"Nothing beats a tale of fatalistic dread by the supreme master of suspense, Cornell Woolrich. His novels and hundreds of short stories define the essence of noir nihilism." - Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
Cornell Woolrich is "our greatest writer of Suspense Fiction." - Frances Nevins, Woolrich Biographer
"When a popular young actress burns to death on the set of her latest film, it's up to the detective assigned to protect her to unravel the mystery. Another of Woolrich's intensely gruesome crimes, this time alleviated by a lighter tone and a terrific centerpiece scene of detection. (The manner of death was based on the real life death of silent film actress Martha Mansfield in 1923, who burned to death when her hoop skirt caught on fire during the filming of The Warrens of Virginia.)" - Fiction and Film, Nat Hocken
Classic films like Hitchcock's Rear Window and Truffaut's The Bride Wore Black and novels like Night has a Thousand Eyes and Rendezvous in Black earned Woolrich epithets like "the twentieth century's Edgar Allen Poe" and "the father of noir."
Preview of Death was first published in The Dime Detective in November, 1934.
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.
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.