New York: Simon & Schuster, 1940. First Edition. The author's first full-length work of crime fiction, the first of his "Black" novels, and his first deep foray into the revenge narrative he would craft so expertly throughout his career. "Julie Killeen's husband is killed on the church steps moments after their marriage; and in a ritual substitution of deathmaking for lovemaking, she devotes the rest of her life to tracking down and systematically murdering the drunk driver and his four cronies whom she holds responsible" (Pronzini & Muller, p.860). A Haycraft-Queen Cornerstone title, and basis for François Truffaut's 1968 film of the same name, starring Jeanne Moreau as the avenging Bride. Hubin, p.434. Item #4733
First Printing. Octavo (21cm); royal blue cloth, with titling and decorative elements stamped in gilt on spine and front cover; navy blue topstain; dustjacket; viii,,3-312pp. Spine ends gently nudged, light wear to extremities, with lower rear board corner gently tapped (though still sharp); a fresh, Near Fine copy, without the usual heavy discoloration to cloth, and with the gilt still quite bright. Dustjacket flaps are machine-clipped and unpriced (apparently as issued), lightly shelfworn, with a few small stains on verso, a small chip at crown, and several short tears - a few of them tape-mended on verso; an unrestored, Very Good+ example.