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

Our April author interviews: Perennial author Susan Wittig Albert--4/5, Sasscer Hill, horse racing insider--4/12, English historical, cozy author, TE Kinsey--4/19, Debut author, Susan Bickford--4/26.

Saturday Guest Bloggers in April: Heather Baker Weidner (4/1), Christina Hoag (4/8), Susan Boles (4/29). WWK Saturday bloggers write on 4/15--Margaret S. Hamilton and on 4/22--Kait Carson.

Julie Tollefson won the Mystery Writers of America Midwest Chapter's Holton Award for best unpublished manuscript (member category) for her work in progress, In The Shadows. Big news for a new year. Congratulations, Julie.

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.

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.

Linda Rodriquez has two pending book publications. Plotting the Character-Driven Novel will be released by Scapegoat Press on November 29th. Every Family Doubt, the fourth Skeet Bannion mystery, is scheduled for release on June, 13, 2017. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Linda here in June!

Cross Genre Publications anthology, Hidden Youth, will contain Warren Bull's "The Girl, The Devil, and The Coal Mine." The anthology will be released in late November 2016. The We've Been Trumped anthology released by Dark House Press on September 28th contains Warren Bull's "The Wall" short story and KM Rockwood's "A Phone Call to the White House." KM writes under the name Pat Anne Sirs for this volume.

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.