Thoughts on books, often interpreted through the high-brow prism of cartoon (read: Archer) references. Wait! I had something for this...
If A Kiss Before Dying were to come out tomorrow, I might use words like "predictable" to describe certain aspects of it. However, Ira Levin published this (his first novel) in 1954, which gives it the sort of satisfying, but olden-timey thrill I remember getting from watching the likes of Double Indemnity and Wait Until Dark in my grandparents' home as a kid.
There's something different about witnessing 50s characters unwittingly fall prey to the machinations of a seemingly swell guy. After all, not having been subjected to endless hours of crime procedural television, and without Google, those prone to trust doesn't come across as cloyingly naïve.
There's plenty of suspense and dread packing into a worthwhile, brief and classic mystery.
Also, for the purposes of disambiguation, A Kiss Before Dying is not to be confused with A Kiss While Dying which, of course, looks something like this.