This is the latest story collection published by this very prolific author. I could not resist it because of the title story. Set in 1947, “Black Dahlia & White Rose” imagines murder victim Elizabeth Short, best known today as “The Black Dahlia,” and Norma Jean Baker, before she became Marilyn Monroe, sharing a rented room in
It’s narrated in the alternating voices of these two “lost girls” plus a sleazy
girlie mag photographer, K. Keinhardt, whose lucrative peephole arrangement
with a man known as “The Bone Doctor” may have led to Elizabeth’s death and
macabre fame, albeit ironically since it was really Norma Jean he wanted. Hollywood
The other stories, to be honest, didn’t really appeal to me. Some were ok, but most I just shoved my way through because I don’t like to start a book and not finish it. I have read a few novels by Joyce Carol Oates over the years, some of which will eventually be reviewed here; I have two sitting in my “to read” stack right now. Her novel about Marilyn Monroe, Blonde, is a particular favorite of mine, and I also enjoyed her fictional take on the Jonbenet Ramsey case, My Sister, My Love, both of which I hope to review here someday whenever I find time to reread them, so it’s probably just this particular collection wasn’t my cup of tea and other readers may enjoy these stories much more than I did.