Monday, September 10, 2012

Witch Queen of Lochlann: A Mystery Solved

   One summer, when I was ten or eleven, my family was visiting my Aunt Myrtle in Apalachicola Florida. We used to go down there a lot because my aunt loved to have us, and she had a big house and lived near the beach so it was a great place for vacations. Anyway, Apalach, (as the locals called it) has become a pretty well known resort area now, but it was just a small fishing town back in the day. That particular summer we had stopped by a drugstore, one of those old fashioned places with a soda fountain, a huge magazine rack, comic books, and the whole nine yards. I was already a bookworm and had just discovered sword & sorcery, so when I spotted a book in a big wooden bin full of paperbacks, that featured a guy on the cover wielding a sword against what looked like a flying shark, I snatched it up. If memory serves the book, which was used or remaindered, was 35 cents.
   I remember liking the book, but somehow, like many paperbacks I had in those days, I lost it. What's funny is, years after reading the book, I could remember most of the plot, but for the life of me I couldn't recall the title or the author. A few years ago I decided to try and find the book but I couldn't find anyone who had a clue what it might be. I remembered that the narrator was some sort of private eye and that he owned a sword and a shirt of mail, and that he ended up following a woman into a parallel world where she was a queen and where magic worked. Still I could not recall title or who wrote it.
   The other day I was searching on Ebay for old sword & sorcery books and I spotted a cover which looked familiar to me. I zoomed in on it and spotted the purple flying shark and the little bell in the back of my head went DING! The title was WITCH QUEEN OF LOCHLAND, and as soon as I saw it I knew it was the long lost book. So I ordered a copy of course and I got it today and read about half of it.
   It's terrible.
   But that's okay, because the ten year old me loved it and he would want me to have it. Plus, I no longer have the book mystery hanging over me.


Beth said...

That is about the BEST re-discovered book story ever. I'm so glad it was terrible, too, that just makes it classic. :-)

Charles R. Rutledge said...

Yes, that part cracked me up too, Beth.