- 4,49 €
Voted one of the top ten Best Locked Room Mysteries of all Time
'Ellery Queen IS the American detective story' New York Times
'One of the most bizarre puzzles in crime fiction' Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
The offices of publisher and renowned stamp collector Donald Kirk has seen many things - but this is the most bizarre: the murder of an unknown caller, found dead in an empty room. Nobody entered or exited - and yet everything inside the room has been manipulated, and left upside down and backwards. Stuck through the back of the corpse's shirt are two long spears - and a tangerine is missing from the fruit bowl.
Amateur sleuth Ellery Queen arrives just in time to witness the discovery of the body - and realises that even the smallest clues could be crucial to solving this most extraordinary murder...
One of the most bizarre puzzles in crime fiction distinguishes this mystery, first published in 1934, from Queen, the pseudonym for Frederic Dannay and Manfred B. Lee, as well as the name of their gifted amateur sleuth. Book publisher Donald Kirk invites Ellery Queen to meet at Manhattan's Hotel Chancellor, where Kirk maintains an office. On their arrival, Kirk learns that a stranger is in his waiting room. Since the door between Kirk's office and the waiting room is locked from the inside, Queen and Kirk must use the door from the corridor to gain access. Inside they find the man bludgeoned to death and wearing all his clothes backwards. Furthermore, all the furniture in the room has been rearranged to face backward, and two African spears have been inserted under the dead man's coat. No one in Kirk's circle has any idea as to the corpse's identity, let alone a motive for the unusual killing. The solution is a perfect, fairly clued match for the setup. If this creates a new audience for a genre giant, Penzler, editor of the American Mystery Classics series, will have done yet another service for whodunit lovers.