Grounds for Divorce
1948 (original publication 1937)
Love and intrigue are what this book is all about. For me, it was the phrase at the top: “He was weak and she was wanton.” Who can say no to that tagline? In short, society gal Lolita marries upstanding man Bailey. The sexual chemistry is just not happening for our newlyweds. They quickly go off the rails by indulging in booze and a bit of adultery. By the end they come together, hopeful for a future. A real feel good romance. <sarcasm>
Jack Woodford was a novelist with quite a few pulp fiction credits such as: The Abortive Hussy, Hard-boiled Virgin, and Free Lovers.
This cover reminds me of some kind of old Rat Pack movie. I swear that could be Dean mixing up the drinks. What really caught my eye was also the name Faber Birren. I had never heard of a name like that and then I saw the brief author note on the verso. See first picture below. Evidently Birren was a color expert. (I had no idea that was even a job.) A little bit of digging brought me to Yale University and the Faber Birren collection. Now I am intrigued!
This story is about a couple of ladies who seem to be the 50’s definition of Desperate Housewives. I particularly like the last sentence on the back cover on how this segment of society “needs probing”. I can’t wait to read all the gory details.
Today’s Friday Fiction is another pulp mystery from the old days. I am a sucker for “mayhem and murder, liquor and lust”. Charming private-eye Pete Chambers is on the case of murder involving three ladies with secrets. Chambers unravels a complicated case involving a torch singer, a jewelry designer and a housewife. You know, the dames. For fans of the hardboiled detective story, this is a winner.
Since I hadn’t heard this author’s name before, I found this article about Henry Kane by Lawrence Block written a few years ago. It was an enjoyable piece of writing on this author, especially since there isn’t a whole lot written about Kane’s life.