Friday, April 15, 2011
The New Adventures of Ellery Queen: Review
The New Adventures of Ellery Queen by Ellery Queen is a classic collection of eight short mysteries and a remarkable short novel that was first published in 1940. Several of the stories have to do with disappearing items. First up is a worthless doorstop which disappears in the middle of the night, but then in the twinkling of an eye, so does its rich and eldely owner. And, for the grand finale, both reappear--each as dead as the other. Other vanishing items including a set of priceless matched sapphires, Ellery Queen's own camel hair coat, and the piece de resistance: an entire house, a real house, a solid house which Ellery Queen had been in only the day before...vanished from the face of the earth. And in its place, one of the most incredible conundrums ever to face the master crime solver. In addition to masterfully told tales of magical sleight of hand, we have the House of Darkness--a harmless attraction at the local amusement park. Or is it? In total darkness and from a distance of twelve feet, four bullets are pumped within an inch of each other into a spectator's back. A feat utterly impossible to perform--yet brazenly and undeniably done. And, course, the odd murder or two.
All of these stories bear the Queen hallmarks of tight plotting, interesting settings and clues, and a maestro performance by the "Master Mind" himself, Ellery. A delightful collection of short stories which rates four stars on the scale of five.