The Dutch shoe mystery

Ellery Queen

Book - 1994

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MYSTERY/Queen, Ellery
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Subjects
Published
New York : Otto Penzler Books 1994, c1931.
Language
English
Physical Description
305 p.
ISBN
9781613161272
1883402123
Main Author
Ellery Queen (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

When a wealthy woman is strangled in a hospital full of witnesses, an early-twentieth-century New York City man-about-town turns sleuth to unmask her murderer. Ellery Queen was the pen name of Frederic Dannay and Manfred B. Lee as well as the name used for their protagonist; the series eventually became a franchise popular on radio and television. The first few novels, of which this is the third (1931), were largely formulated in the style of the upper-class Philo Vance mysteries by S. S. Van Dine, and some modern-day crime fiction fans might find the idea of the sleuth as top-hatted dandy a bit strange. But Queen, while something of a prig, is always amusing, and he mellows out over time. Promise. Resurrected by Otto Penzler for his American Mystery Classics series, this book is a textbook Golden Age fair play mystery. Readers accumulate clues and usually solve the crime simultaneously with the detective. Perfect for a discussion group exploring the history and variety of the mystery genre. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

First published in 1931, this exceptional entry in the American Mystery Classics series from MWA Grand Master Queen (the pen name of Fredric Dannay and Manfred B. Lee) offers a scrupulously fair puzzle. After well-to-do Abigail Doorn collapses into a diabetic coma, she's taken to Manhattan's Dutch Memorial Hospital, where she revives, but later falls down a flight of stairs and ruptures her gall bladder. But when she's brought into the operating room, she's found to have been garroted to death, possibly by someone impersonating a surgeon. Her wealth leaves no shortage of suspects for Ellery Queen and his father, NYPD Insp. Richard Queen. Ellery, who epitomizes the infuriatingly brilliant detective, announces at one point that he has learned practically everything about the criminal, except the person's identity. An interlude in which Ellery and Richard discuss their theories is printed with extra-wide margins for note-taking. Appearing before the final reveal is a challenge that asserts the reader now has all the relevant evidence to deduce Doorn's murderer. This is a genuine treat for those who love to match wits with fictional detectives. (Mar.) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

When Abigail Doorn was wheeled into the operation room at the Dutch Memorial Hospital, her face was strangely blue and bloated. A wire had been tightly wound around her neck. The strongest suspect, because he stood to benefit by the death of this wealthyold woman, was her protege, the famous Dr. Janney. Just before her death he received a strange caller--one whose name he would not divulge. Ellery Queen, having come to the hospital to visit his old friend Dr. Minchen, had been present during the time ofthe murder. He immediately took over the case. Besides the problem of Dr. Janney and his caller, Ellery found himself confronted with still another--why had Abby Doorn and her housekeeper quarreled continuously for twenty years? The housekeeper admitted she hated the old woman, and with a religious fanaticism declared she was an evil old woman who had received only what she deserved.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

After a wealthy woman is strangled in a hospital full of relatives and friends, Ellery Queen searches for her deadly enemy.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

TimesRelatives and friends, and even some enemies, wait with bated breath to learn the outcome of the operation. The institution is hushed, the audience seated, the theater ready. The surgeon calls for his distinguished patient, and the doors swing open. A still form covered in a white sheet is wheeled into the theater. But when the sheet is removed, it reveals Ms. Doorn’s corpse, strangled to death with a picture wire. Who among the attendees was ruthless enough to carry out this gruesome operation? It’s up to Ellery Queen—and his most perceptive readers—to uncover the clues and find out.