First printing of the second Edgar Box mystery, an excellent yarn that Vidal composed ambivalently to pay the bills that his literary novels were not.
Very good plus in like jacket.
DEATH BEFORE BEDTIME
"I had read Agatha Christie, S.S. Van Dine, John Dickson Carr, and Edgar Wallace. The genre made sense in that all you had to do was establish a particular world, create some disequilibrium, and take it from there." – Vidal
While Vidal wrote his first mystery strictly for money, he found that he enjoyed the experience, and set out to write a second Box novel. Nevertheless, Vidal maintained strict boundaries around the work he did to make ends meet as a writer; in refusing to allow his publisher to print the Edgar Box mysteries with his own name, he said: "I want to keep the separation distinct, as much as possible, between my hack writing, no matter how charming, and the serious novels, no matter how dull" (quoted in Kaplan). Despite his own resistance to their literary value, the witty, sophisticated, and well-paced Edgar Box mysteries remain excellent additions to the genre.
Read more: Parini, Empire of Self: A Life of Gore Vidal, 110; Kaplan, Gore Vidal: A Biography.
New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc, 1953. 7.25'' x 5''. Original blue cloth stamped in magenta. In original unclipped ($2.50) black and magenta pictorial dust jacket. Fore-edge machine deckle. 223,  pages. Book with faint toning around edges, very slight lean. Jacket with minor rubbing and edgewear.
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