I am participating in this year’s Reprint of the Year Award. To be clear, I am not getting an award. But if you want to give me an award, I will not say NO. 😉
Anyhoo, let’s get started with the first nomination for this year’s Reprint of the Year Award.
Julia Clara Catherine Maria Dolores Robins Norton Birke Olsen Hitchens, or better known as Dolores Hitchens, was an American novelist who wrote from 1938 to 1973 (until her death, that is.) Well, there is a little it of history behind Dolores’ long name.
Dolores’ mother Myrtle Statham married W.H. Robbins in 1901 and Dolores (Julia C Robbins) was born in 1907. In 1910, her father passed away and Dolores and her mother moved to San Antonio to live with Dolores’ paternal grandfather. Over the next decade sometime, Myrtle married Norton but got divorced before 1920. in 1922, Myrtle married Oscar (aka Arthur) Carl Birke and Julia aka Dolores took her stepfather’s name.
In 1934, Dolores married Beverley S. Olsen. It is not known if Dolores divorced Olsen or was widowed but in the early 1940s she married Hubert A. Hitchens and they had a child together in 1942.
During her career as an author, Dolores wrote many mystery novels. One of the ‘series’ that she wrote included a private investigator named Jim Sader. The Jim Sader series consists of only two books – Sleep with Strangers and Sleep with Slander.
My first nomination for the Reprint of the Year Award is Sleep with Slander, the second book in the Jim Sader series.
First things first, this series gives you serious noir feels. Jazz music, smoke-filled bar, people dancing or tapping their feet to the beats – make sure to imagine these on a black-and-white screen. Ah, what a dream!
The story begins with Jim being sent on a wild goose chase. He’s asked to find a young boy whose adoptive parents are dead. The Champlains adopted the little boy soon after he was born. Mrs. Champlain drowned while on a fishing trip with friends whereas Mr. Champlain died in a plane crash. The little boy was then taken away by his relatives and is now being abused.
As Sader begins to investigate and gather clues that would ultimately lead him to the boy, he realizes there’s a lot more at stake. Sader is angry that his client deceived him.
Sleep with Slander by Dolores Hitchens is no doubt one of the best mysteries I have read so far. The Library of America republished this book in the month of July this year.
If you have read this book and loved it, I hope you vote for this book. If you vote for this book, we can have a virtual party where I bake a cake and eat it and… that’s it. Social Distancing is still a thing, remember!