"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
"He was the greatest writer of suspense fiction that ever lived." Francis M. Nevins, Cornell Woolrich Biographer
"Hot Water" was first published in Argosy in the December 28th issue of 1935. This was the first time that Woolrich had been published in Argosy which, at the time, would have been considered the most prestigious of the pulp publications. Argosy welcomed stories of adventure, exotic locales and if a little crime, suspense or fast action was thrown in would be good for everyone. As it turns out, it was the last story that Woolrich would publish in 1935 but represented his 13th published pulp in what turned out to be a very good year for Woolrich.
"Hot Water" is set south of the border in a place where movie stars at that time might hide out for a little rest and relaxation. The narrator of the story, Shad, works as a bodyguard to superstar Fay North, who most noticeably resembles Mae West in appearance, a big star during the period Woolrich wrote the story.
During one of Fay North's trips to the resort of Agua Caliente she's kidnapped and taken to the desert with Shad and a quickly assembled posse in pursuit. The story wraps up 1935 very nicely for Woolrich with a great action short.
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.
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