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


Our reason for creating WWK originated as an outlet for our love of reading and writing mystery fiction. We hope you love it, too, and will enjoy our holiday gifts to our readers with original short stories to celebrate the season. Starting on 11/16 stories by Warren Bull, Margaret S. Hamilton, Paula Gail Benson, Linda Rodriguez, KM Rockwood, Gloria Alden, and E. B. Davis will appear every Thursday into the New Year.


Our November Author Interviews: 11/8--Ellen Byron, and 11/15--Sujata Massey. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.


November Saturday Bloggers: 11/4 Margaret S. Hamilton and 11/11 Cheryl Hollon.


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

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: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," just published, will appear in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.


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, 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.