cover image The Dutch Shoe Mystery

The Dutch Shoe Mystery

Ellery Queen. Penzler, $25.95 (336p) ISBN 978-1-613161-26-5

First published in 1931, this exceptional entry in the American Mystery Classics series from MWA Grand Master Queen (the pen name of Fredric Dannay and Manfred B. Lee) offers a scrupulously fair puzzle. After well-to-do Abigail Doorn collapses into a diabetic coma, she’s taken to Manhattan’s Dutch Memorial Hospital, where she revives, but later falls down a flight of stairs and ruptures her gall bladder. But when she’s brought into the operating room, she’s found to have been garroted to death, possibly by someone impersonating a surgeon. Her wealth leaves no shortage of suspects for Ellery Queen and his father, NYPD Insp. Richard Queen. Ellery, who epitomizes the infuriatingly brilliant detective, announces at one point that he has learned practically everything about the criminal, except the person’s identity. An interlude in which Ellery and Richard discuss their theories is printed with extra-wide margins for note-taking. Appearing before the final reveal is a challenge that asserts the reader now has all the relevant evidence to deduce Doorn’s murderer. This is a genuine treat for those who love to match wits with fictional detectives. [em](Mar.) [/em]