A Kiss Before Dying: A Novel

A Kiss Before Dying: A Novel

by Ira Levin, Otto Penzler

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781605989327
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 02/13/2015
Series: Pegasus Crime
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 169,329
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Ira Levin is the author of The Boys from Brazil, Rosemary’s Baby, Son of Rosemary, The Stepford Wives, This Perfect Day, Sliver, and A Kiss Before Dying (for which he won the Edgar Award). Levin was also the recipient of three Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allan Poe Awards. His website is www.iralevin.org.
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.

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A Kiss before Dying 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book left an impression on me. Top-notch thriller with plenty of twists and tense, rattling situations.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thoughtful ad finely crafted; fun to pick out the 50's details and reflect on our changing world.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! Once you start reading this book and getting into it, it captures you to where you never want to put it down. This book makes you gasp, laugh, cry, and also make you bite your finger nails! If you love romantic and suspenceful books this is the one for you. I truly must say that this is the best book i have read for a long time.
mcelhra on LibraryThing 7 months ago
A young college man is dating Dorothy, the daughter of a wealthy copper tycoon, hoping to marry her and eventually inherit her father's money. His plan hits a roadblock when Dorothy tells him that she's pregnant and they must marry right away. Not only that but her father will disown her for getting pregnant out of wedlock - that means no money for the young man. The only way the man can get out of this predicament is to kill Dorothy. If only that was the end of his problems...A Kiss Before Dying, first published in 1953, is Ira Levin's debut novel. It won the 1954 Edgar Award for Best First Novel. Levin is a master of suspense and this novel does not disappoint. He does not reveal the identity of Dorothy's boyfriend in the first part of the book, referring to him only with pronouns. When Dorothy's sister Ellen goes hunting for her murderer, the reader is right alongside her discovering clues and trying to figure out who the killer is. I was on the edge of my seat and as confused as Ellen about who was the murderer. Even after the identity of the killer is discovered the suspense continues right up until the very end.I listened to the audio version of this book. I thought the narrator, Mauro Hantman, did an excellent job. He was able to convincingly voice all of the characters - from tough as nails Leo Kingship to soft spoken naive Dorothy. I especially loved the voice he gave Gordon Gant.I highly recommend A Kiss Before Dying.
soylentgreen23 on LibraryThing 7 months ago
I've never been big into crime books, but this one was enjoyable, mostly for its good characterisation, and the attention Levin pays to the little details. The plot itself is original - a man commits his first murder to get out of a forced marriage to a pregnant girl, and goes on to date her sister. His identity in the first part is not revealed, which proves highly entertaining come the second act, but at the same time it made for some annoying grammar and style decisions in the first.
mrtall on LibraryThing 7 months ago
A Kiss Before Dying is stylish, smart and remarkably suspenseful. I can't remember the last time I read a book that gave me the same kind of heebie-jeebies all the way through. Levin wrote it when he was only 23, and although there's no sign of immaturity in his assured, urbane prose, his tender age must have been a factor in the book's structure: the plot is so audacious in its initial implausibility that it must be the work of either a young writer who feels invulnerable, or a very experienced writer who knows through long experience exactly what he can get away with. In any case, Levin build up his symmetrical if unlikely structure with elan; it's just sufficiently believable to allow all of the book's other manifold excellence to shine: sharp dialog, crisp description, and tight, active scenes, one after another.My only gripe: the book's third act is just slightly off in comparison with the totally creepy parts I and II.
cammykitty on LibraryThing 7 months ago
This post World War II mystery is very tightly plotted, yet structured like a fairy tale. Things move in threes, and we know the first two princes (or princesses) always fail before the last one succeeds. That said, there were enough twists to keep it interesting. To avoid slipping into spoiler-city, I'll just say this. You have to acknowledge a novel that has enough staying power and detail to be "a fresh contemporary setting" at its initial publication, but becomes "historic" during its lifetime.
datrappert on LibraryThing 8 months ago
A smart, ambitious young man, with a penchant for killing, discovers that finding and marrying a rich girl is a difficult proposition--but perhaps if he can keep it all in the family, practice will make perfect! This is a real page-turner, marred by a few significant flaws, notably that a lot of the plot depends upon women acting really stupid, and lots of typos. There is also a really stupid male police chief. But neither stupidity or anything else is going to stop Levin from getting to his goal--even though we can see it coming from a mile away--and he speeds through roadblocks and even a couple of "Bridge Out" signs to get there.Along the way, however, we can certainly enjoy the ride. The killer himself is quite an interesting character, and even has a few sympathetic traits. His mother is well drawn also. And the book's settings, whether a college town, New York City, or the final scenes (which not to spoil anything I won't identify the location of), come to life with the details the author adds, such as the art or books the characters like. This sets it apart from a lot of pulp novels that may have deft plots or action sequences but lack the depth Levin provides here.
dionne on LibraryThing 8 months ago
The book is so much better than the movie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
How can you go wrong with ira levin?
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I gave this book five stars only because I couldn't give it six. One of the best books I've ever read and certainly my favorite by this author.
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RonnaL More than 1 year ago
A KISS BEFORE DYING is an Edgar Award Winning classic mystery that, arguably, was the beginning of the modern psychological mystery thriller.  This is a classic tale of murder for money, but it's the brazenness of the criminal that becomes the shocker.  Young handsome college student meets beautiful young coed. They plan to marry, but for all the wrong reasons.  Our handsome hero is anything but the hero.  We get to experience all of his thinking as he plans out his wonderful life that just need lots of money to be complete.  Coming from a very poor background, what better way to use his brains and good looks, than to find the perfect rich wife.  Only when complications arise, maybe she needs to dye.  Maybe this happens one too many times!! The build up of the plot through the killer's mind is done beautifully in this book.  His "out there" reasoning is followed through from beginning to end  in a book that constantly makes the reader want to warn the characters of impending danger throughout the story.  Suspense is built to a tingling point more than once in this masterful psychological suspense. Many of Ira Levin's books were made into movies, but the book never reads like a movie script. Must read for anyone thinking of writing psychological suspense. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kept me guessing until the end
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fast , suspence filled story. Ira levin fan here.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book. It was even better than the movie. It was a very quick read and it keep me on the edge of my seat the entire time.
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