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VERA CASPARY is the author of twenty-one books. Her early novels drew on her experience growing up a conservative Jewish family in Chicago. Later works focused on career women who balance work, a love life, and even marriage, with a desire for independence. Caspary is best known for her skillfully-crafted and psychologically-complex murder mysteries.

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Vera Caspary

Afterword by A.B. Emrys

Long before Desperate Housewives, there was Bedelia: pretty, ultra femme, and "adoring as a kitten." A perfect housekeeper and lover, she wants nothing more than to please her insecure new husband, who can't believe his luck. But is Bedelia too good to be true?

A mysterious new neighbor turns out to be a detective on the trail of a "kitten with claws of steel"—a picture-perfect wife with a string of dead husbands in her wake. Caspary builds this tale to a peak of psychological suspense as her characters are trapped together by a blizzard. The true Bedelia, the woman who chose murder over a life on the street, reveals how she turns male fantasies of superiority into a deadly con.

"Vera Caspary's gift was perhaps more subtle, and deadly [than Jim Thompson, David Goodis, and Charles Willeford]."

—Robert Polito, author of Savage Art: A Biography of Jim Thompson

"You must read Bedelia to see just how slick Miss Caspary's techique of soft-shoe terror can be—how frightening she can make the chatter at an innocent dinner party, the lure of a lady's deshabille, the glimpse of a black pearl in a dresser drawer."

The New York Times

"A sinister entertainment 'especially for admirers of the psychological horror story.'"

The New Yorker

"A tour de force of psychological suspense, Desperate Housewives meets Double Indemnity in Caspary's Bedelia."

—Liahna Armstrong, President Emerita, Popular Culture Association

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