Ellery Queen's Eleven Deadly Sins

Eleanor Sullivan, Editor
Eleanor Sullivan, Editor Walker & Company $21.95 (315p) ISBN 978-0-8027-5779-1
Reviewed on: 02/04/1991
Release date: 02/01/1991
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Nineteen stories from a spectrum of writers including literary superstars (Elizabeth Bowen, Leo Tolstoy) and mystery mavens (George Baxt, Stanley Ellin) and others comprise this 60th Ellery Queen anthology. Assuming there is a deadly sin behind every crime, this collection adds four more to the existing seven. The suspected murderer in Ellery Queen's ``The Accused'' suffers from the sin of pride. He is almost too arrogant to accept the help of the author/sleuth, who fantasizes about giving the ``young hero . . . a timely kick in the pants'' before finding the devious killer. The sin of drug abuse causes a murder in Gilbert K. Chesterton's ``The Garden of Smoke,'' in which a novelist's life is ended because she is pigging out on more than her share of opium. The killer in ``The Photographer and the Butcher,'' by James Holding, uses his social position to gain access to his victims. His homicidal spree is halted by a man who abuses social position and money. As these stories demonstrate, the difference between sin and virtue is that while virtue shares pleasure, sin exploits it. Editor Sullivan's choice of tales underlines the importance of the moral imperative. (Mar.)
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