Hard Case Crime just published The Cocktail Waitress by James M. Cain, a book lost for 35 years. No, The Cocktail Waitress is not The Postman Always Rings Twice, Double Indeminity, or Mildred Pierce. Actually, this story of a young sexy woman who marries a rich old man with a bad heart reminded me of Anna Nicole Smith’s saga. If you’re a fan of noir, you’ll want to take a look at The Cocktail Waitress. For the rest of the mystery/suspense readers, The Cocktail Waitress will be an odd curiosity with a soap opera plot.

16 thoughts on “FORGOTTEN BOOKS #186: THE COCKTAIL WAITRESS By James M. Cain

  1. Sergio (Tipping My Fedora)

    I still think POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE and DOUBLE INDEMNITY work but I have always found Cain a bit soapy to be honest – certainly, if you compare the MILDRED PIERCE movie starring Joan Crawford and the book itself this becomes very stark. Hard Case continue to put out introguing titles time and again – hard not to be impressed – thanks for the info George.

  2. Jeff Meyerson

    I just saw it in the library. It does sound like Anna Nicole. Maybe someday when my pile of books diminishes I’ll try it.

  3. Richard R.

    Yes, a review with no grade. Cain has never been my cuppa, I’m afraid. Neither is Woolrich. I don’t know what it is about those two, but I can’t seem to like either one. Seems ot me the best thing about this one is the cover…

  4. Richard R.

    Well, let’s not make it too 6 year old, I just don’t care much for the noir spiral into inevitable doom and everything going down the toilet. Even sad and desperate isn’t my cuppa these days. On the other hand, I don’t want Smurfs, either.

  5. Todd Mason

    Budrys, in a rough patch in the late ’60s, mentioned that he could provide his own expert agonizing. I, for my part, have to remember to not Triple-Down the Miserable in my own attempts at fiction, of late.

    But Cain isn’t as depressed, as regularly, as Woolrich…and occasionally there’s not quite emotional apocalypse at the end of some Woolrichs…

  6. Steve Lewis

    From what I’ve read about the book, George, I gather than Charles Ardai, had to do quite an editing job on it. There were chunks of manuscript scattered and he had to do a lot of scrambling to make a coherent whole of it. If this is true, he must have said something about the process in his introduction. Is this so, and if it is, could you tell from reading the book?

    1. george Post author

      You’re right, Steve. Ardai had a big editing job to perform before THE COCKTAIL WAITRESS could be published. I love the cover and sprung for the hardcover. As you say, it is James M. Cain!


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