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‘Recipe for a chic murder,’ runs the blurb on the back of Death Likes it Hot.

7 October 2009

12:00 AM

7 October 2009

12:00 AM

Death Likes it Hot Gore Vidal

‘Recipe for a chic murder,’ runs the blurb on the back of Death Likes it Hot.


‘Recipe for a chic murder,’ runs the blurb on the back of Death Likes it Hot. ‘Take a social-climbing dowager; a house-party full of bright, brittle, amoral idlers; let simmer for a long hot summer weekend, and you get the fanciest killing of the season.’ ‘Recommended to all but maiden aunts,’ said the Manchester Evening News. ‘Welcome to another 100 percent thriller by Edgar Box,’ said the Glasgow Evening News. The Spectator joined in the general praise: ‘The relaxed urbanity of Mr Box ensures a smooth surface finish.’ Indeed. Only it wasn’t by Edgar Box. Edgar Box was a pseudonym for Gore Vidal. After publishing The City and the Pillar in 1948, no mainstream newspaper in the USA would review his literary novels, so he decided to turn out thrillers. And who could resist a thriller that starts like this:

The death of Peaches Sandoe, the midget, at the hands, or rather feet, of a maddened elephant in the sideshow of the circus at Madison Square Garden was at first thought to be an accident, the sort of tragedy you’re bound to run into from time to time if you run a circus with both elephants and midgets in it. 


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