Queen's Bureau of Investigation: the Casebook

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1933-1935   ELLERY QUEEN    To list

The American Gun Mystery (1933)

The American Gun Mystery - Q.B.I.Buck Horne was shot down in front of 20,000 fans awaiting his comeback in the world's largest rodeo. Ellery Queen was in the audience. But after a month of investigation the brilliant detective was as baffled as everyone else. There was no motive and no murder weapon. So the rodeo reopened with the death unsolved...and then another man died in precisely the same manner as Buck Horne...and again there was no motive or murder weapon!

A good idea, but too clever for its own good. The basic premise is difficult to swallow, and the method by which the gun was disposed of really taxes credibility. (Click on the cover to read more...)

The Siamese Twin Mystery (1933)

The Siamese Twin Mystery - Q.B.I.When a raging forest fire drives Ellery Queen and his father to seek refuge up a mountain road, they are offered shelter by the mysterious Dr. Xavier. But their host is later murdered, and the Queens are imprisoned in the forbidding house along with several suspects. Then there is a second killing... Cages full of freak animals, a kleptomaniac who can't resist rings, half a six of spades, and a pair of Siamese twins are among the more bizarre elements in this classic.

Something a little different for the Queens, with a remote house, raging forest fire and peculiar characters. The final solution depends a little to much on guesswork than deduction. (Click on the cover to read more...)

The Adventures of Ellery Queen (1933-34)

The Adventures of Ellery Queen - Q.B.I.A strange and frightening world...where the body won't stay put during a "mad" party! Where a postage stamp delivers an addict, and a thief! Where a bowtie and a shirt are cremated after a murder! Where the corpse is in the closet, and the clothes are on the floor! This is the mysterious world of Ellery Queen. As always, he plays fair, sharing every clue; as always, the solution is both surprising and logical; as always, the action and mystery are irresistible.

A collection of short stories that lack the depth of the novels (of course!) but delightful nonetheless. The best of them: The Mad Tea Party. TV adaptation: "Adventure of the Mad Tea Party" (Hutton/Wayne series). (Click on the cover to read more...)

The Chinese Orange Mystery (1934)

The Chinese Orange Mystery - coverThere were many odd things about the fat man. No one had seen him enter the luxurious suite, and no one knew his name. Somehow all his clothes had been put on him backwards, and all the furniture around him reversed. The room in which he was found was locked from the inside, and aside from him, was empty. It was unlike any case Ellery Queen had ever seen--except for two hard facts. The man was dead. And it was his baffling job to find the murderer.

EQ's deductions, though arguable, are a bit difficult to follow, and his reconstruction hard to visualize. Cleverly worked out, though. Movie (more or less): The Mandarin Mystery. (Click on the cover to read more...)

The Spanish Cape Mystery (1935)

The Spanish Cape Mystery - Q.B.I.Men hated John Marco just as much as women adored him. For other men's women were his meat, high-priced sex his trade, and it was fitting that he died as he had made love, absolutely naked. The moment Ellery Queen unwrapped the long black opera cloak from Marco's nude corpse, he knew the naked truth would be even nastier. Every guest at the isolated mansion had a shameful tie with Marco--but which one had twisted it into a stranger's knot...?

Red herrings abound, and while EQ's solution plays fair and the deductions are valid, the murderer may be guessed by a few. Some consider it the most logically pure EQ. Movie: The Spanish Cape Mystery. (Click on the cover to read more...)

To list

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