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

Our March author interviews: Karen Pullen (3/1), Lowcountry Crime authors: Tina Whittle, Polly Iyer, Jonathan M. Bryant, and James M. Jackson (3/8), Annette Dashofy (3/15), Edith Maxwell (3/22) and Barb Ross (3/29).

Saturday Guest Bloggers in March: Maris Soule (3/4), and Virginia Mackey (3/11). WWK Saturday bloggers write on 3/18--Margaret S. Hamilton and on 3/25--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Julie Tollefson won the Mystery Writers of America Midwest Chapter's Holton Award for best unpublished manuscript (member category) for her work in progress, In The Shadows.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 pre-order.

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Friday, February 24, 2017

Phantom Lady by Cornell Woolrich: A Review by Warren Bull




Phantom Lady by Cornell Woolrich: A Review by Warren Bull

Phantom Lady was first published in 1942 by Cornell Woolrich using the pen name William Irish. Woodrich is often credited with being one of the authors who developed noir fiction. The book cover blurb states that more of his work has been adapted to film, TV and radio than any mystery writer since Edgar Allan Poe.

Phantom Lady read like an extended nightmare. It began with the protagonist wandering the streets showing signs of smoldering anger to everyone he encountered. On impulse he stopped in a bar where he met a woman and made her an offer. He suggested they go to dinner and attend a show together without exchanging any personal information and without asking any personal information. One evening of companionship is all he asked. After consideration, she agreed. They had a pleasant evening and parted.

When he returned home he found police detectives waiting for him. They told him his wife had been murdered, strangled by one of his ties. They questioned him about his whereabouts at the time of the murder. He told them about the evening, but the shock of discovering what had happened destroyed his memory of details about the woman’s appearance. 

Luckily, several people saw them together. Unluckily, none of the people who saw them remembered that he was with a woman.  He is tried, convicted and scheduled for execution. He has to find the woman to save his life. Imprisoned and knowing that police efforts to find her failed, he must find some way to locate her. But how?

Woolrich builds tension by the steady erosion of time before the execution date. Each time there is hope for proving his innocence, the hope is snuffed out, often by the death of the possible witness.  The author writes with clarity and effectiveness. Some of his descriptions are almost lyrical even when what he describes is grim.


I recommend Phantom Lady highly.

6 comments:

E. B. Davis said...

Noir books don't often tempt me, Warren, but your description of the plot fascinates. Thanks for bringing this book to our attention. I wish I had the time to read them all, but usually I'm focused on new releases.

Margaret Turkevich said...

A nightmare read that would haunt me for days. Very interesting that his novels were adapted for film.

Grace Topping said...

Wow! Talk about a book that will keep you up all night reading!

Art Taylor said...

I've not read this novel but have heard good things about it, and Woolrich was, of course, a master in so many ways. (I'm a bigger reader of his short fiction.) Need to check this one out!

KM Rockwood said...

Thanks for remembering another great classic that I need to revisit!

Gloria Alden said...

Warren, another book I need to write down to read.