I must have read this paperback as a teenager, probably in the 1970s. I read it in German, but I'm pretty sure it was a translation. The cover may have featured a house, with the upper story detaching itself from the rest, but I'm not sure.

It's set in the US, I only remember a love interest that leads a young man (possibly a detective) to inquire into the rich Mexicans(?) who are living in a house together.

One of the residents collects Aztec art, I think. The upshot is that the upper floor of the house is in reality a spaceship with which they want to leave the Earth, taking the young man's love interest with them. The house featured also in the German title, but the rest is a blur.

The baddie is called something ending in "cotl" or "tetl".

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    Hey, welcome to Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange! This is a nice start. Are there any more details that you can add, such as where did you read it? What language was it in (and was it translated/original)? Do you remember anything about the cover, aside from it being it paperback? Who is the 'they' that want to leave Earth? (Why do they want to leave Earth?) If you could edit with any more details, that'd be great. See also this FAQ on writing Story-ID questions.
    – Mithical
    Nov 13, 2017 at 10:59

1 Answer 1


Sorry, having to concentrate really hard on what I remember, I suddenly remembered the title. It was A. E. van Vogt's The House That Stood Still. Silly me, thank you!!!


From Wikipedia:

Through various intrigues and investigations, a California estate lawyer learns that the pre-Toltec stone building upon which his retainer's ancestor, a conquistador, built a mansion four centuries earlier, confers immortality to those who know its secret. A cult of immortals operates secretly from the house and even has spaceships capable of travel to Mars where it has a base.

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    Nov 13, 2017 at 16:17

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