A Kiss Before Dying Hardcover – Jun 1999
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Here is not merely an extraordinary first but an extraordinary suspense novel by the highest professional standards; and you have an evening of incomparable excitement ahead of you. Levin combines great talent for pure novel writing with strict whodunit tricks as dazzling as anything ever brought off by Ellery Queen or Agatha Christie. — Anthony Boucher (The New York Times)
The book is a succession of quite legitimate surprises, the suspense is admirably sustained, the detail is thorough and convincing, and the writing is considerably above the level usually associated with fictional crime and passion. A pleasure to recommend. — The New Yorker --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Otto Penzler is the proprietor of the Mysterious Bookshop in New York City. He is the founder of the Mysterious Press and Otto Penzler Books, and has received an Edgar Award, an Ellery Queen Award, and a Raven Award for his contribution to the mystery field. His anthology The Black Lizard Big Book of Pulps was a New York Times Bestseller. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Part Two of the book is excellent because it is completely different from Part One. It puts us in the shoes of the victim from Part One's sister as she tries to discover the identity of the killer and narrows it down to two men, but which one?
It's unfortunate that Part Three is so typical after the cleverness of Parts One and Two. The ending isn't nearly as shocking as the end of Levin's later masterpiece, Rosemary's Baby but up until Part Three you'll be on the edge of your seat.
In "A Kiss Before Dying" we have a a rich college girl and her gold-digging boyfriend in a dilemna. The girl is pregnant and the choice ahead is grim: either get married and lose daddy's money, or risk an illegal abortion (remember this book takes place circa 1950). She prefers the former, he the latter. The outcome of this dilemna is unexpected (no spoilers here), and the story then really kicks into gear. Yes, in true Levin form the plot is a bit contrived. But it is deliciously readable.
Bottom line: strongly recommended.
Although this identifies me as a naive and simpleminded reader, I must admit that I found the book impossible to put down, and speed read it in about four hours. The plot concerns a money hungry student who attempts to marry three sisters in succession, all of whom stand to inherit a lot of money. Because of some plot complications however, our protagonist is forced to murder two of the sisters. He is caught and gruesomely punished however before being able to marry and kill the third sister. (Sorry if this gives away a little of the plot.)
Most recent customer reviews
This was truly a great story. Interesting characters, plot full of twists and turns, a must read this for the summer!Published 20 months ago by stephanie anne cooper
'A kiss before dying' was written in the fifties, and apart from some very non-essential aspects it is not dated at all. Read morePublished on Aug. 25 2001 by Linda Oskam
A Kiss Before Dying follows a man who decides he wants to kill his girlfriend when he finds out she is pregnant with his son. Read morePublished on May 29 2001 by Nicole Beers