Friday, August 08, 2008

Elizabeth Sanxay Holding; Michael Connelly

Martin Edwards asked me which Elizabeth Sanxay Holding novels he should start with. As always I warn that my preference is completely subjective. I've quoted part of Mystery Scene review to bring another perspective to Holding. For me Net of Cobwebs is her most chilling novel and Miasma probably her strangest, almost dream-like in places. (Lady Killer is her larkiest--she seduces us into liking a pretty young woman who is both the heroine and essentially a goldigger. But of course there is, as Boucher noted, always an undercurrent of dread at work too.)

Net of Cobwebs
The Blank Wall
The Unfinished Crime

From the Mystery Scene review:

"Between Miasma (1929) and Widow's Mite (1952) Holding published eighteen suspense novels, which earned her solid reviews, the admiration of Dorothy Hughes and Raymond Chandler among other writers, and the interest of Hollywood (The Blank Wall was filmed twice as Reckless Moment (1949) and The Deep End (2001). In the introduction to this collection Gregory Shepard claims that Holding was among the first crime writers to ask not so much whodunit as whydunit, which made her the precursor of the woman's psychological suspense novel and forerunner to Patricia Highsmith and Ruth Rendell. Miasma and Lady Killer provides an excellent introduction to her world.

"Miasma features a young doctor, Dennison, who is seduced by the wealth of an older local practitioner who hires him as his assistant. When several patients die under odd circumstances, Dennison begins to suspect that his benefactor's money comes from the inheritances he is receiving. By the novel's end Dennison has lost his fiancée, his job, and his innocence.

"These two novels will especially appeal to readers interested in the history of crime fiction, but their carefully crafted plots will also appeal to readers looking for a good old-fashioned crime story with a skillfully created aura of suspense."

----------------------The Brass Verdict

Terrill Lankord, whose work should be in every mystery library, has produced another extraordinary video for Michael Connelly's forthcoming novel The Brass Verdict.

1 comment:

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks, Ed. Very helpful.