Help A Bitch Out

HaBO: We Know the Book - We’re Looking For It

Katie has a different spin on the HaBO but I figured this was SO insane I’d post it to see if anyone knew where she could find a copy.

So, this HaBO comes by way of my aunt, who recently got hooked on a series of novels (and when I say series, I mean there are 40 books) called the Saga of the Phenwick women. These are paperbacks, billed as Gothic Romance. After a little Googling, I determined they were actually written by a man (John Kimbro) who adopted a nom de plume for the Phenwick books (Kathryn Kimbrough). They were written between 1970s-1982 and have names like “Iris, the Bewitched” and “Yvonne, the Confident” and “Rachel, the Posessed.” (The opportunity for comedy here is unbound, I tell you.)

However, the last book in the series, “Belinda, the Impatient” (1982) is really, really hard to find. AbeBooks has one listed for nearly $80 and there is only one complete set on eBay (for $200, which seems like a relative bargain). Do any of your voracious readers know of some good used romance stores that might be able to scrounge up a copy? Or could check their local libraries and see if any might have it where it could be requested?

If it had been written in 2011 instead of 1982, I would have thought it was just a bit of clever viral marketing—write 39 addictive books, then write the last one with a mocking title (“the Impatient”) and make it really hard to get. It’d be like if Diana Gabaldon wrote the 8th Outlander book, entitled it “Hahahaha” and Random House only released a dozen copies. In Finnish.

This blurb comes courtesy of and is magnificently WTF.

“When Oliver Phenwick travels to Bavaria to dispose of the castle he has inherited, he and his group fall prey to a manical killer. Undaunted, Oliver remains determined to trap the anonymous culprit who keeps threatening his wife, Letita. So he hires the pretty young Belinda to impersonate her. But Oliver has no idea that Belinda’s life will soon be endangered by someone in their midst. Nor does he know that she will be taken hostage at the will of an evil hypnotist…”

Katie’s looked online, and found some ridiculously expensive copies. She’s also enquired at her library – but they don’t have a copy that they can find. But this series is full of the Crazysauce, so in the spirit of today I figured I’d ask if you knew of a copy, perhaps at a used bookstore, or if you’ve read this book and can tell us if it seems as magical as the blurb makes it seem!



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  1. 1
    MB says:

    Okay, according to Firstsearch, she may be able to access a copy through inter-library loan.  The Montgomery County, Norristown Public Library supposedly owns a copy, and the Library of Congress lists one as well.  I don’t know about Montgomery County, but the Library of Congress will lend for a smallish fee of $15.00.  Good luck!  Hope this info helps.

  2. 2
    Marnie says:

    I noticed a copy sold a few days ago on eBay for $16. It may be worth adding to your watch list.

  3. 3
    Jen G. says:

    I’d already pulled up a Firstsearch when I saw your comment, MB :-)

  4. 4
    Karenmc says:

    No idea where to find a copy, but Sarah, when will the contest for new titles be launched?

  5. 5

    Right? A contest for new titles would be supreme. Thanks for the Firstsearch tip, I’ll point my aunt in that direction!

    Katie, the Inquisitive

  6. 6
    redgirl says:

    Yes! Want title contest:

    Gertrude the Beleaguered

    Olga the Exsanguinating

    Priscilla the Pungent

  7. 7
    Deadline Hell says:

    Amelia the Defenestrated

  8. 8
    Gail says:

    As MB noted there are a few scarce copies out there, ask your local librarian to file an outer-library loan request with one of them. My local library got a book shipped from California to Wisconsin for me so I can attest this system does work! Depending on how aggressively online your local library is they may have a spot to fill out the request on their website. Good luck :)

  9. 9
    Nadia says:

    Hannah the Hirsute

  10. 10
    Anony Miss says:

    Hildegarde the Hangnailed
    Prissy the Perverse
    Prudence the Prudent
    Debbie the Dragonbreathed
    Isabella the Irritating
    Tessie the TSTL
    Mylyssa the Myspelled

  11. 11
    redgirl says:

    Karin the Krrrazzzy

    Marsha the Militant

    Opal the Opportunistic

    Sally the Sweaty (or, alternately Patti the Perspirerer)

  12. 12
    appomattoxco says:

    I read those when I was 9 or 10! So I guess they were my first romance series and I never realized it.

    I kind of thought of them as “Dark Shadows” rip offs.

  13. 13
    LauraGr says:

    Apparently one sold on ebay not too long ago for $16 +$4s/h. I’d keep checking there.There are lots of paperback swap websites. That might be a good resource, too.

