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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

Laura Hunt was the ideal modern woman: beautiful, elegant, highly ambitious, and utterly mysterious. No man could resist her charms—not even the hard-boiled NYPD detective sent to find out who turned her into a faceless corpse. As this tough cop probes the mystery of Laura's death, he becomes obsessed with her strange power. Soon he realizes he's been seduced by a dead woman—or has he?

Laura won lasting renown as an Academy Award-nominated 1944 film, the greatest noir romance of all time. Vera Caspary's equally haunting novel is remarkable for its stylish, hard-boiled writing, its electrifying plot twists, and its darkly complex characters—including a woman who stands as the ultimate femme fatale.

"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

"The novel has three great strengths. The first is Waldo Lydecker, Laura Hunt's mentor, the vain deliciously nasty newspaper columnist who narrates. . . . Its second strength is an ingenious plot twist that I won't spoil. . . . The novel's third strength is Caspary's having set a noirish crime story in the Manhattan haute monde of ad agencies, fancy restaurants, and society folk as odious as they are self-satisfied. Caspary (1899-1987), who worked in advertising as a young woman before becoming a prolific author of novels and screenplays, knew that world well and delighted in satirizing it."

The Washington Post

"An intriguing melodrama. . . . A top-drawer mystery."

The New York Times

"Everyone loves the movie, of course, but it is now possible again to read this stunning novel with one of the great surprise moments in the history of mystery fiction. Brava!"

—Otto Penzler, Owner, The Mysterious Bookshop

"Laura continues to weave a spell . . . achieving a kind of perfection in its balance between low motives and high style."

—Roger Ebert, The Chicago Sun Times

"Laura will beguile and unsettle readers: a love story with a sinister underside . . . it remains a compelling original."

—Liahna Armstrong, President Emerita, Popular Culture Association

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