Title: The Blank Wall
Author: Elisabeth Sanxay Holding
Cover artist: Harvey Kidder
Yours for: $12
Best things about this cover:
- Lucia was horrified to find her husband was cheating on her with ... a boat.
- "Hey, Lucia, this glass-bottomed boat is awesome. I can see, like, fishes and stuff." "Screw the fishes, Harold! My necklace! Do you see my necklace!?"
- The "jail bait" is off-screen. This here is the MILFy heroine, Lucia. I love this book. You can probably tell by now that I went through a bit of a Holding phase at one point. She's deeply underrated, and this book in particular is a fascinating, domestic twist on the hard-boiled novel. One of my ten favorite crime novels, easy.
Best things about this back cover:
- "BUT THE TYPEWRITER IS STUCK ON ALL CAPS"
She stood silent, her lashes lowered. She knew that he was looking at her; she knew that she was dark, slender and lovely; she knew that he was waiting for her to look up, and presently she raised her eyes.Seriously, this is one of the hottest scenes in the book, when you can see (though the novel never has anyone say it outright) that she (respectable wartime housewife) and this hoodlum-turned-savior are kind of in love, in this super-romantic and criminal and impossible way. Things can't, and don't, end well, but their relationship is amazing—unique, compelling, believable. Also, this is a great WWII-era book. Lots of details about ordinary, domestic life during war. Oh, and it deals with race in ways that most crime novels of the period totally avoid. The black housekeeper, Sibyl, is a crucial, well-developed character. Did I mention I love this book? I wish Holding's stuff were more widely available.
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