‘Yours Cruelly, Elvira’ by Cassandra Peterson: The Conskipper Review

Cassandra Peterson’s alter-ego Elvira has been synonymous with Halloween and horror movie culture ever since she first donned her long dark dress and beehive hairdo on KHJ-TV in Los Angeles.

And although the vast majority of her multi-generational, multi-gender audiences most likely missed the early days of Movie Macabre, the Mistress of the Dark and The Queen of Halloween has firmly established herself as one of the most recognizable celebrities in the world. Her trademark look and campy humor and comic timing have defined Peterson’s character for decades, but little has been shared about both Elvira’s rise to the top and how Peterson got her there…until now.

Peterson’s brand new autobiography/memoir, Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark (Hachette Books), answers all the questions that you ever had about the Elvira phenomenon and Peterson’s meandering, difficult journey to stardom.

As Peterson’s story begins, it is immediately evident that her sense of humor and voice is the ingredient that made Elvira work in the first place, setting herself apart from those that were unable to combine the sex appeal and comedy that she is known for. Peterson’s narration reads like an Elvira monologue throughout much of the book, even when she is relating the tales of her difficult childhood and her first attempts at breaking into show business as a go-go dancer and Showgirl.

Peterson’s distinct irreverent voice makes her story just as engaging when she is discussing living in an actual treehouse in the hills of Hollywood and when she is relating how she first became Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. Her narrative voice also allows the more harrowing and “real” elements of her story revolving around abuse or the witnessing of an actual murder outside of her apartment land with a shocking gravity.

Like Peterson’s character, Yours Cruelly, Elvira, will also interest a wide audience, from those looking for dirt on the many fellow celebrities that she has encountered over the years, to those looking for the behind-the-scenes creation of Elvira, to those looking for a heartfelt, engaging memoir.

Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark by Cassandra Peterson (Hachette Books) is available as a hardcover and audio book (read by Peterson herself!) at finer book stores everywhere.

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