THE DEVIL'S DOOR by Robert Neill


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Witchcraft in Good King Charles' day, but dull stuff indeed, with a thin plot slogged down in historical background and draggy exposition. Sir Laurence Linley is preparing for his daughter Mary's marriage when the wedding preparations suffer supernatural sabotage--the butter refuses to chum, and two townsmen drop dead of mysterious causes. Who are the witches? Old gaptoothed Ann and sassy young Jill, Sir Lory's sorriest (non-paying) tenants. Their accuser is mad Presbyterian preacher Heron (a former Roundhead now out of a job because of The Restoration), abetted by Janet Dunn the buttermaker, whose husband was one of the fatalities (and who herself pretends to be catatonically possessed). Sir Lory presides over the final trial, such as it is, at which the witches are acquitted when measured by old Roundhead requirements for guilt. But otherwise he just nods and listens to each plot development as it plods by--and only the most undemanding fans of stiffly-costumed, well-researched witchcraft drama will want to nod and listen along.

Pub Date: March 7th, 1980
Publisher: St. Martin's