  14. 14
    Veronica says:

    Can I just ask: Do you usually post HaBOs as and when you receive them, or do you space them out and post on a schedule? I submitted one before Christmas and I check back quite regularly to see if it’s been posted, but nothing so far.

  15. 15
    lizzie(greeneyedfem) says:

    Oh man, I think the contest is already moot. Deadline Hell made me snort-laugh with “Amelia the Defenestrated.”

  16. 16
    Nichole says:

    Indigo the Indefatigable

    Rowena the Rambunctious

    Louisa the Loquacious

    Wendy the Wingnut

    Renesmee the Imprinted

  17. 17
    Trinket says:

    OMG!  I have two of these! (Yvonne the Confident, and Ophelia the Anxious). I picked them up at the dollar bookstore about a month ago just for the WTF-ery.  Now I feel strangely compelled to track down the entire series…

  18. 18

    ROFL! I had to put my two cents in:

    Selena the Salacious
    Carrie the Curmudgeon
    Odet the Osculater
    Diana the Despoiler

    Spam word: building54 – building 54 new titles for a non-existent contest!

  19. 19
    DreadPirateRachel says:

    Veronica the Voracious
    Barbara the Barbaric
    Catie the Curvaceous

    This is fun; I could do this all day!

  20. 20
    Ellie says:

    Oh, this is too much fun.  Too bad Anony Miss beat me to the idea of T*** the Too Stupid To Live. 
    Evelyn the Evocative
    Dorcas the Dork
    Minerva the Mediocre
    Daphne the Daft
    Deirdre the Derelict
    Macayla the Macabre
    Chloe the Clingy
    Madeline the Malodorous (inspired by RHG’s Sally the Sweaty)
    Mandy the Manic Depressive
    Whitney the Witless
    Geraldine the Geriatric
    Mary Beth the Face of Meth
    Sadie the Sadist
    Beatrix teh Buttseks

    And in the interest of sex equality,
    Patrick the Prick
    Quincy the Quixotic
    Don Juan the Delusional
    Vic the Slick
    John the Unoriginal
    Dylan the Disillusioned

    This is why I shouldn’t visit this site when punch drunk from lack of sleep and willing to procrastinate.
    Ellie the Espresso Fueled
    spam word: forward63.  As in Fiona the Forward.

  21. 21
    JoanneF says:

    Oooh, sophomoric humor.  The best kind!

    Felicia the Flatulent
    Hortense the Horny
    Arabella the Aroused
    Belinda the Bootylicious
    Flora the Flexible
    Madeleine the Malodorous
    Francine the Frigid
    Priscilla the Promiscuous
    Vanna the Vapid
    Hilda the Hideous

    The possibilities are endless……………..

    spamword trial83.  I think I’ve tortured everyone enough, although I could come up with 83 titles.

  22. 22
    Kinsey says:

    Sophia the Superfluous

    Annie the Anorgasmic

    Hortensia the Hot to Trot

  23. 23
    katieM says:

    Millicent the Magnificent
    Alma the Amoral
    Barbara the Barbarian
    Constance the Constant
    Constance the Constipated
    Rebecca the Remanded
    Gloria the Glistening

    Ha! church33.  Maybe I need to go to one.

  24. 24
    Susan Reader says:

    Kasey Michaels did a bunch of Regencys back in the day with the same sort of titles: Lurid Lady Lockport, Savage Miss Saxon, Toplofty Lord Thorpe (equal opportunity!), and so forth…

  25. 25
    Wendy says:

    I ought to take umbrage at the suggestion of “Wendy the Wingnut”, but I LOL’d, so you’re forgiven.

    And Gloria the Glistening! That goes nicely with the HaBO that was just posted! LOLOLOL!

  26. 26
    Gwynnyd says:

    Saexburgha the Insatiable

  27. 27
    BethC says:

    My all-time favorite used bookstore is The Dusty Bookshelf in Manhattan, KS:  They have an incredible number of books at the main store and the second store in Lawrence, KS.  They also seem to be able to find things that no one else can.

  28. 28

    The Toplofty?


  29. 29
    Anon76 says:


    Patty the Punani

  30. 30
    PamG says:

    Abigail the abstemious
    Andrea the androgynous
    Wilhemina the weepy
    and her triplet cousins,
    Selena the slippery
    Sally the slick
    Serena the Sere (takes after Aunt Frieda the frigid)

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