Blackmur's first novel, a modernized gothic, features a determined heroine; two handsome suitors (one brooding; one charming); an unhappy child; a scheming woman; a lush estate, and a hushed-up family scandal: Julian's wife and his brother were ""eloping"" when their plane ""accidentally"" crashed. When Galen meets aged, somewhat feeble artist H.L. and agrees to help him with his biography, H.L.'s son Julian suspects she's after his money, and his daughter-in-law Carla agrees. Only dear family friend Johnny Foote wholeheartedly approves. Before you can whisper ""sexual tension,"" Galen is distrusting Julian, confiding all to Johnny, placating Carla. befriending the family retainers, and discovering a Hermes saddle hidden in the stables, a score! passageway in her estate cottage, and a cache of stolen paintings in her root cellar. Before she can right all wrongs and fling herself into the appropriate masculine arms, Galen falls from a horse, is concussed, locked in her room and almost strangled, but, pro forma, she lives to marry the heir. Very little suspense, but the horse sequences are knowledgeable and the writing serviceable. Still, strictly for the romance crowd.