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Other titles in the Femmes Fatales: Women Write Pulp series:
The Blackbirder (Femmes Fatales: Women Write Pulp)by Dorothy B Hughes
"What matters in The Blackbirder is the almost suffocating sense of isolation and paranoia....[It] becomes, in some way, the story of the last free woman left alive. The arc of Hughes' tale is, of course, how Julie discovers her allies in the fight. The meat of it is in Hughes' masterstroke: setting in free, wartime America the kind of story that has only been done in the setting of Germany or occupied France — and making the feeling and fear of living an entirely secret life no less real. The Blackbirder is unaccountably powerful." Charles Taylor, Salon.com (read the entire Salon.com review)
Synopses & Reviews
A classic World War II-era noir with a page-turning plot, a cast of colorfully sinister characters and a protagonist who is thrust into the heart of political intrigue, this captivating 1943 novel parallels the spy novels of Grahame Greene, Eric Ambler, and the films of Hitchcock and Lang. But in -signature Hughes fashion, The Blackbirder has a genre-bending twist: its hardboiled protagonist is a woman.
Born of American expatriate parents, Julie Guilles was a pretty, sheltered rich girl growing up in Paris, a favorite of the Ritz Bar” set. But everything changed when the Nazis rolled into the City of Lights. After three years of life underground, Julie is hiding out in New York; but she knows trouble is coming when the corpse of an acquaintance appears on her doorstep. With a host of possible dangers on her tail—the Gestapo, the FBI and the New York cops—she embarks on a desperate journey to Santa Fe in search of her last, best hope. The Blackbirder”is a legend among refugees, a trafficker in human souls who flies under the radar to bring people to safety across the Mexican border—for a price.
With no resources at her disposal but a smuggled diamond necklace and her own razor-sharp wits, Julie must navigate a tangle of dangers—and take a stand in the worldwide struggle that has shattered the lives of millions. In contrast to the typical representations of wartime women as Mrs. Minivers” guarding home and hearth, Dorothy B. Hughes gives her intrepid heroine a place at the heart of the action
Dorothy B. Hughes (19041993) is the author of numerous hardboiled mystery novels. Three of her books became successful films: The Fallen Sparrow (1943), Ride the Pink Horse (1947), and In a Lonely Place (1950), reprinted by the Feminist Press in 2003. In 1978 she was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America.
Femmes Fatales restores to print the best of womens writing in the classic pulp genres of the mid-20th century. From mystery to hard-boiled noir to taboo lesbian romance, these rediscovered queens of pulp offer subversive perspectives on a turbulent era. Enjoy the series: Bedelia; The Blackbirder; Bunny Lake Is Missing; By Cecile; The G-String Murders; The Girls in 3-B; In a Lonely Place; Laura; Mother Finds a Body; Now, Voyager; Skyscraper; Stranger on Lesbos; Women's Barracks.
From the "queen of noir," a gripping 1943 WWII espionage novel with a unique hardboiled heroine.
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