A house party turns a millionaire’s hacienda hideaway into a crime scene in this classic whodunnit from an Edgar Award–winning Grand Master.
The Godfrey family is vacationing among the picturesque rocky cliffs of the North Atlantic seaboard, expecting peace, quiet, and, perhaps, a bit of golf or tennis. But one dusky evening in an isolated spot on the grounds of Spanish Cape, Rosa and her uncle David get into an argument about her secretive romance with one of their guests, the roguish John Marco, a handsome cad with a yellow roadster and no visible source of income. That’s when a towering one-eyed man with a .38 revolver emerges from the twilight.
When renowned sleuth Ellery Queen arrives the next day from New York City, looking forward to a summer getaway on the coast, he realizes his trip will be no walk on the beach. Rescuing Rosa, he discovers her captor mistook David for John and struck the former down instead. But Ellery has more work to do when Rosa’s shady sweetheart is found stone dead and stark naked . . . aside from a black fedora and a theatrical-looking opera cloak. There are plenty of guests and members of the household who might have wanted John dead, but who did it—and what in the world happened to the victim’s clothes?
In this iconic series inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and praised by none other than Agatha Christie, carefully planted clues, logical deduction, and an atmospheric 1930s setting combine for an irresistibly enjoyable read for anyone who loves a murderous puzzle.
Includes discussion guide questions for use in book clubs.
About the Author
Ellery Queen was a pen name created and shared by two cousins, Frederic Dannay (1905-1982) and Manfred B. Lee (1905-1971), as well as the name of their most famous detective. Born in Brooklyn, they spent forty-two years writing the greatest puzzle-mysteries of their time, gaining the duo a reputation as the foremost American authors of the Golden Age “fair play” mystery. Eventually famous on television and radio, Queen’s first appearance came in 1929 when the cousins won a mystery-writing contest with the book that would eventually be published as The Roman Hat Mystery. Besides co-writing the Queen novels, Dannay founded Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, one of the most influential crime publications of all time. Although Dannay outlived his cousin by nine years, he retired the fictional Queen upon Lee’s death.
Otto Penzler, the creator of American Mystery Classics, is also the founder of The Mysterious Press (1975); MysteriousPress.com (2011), an electronic-book publishing company; and New York City’s Mysterious Bookshop (1979). He has won a Raven, the Ellery Queen Award, two Edgars (for the Encyclopedia of Mystery and Detection, 1977, and The Lineup, 2010), and lifetime achievement awards from NoirCon and The Strand Magazine. He has edited more than 70 anthologies and written extensively about mystery fiction.
Ellery Queen is the American detective story.
— Anthony Boucher
One of the best of the Ellery Queen stories.
— New York Times