If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com

Our September Author Interviews--9/6 Kathleen Valenti, 9/13 David Burnsworth, 9/20 Jeri Westerson, 9/27 Frances Brody. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

September Saturday Guest Bloggers: 9/2--Anne Bannon, 9/9 WWK Bloggers, 9/16 Margaret S. Hamilton, 9/23 Kait Carson, and on 9/30 Trixie Stiletto.


“May 16, 2017 – The Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA) today announced the finalists of the second annual Star Award, given to authors of published women’s fiction. Six finalists were chosen in two categories, General and Outstanding Debut. The winners of the Star Award will be announced at the WFWA Retreat in Albuquerque, New Mexico on September 23, 2017.” In the general category, WWK’s Carla Damron was one of three finalist for her novel, The Stone Necklace. Go to Carladamron.com for more information. Congratulations, Carla!

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Sight Unseen" in Fish Out of Water, Guppie (SinC) anthology, just released, and "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Once a Kappa" was published as a finalist in the Southern Writer's Magazine annual short story contest issue. Mysterical-E published her "Double Crust Corpse" in the Fall 2016 issue. "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.

James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.
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Friday, September 16, 2016

The Blank Wall by Elisabeth Sanax Holding: A Review by Warren Bull

The Blank Wall by Elisabeth Sanax Holding: A Review by Warren Bull



Published in 1947, The Blank Wall inspired a movie Reckless Moment in 1949 and a second film The Deep End In 2001. Raymond Chandler described the author to his British agent as …”the top suspense writer of them all.”

Of all the heroes and heroines I have encountered in mystery novels over the years, Holding’s Lucia Holley may be the most unusual. That is because she is so ordinary. Holley is a housewife. She married at age eighteen, going from daughter to wife with no stops between the two. She never held a paying job or spent time on her own as a single person. She defines herself in terms of her relationship with first her parents and then her husband.

Now at age thirty-eight with her husband away at war, her lovely seventeen-year-old daughter, Bee, is dismissive of Lucia’s life and not nearly as capable and sophisticated she believes she is. Lucia’s son, David, and her father try to be supportive, but each has his limits. Lucia doesn’t want to worry her husband. She writes letters daily that she fills with trivia. She does not admit her fears for his safety or the trouble brewing at home.

The biggest challenges she faces daily are dealing with the limitations imposed by a war economy. When Bee’s new beau, a sinister character roughly twice Bee’s age, shows up at their home, events take an unexpected turn that calls for more decisive action, guts and determination than Lucia has ever shown. Her maid, Sibyl, could be an ally if Lucia can overcome the distance between herself, a white housewife, and an African-American maid who has no illusions about the way of the world.
The author presents a realistic picture of a woman who has to face demands she is totally unprepared for.  I don’t recall any author writing about a heroine like this.


In my opinion the author does a great job and I am happy to recommend this book highly.

7 comments:

E. B. Davis said...

The book sounds very much like it has a character-driven plot, Warren. I love when ordinary people take extraordinary action. It shows that there is a positive spark and grit to even the most mundane people. And, no one is really mundane. Everyone possesses greatness. But what is the writing like? Stilted language? I often hesitate to read books written in the 40s or earlier. They can be a lot of work.

Margaret Turkevich said...

Fascinating premise, but I agree with Elaine. How dated is the language?

Shari Randall said...

Another fascinating pick. I wonder how closely the movies hew to the book? I may be looking on Netflix.
Some books written that long ago do show us - as books do - a mirror held up to society, with all the language and attitudes of the time. I'll be interested to see how it plays for us today.

Julie Tollefson said...

This sounds fascinating. I'm a big fan of ordinary people finding the grit and determination and strength that readers -- and maybe the characters themselves -- didn't think they had.

Warren Bull said...

I found it highly readable. The language was one of the strengths of the novel. I should have included that in the review.

Kait said...

This book sounds fascinating. Thank you for the introduction, Warren!

KM Rockwood said...

Sounds like something I need to put on my TBR list!

Thanks, Warren.