Death Before Bedtime
Gore Vidal writing as Edgar Box
Vintage Crime/Black Lizard, Mar 22 2011, $14.95
Highly respected United States Senator Leander Rhodes asks Manhattan based public relations expert Peter Sargent to visit him at his home. He wants Peter to help him develop his PR plan for his run for the presidency and to stay on staff to work the media.
However, the night before Rhodes is to announce his candidacy, someone murders the senator in his bed. Out of work at least as a presidential candidate’s publicist, Sargent investigates who killed the respected reactionary politician. He finds a wealth of suspects with motives and opportunity to include the victim’s immediate family (of which he shared a sleeper car with the victim’s daughter Ellen from New York to DC), an aide and an ambitious Governor who craved being a senator.
This reprint of a satirical 1950s amateur sleuth is a fun timely tale that lampoons the cynical pompousness of the DC insiders starting with ”don’t call him Dusty” Rhodes (obviously not a NY Giant fan) chairman of the Spoils and Patronage Committee (both political parties can apply). Peter is terrific as he works the case of the murder of his client, which in his mind means getting into the DC dirt. Death Before Bedtime is a terrific political whodunit.