Re: RARA-AVIS: Dolores Hutchens . . . anybody know?

Date: 29 Oct 2007

Dolores Hitchens wrote Sleep With Slander which Bill Pronzini, Marcia Muller and I consider one of the great overlooked private eye novels. Maxim Jakubowski reprinted it in his excellent Bue Murder line.

She began as a traditional and sometimes cozy writer in, I believe, the Forties but by the Fifties her fiction had become decidedly darker with novels such as Stairway to An Empty Rooom. I'm pretty sure she was influenced by the great Elizabeth Sanxay Holding because in her best work there's the same almost hallucinogenic quality. She also wrote at least one exceptional western.

In the late Fifties and early Sixties she wrote a series with her husband
(though most think she did the writing and he supplied the information about being a railroad investigator) about a railroad cop. She also did a number of stand-alones which. I suspect Godard chose one of those to adapt.
, Like most writers who do a good number of books, she had misses as well as hits. But when she was on she was a fine storyteller. She also produced several memorable short stories.

She ended her career with Putnam so she was certainly at the top of her publishing game when she passed on.


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