Sunday, January 3, 2021

The Bride Wore Black


The Bride Wore Black is a seminal addition to the American mystery noir genre, and the first crime novel written by Cornell Woolrich. Originally published in 1940, this re-formatting and re-release as part of the American Mystery Classics series is due out 5th Jan 2021. It's 288 pages and will be available in hardcover format (other editions available in other formats). 

The American Mystery Classics series has unerringly plucked important but potentially lesser known crime gems and presented them (with expert introductory content and commentary) to new generations of crime fiction readers. Although I had read much of Cornell Woolrich's oeuvre previously and was familiar with his work from the pulps (he was incredibly prolific), I had never read The Bride Wore Black. 

The writing is top notch, tense and powerful. Other reviewers have done a much better job than I providing precis, so I'll just say that the entire book was an evocative and diverting read. My only disappointment with the book was with the ending which I felt was flawed and "gotcha" (and very pulp-ish in my opinion). It didn't ruin the book for me, but it did feel somewhat tacked together and outside the bounds of fair play. 

That being said, however, the writing and plotting are classic early noir and very well done. I would recommend it for lovers of noir, American crime, as well as a support text for allied scholastic examination (modern American literature, etc). The erudite and informative introduction by Eddie Muller was a highlight for me. Four stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.  

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