"Along with Raymond Chandler, Cornell Woolrich practically invented the genre of noir." Newsday
"Critical sobriety is out of the question so long as this master of terror-in-the-commonplace exerts his spell." - Anthony Boucher, The New York Times Book Review
"No one has ever surpassed Cornell Woolrich for shear suspense, or equalled him for exciting entertainment." - Robert Bloch
"Woolrich can distill more terror, more excitement, more downright nail-biting suspense out of even the most commonplace happenings than nearly all his competitors." - Ellery Queen
"An opus out of the ordinary, highly emotional and suspenseful, with a surprise finish that turns somersaults." - The Saturday Review of Literature on "The Bride Wore Black".
"Revered by mystery fans, students of film noir, and lovers of hardboiled crime fiction and detective novels, Cornell Woolrich remains almost unknown to the general reading public. His obscurity persists even though his Hollywood pedigree rivals or exceeds that of Cain, Chandler, and Hammett.What Woolrich lacked in literary prestige he made up for in suspense. Nobody was better at it." - Richard Dooling, from his Introduction to the print edition.
"He was the greatest writer of suspense fiction that ever lived." Francis M. Nevins, Cornell Woolrich Biographer
All at Once, No Alice was first published in Argosy magazine March 2, 1940. The story, considered to be one of his two classic "annihilation" stories, the other being "Finger of Doom", are based on similar premises - a man meeting the woman of his dreams who then disappears from his life without a trace.
Jimmy Cannon, a store clerk and the narrator of the story, elopes with Alice Brown, whom he hardly knows and they marry with a roadside justice of the peace. Subsequently, they can't find an available hotel room and a clerk at the Royal hotel allows Alice to stay in a tiny single room with a cot while Jimmy is consigned to a room at the YMCA.
The next morning, Jimmy returns to retrieve Alice who appears to have vanished - and not just from the room. Her name is gone from the register, the justice of the peace claims to have not married them and the cops think Jimmy is a lunatic. And, thus, starts a race against the clock to save Alice!
Cornell George Hopley-Woolrich (4 December 1903 - 25 September 1968) is one of America's best crime and noir writers who sometimes wrote under the pseudonyms William Irish and George Hopley. He's often compared to other celebrated crime writers of his day, Dashiell Hammett, Erle Stanley Gardner and Raymond Chandler.
Woolrich is considered the godfather of film noir and is often referred to as the Edgar Allen Poe of the 20th century, writing well over 250 works including novels, novelettes, novellas and short stories.
He attended New York's Columbia University but left school in 1926 without graduating when his first novel, "Cover Charge", was published. "Cover Charge" was one of six of his novels that he credits as inspired by the work of F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Woolrich soon turned to pulp and detective fiction, often published under his pseudonyms. His best known story today is his 1942 "It Had to Be Murder" for the simple reason that it was adapted into the 1954 Alfred Hitchcock movie "Rear Window" starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly. It was remade as a television film by Christopher Reeve in 1998.