Death Comes Early by William R Cox (Dell, 1961)

Title: Death Comes Early
Author: William R Cox
Imprint & Number: Dell First Edition B191
Cover price: 35¢
Publication date: 1961
Cover artist: Robert McGinnis

A paperback original first edition. From the back cover:

Name: Lila Lee Sharp
Occupation: Ecodysiast (ek-diz’-i-ast. Noun. A strip-teaser)

In other words, she was a seller of sex and as far as Jack Ware was concerned, she’d sold his best friend short. But Ted Colyer was beyond caring about whether he’d been the victim of a hard sell – he was stretched out on a slab in the morgue with a hole in his chest the size of a picture window.

Lila was the key to the murder puzzle, except that her lush body and hot, knowing eyes kept Ware from fitting the pieces together. He could think of nothing else but the fact he had to have her. And he knew the high price he might have to pay – his life, and maybe hers.

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