by it. Many years later I found it a bit less thrilling, but probably because I have been rather maxed out by the genre and what I once took to heart I now saw as satire so overwrought I wanted to fling it across the room.
Oates' prolific, formidable, intimidating and brilliant catalogue is unassailable and I'm not interested in assailing her. Who am I to tilt at that career? But this book feels li
Feb 02, 2009 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of a quartet of Gothic tales told by Oates, and this book containes three tales. The first of them - The Tragedy of Glen Mawr Manor - seemed so obsessed with deaths that in the second one - The Mystery of the Cruel Suitor - I decided to keep track of how many there were. Here is my list though it may not be exhaustive: Seven members of the Furlow family "disappeared", Dulcie Inman's father vanished, five young women were murdered (Eva Teal - 16, Effie Godwit - 19, Dulcie Inman - 17, ...more
Frank Ashe
An interesting approach, though I found the voice of the narrator to be grating at times.

This book was on the shelf for way too long before I got around to reading it. Oates is somebody I'll have to read more of. this book lived up to the reputation I've noted she has.
May 25, 2014 Linda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
At first I enjoyed Oates' attempt at writing in 19th century English, but the plot wore thin, and at the end of the first part of the trilogy, I stopped.
May 17, 2015 Tom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oates takes the conventions of mystery writing and mystery reading and gives them a good solid shaking. A fascinating read, never going where you expect it to. Solutions are for suckers.
Nov 20, 2008 Alexis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alexis by: Oat
I really enjoyed this book. It took me weeks to read and almost did me in but I finally finished. I wish that there were better scholarship on it out there as I am not sure what happened in several instances despite careful re-reading of the pertinent passages. I guess I'd just love to take a class on it so I could learn how to read it in order to understand what happens. I guess a degree in literature from an good college did not equip me for everything.
Aug 06, 2015 Charlene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not a fan of Gothic tales. Found online with one Click Digital. Desperate for a book ! Could not stop listening! Loved. Loved. Loved.
Oct 21, 2012 Venessa rated it liked it
Three connected murder mystery stories written in the style of the nineteenth century and concerning the detective Xavier Kilgarven. Oates explores her familiar themes of domestic violence, rape, incest, faithlessness, and love. I found myself getting lost a lot, my mind straying from the language, which I felt contrived in spots. Otherwise, good - typical JCO.
Edward Creter
This is like the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo before the Dragon Tattoo--only better! All the ingredients are here--family secrets, murder, a human detective fed a daily overdiet of Sherlock and Poe's Dupin--i. e.: something for every JCO fan!
Jun 08, 2013 Carmen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For readers who like them gory and garish.
A thriller complete with a hellish, romantic hero. The secrets of Winterthurn are dark and violent. Evil grips the town smothering its first families in a demonic spell. Lurid, bloody, shocking.
May 22, 2009 Mj rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book about different murder mysteries related to real life cases!
Mar 16, 2013 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
as per usual a delightful, sensitive writing.
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Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Book Award and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction. She is also the recipient of the 2005 Prix Femina for The Falls. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University, and she has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978. Pseudonyms ... Rosamond Smith and Laure ...more
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Other Books in the Series

The Gothic Saga (5 books)
  • Bellefleur
  • A Bloodsmoor Romance
  • My Heart Laid Bare
  • The Accursed

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“Much of the time he lay part-dressed on his bed, sipping gin, and thinking, and thinking, - though what it was, of which he thought, he seemed not to know.” 0 likes
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