Women Crime Writers of the 1940s & 50s - Vol 2

After reading Women Crime Writers of the 1940's I had the pleasure of moving onto the 1950's, Volume 2. The authors included in this anthology were- Charlotte Armstrong, Patricia Highsmith, Margaret Millar and Dolores Hitchens. I so enjoy reading long lost stories brought back to life and that is what the Library of America has done with these noir mysteries. The post-war time period depicted in these novels shows an America trying to find peace. The first novel, "Mischief," was made into a movie starring Marilyn Monroe. That is interesting and I can't wait to look up the movie later, "Don't Bother to Knock." While this group of stories don't have a blatant theme, each story reminded me of people coming together and remembering what helping one another is all about. This isn't surprising since America was rebuilding both physically and mentally during the post-war 1950's. The characters in this group of stories were as well expanded as the first set. I love the different point of views shown and the plots were intriguing. I appreciate that some of these stories were made into movies that I can enjoy and compare. Not all the characters are women, but there are strong female characters and this is a great read for young girls. The Women Crime Writers of the 1940's and 1950's are now being offered as a boxed set and I highly encourage buying them that way. Once the first four have been read you won't want to wait to start the last four. Well done ladies!


Book Blurb for Women Crime Writers of the 1940s & 50s - Vol 2

Four Suspense Novels of the 1940s: Mischief by Charlotte Armstrong / The Blunderer by Patricia Highsmith / Beast in View by Margaret Millar / Fools’ Gold by Dolores Hitchens

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 second 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 1950s here are Charlotte Armstrong’s Mischief, the nightmarish drama of a child entrusted to a psychotic babysitter, Patricia Highsmith’s The Blunderer, brilliantly tracking the perverse parallel lives of two men driven toward murder, Margaret Millar’s Beast in View, a relentless study in madness, and Dolores Hitchens’s Fools' Gold, a hard-edged tale of robbery and redemption.


Night Owl Reviews Oct, 2015 4.50