Four female authors are represented in this anthology of suspense novels of the 1940's- Vera Caspary, Helen Eustis, Dorothy B. Hughes and Elisabeth Sanxay Holding. These four women are pioneers of the noir mystery. I have read a few noir novels before, but these definitely fit the genre perfectly. The time period depicted in these stories is one of struggle and war time. From femme fatales, to not so ordinary housewives, the characters are well rounded and complex. Each story is well written and has interesting secondary characters. "In a Lonely Place," drew me in with the inclusion of a serial killer. I was excited to find out that many of these stories were made into movies and this is one of them. I plan to find, and view, them all. "Laura," not only had a movie made of it, but also a famous song. Integrating the past with facts about the authors sucesses makes these stories even more rich and enjoyable. I highly recommend readers buy this one!
Four Suspense Novels of the 1940s: Laura by Vera Caspary / The Horizontal Man by Helen Eustis / In a Lonely Place by Dorothy B. Hughes / The Blank Wall by Elisabeth Sanxay Holding
The Library of America and editor Sarah Weinman redefine the classic era of American crime fiction with a landmark collection of four brilliant novels by the female pioneers of the genre, the women who paved the way for Gillian Flynn, Tana French, and Lisa Scottoline.
Though women crime and suspense writers dominate today’s bestseller lists, the extraordinary work of the mid-century pioneers of the genre is largely unknown. Turning in many cases from the mean streets of the hardboiled school to explore the anxieties and terrors lurking in everyday life, these groundbreaking novelists found the roots of fear and violence in a quiet suburban neighborhood, on a college campus, or in a comfortable midtown hotel. Their work, influential in its day and still vibrant and extraordinarily riveting today, is long overdue for rediscovery.
This volume, the first of a two-volume collector’s set, gathers four classic works that together reveal the vital and unacknowledged lineage to today’s leading crime writers. From the 1940s here are Vera Caspary’s famous career girl mystery Laura, Helen Eustis’s intricate academic thriller The Horizontal Man, Dorothy B. Hughes’s In a Lonely Place, the terrifyingly intimate portrait of a serial killer, and Elizabeth Sanxay Holding’s The Blank Wall, in which a wife in wartime is forced to take extreme measures when her family is threatened.