Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Cases for Ellery

By Himself.
Mercury Bestseller. 1945.
5 short stories + 3 radio plays.
126 (+ 4) pages. $0.25
As the Ellery Queen megasite informs us, the short stories have been recycled from THE NEW ADVENTURES OF ELLERY QUEEN.


1 - "The Adventure of The House of Darkness":
He shoved. The door stirred a half-inch, stuck. He set his lips and rammed, pushing with all his strength. There was something obstructing the door, something large and heavy. It gave way stubbornly, an inch at a time. . . .
He blocked Djuna's view deliberately, sweeping the flashlight's thin finger about the room disclosed by the opening of the door. It was perfectly octagonal, devoid of fixtures. Just eight-walls, a floor, and a ceiling. There were two other doors besides the one in which he stood. Over one there was a red arrow, over the other a green. Both doors were shut. . . . Then the light swept sidewise and down to the door he had pushed open, seeking the obstruction.
The finger of light touched something large and dark and shapeless on the floor, and quite still. It sat doubled up like a jackknife, rump to the door. The finger fixed itself on four blackish holes in the middle of the back, from which a ragged cascade of blood had gushed, soaking the coat on its way to the floor.
Ellery growled something to Djuna and knelt, raising the head of the figure. It was the massive White Rabbit, and he was dead.
2 - "The Adventure of The Teakwood Case":
"Well, Mr. Carter, your laudable effort to smother legitimate news has failed, and you have enlisted my poor services. Except that we are en route to the scene of a crime more serious than theft. My father, Inspector Queen, informs me that a man in Apartment H on the sixteenth floor of the Gothic Arms has been found foully done in. In a word, he's been murdered."

3 - "Long Shot":

So, with Miss Paris's soft arms about him, Mr. Queen unburdened himself. It seemed that Magna Studios ("The Movies Magnificent"), to whom his soul was chartered, had ordered him as one of its staff writers to concoct a horseracing plot with a fresh patina. A mystery, of course, since Mr. Queen was supposed to know something about crime.
"With fifty writers on the lot who spend all their time—and money—following the ponies," complained Mr. Queen bitterly, "of course they have to pick on the one serf in their thrall who doesn't know a fetlock from a wither. Paula, I'm a sunk scrivener."
"You don't know anything about racing?"
"I'm not interested in racing. I've never even seen a race," said Mr. Queen doggedly.
"Imagine that!" said Paula, awed.
4 - "Mind Over Matter":
The night deepened, the crowd rumbled, and Mr. Ellery Queen, the celebrated sleuth, felt uncomfortable. Specifically, his six-foot body was taut as a violin-string. It was a familiar but always menacing phenomenon. It meant that there was murder in the air.
5 - "The Double Triangle" [play]:
BAILEY: Help me!
ELLERY: (Gently) Of course I'll help you, Mr. Bailey. What's the trouble?
BAILEY: Mr. Queen—I'm going to kill a man!
NIKKI: (Shocked) And you want Mr. Queen to 'help' you? Of all things!
BAILEY: No, no! Mr. Queen, I want you to help me not kill a man!

6 - "The Invisible Clock" [play]:
VAN DYKE: (Appearing) Greenlaw! What's that infernal yowling?
MYRTLE: (Off) It's my sister Enid! Something's happened to Enid!
(GREENLAW flings open the nursery door. The baby is crying faintly.
ENID is still screaming.)
GREENLAW: Enid, darling . . .
NIKKI: She's lying on the floor! Mrs. Greenlaw!
ENID: (Sobbing) I was attacked! The ruby—the Khaaba Ruby—it
has been stolen!

7 - "Honeymoon House" [play]:
JOYCE: (Laughing) Jack, you fool. Jack, you're carrying me!
JACK: (Panting—laughing) Don't I know it! Here we go . . . !
JOYCE: Oh, Jack, you're so strong—(A sudden loud revolver
shot causes JOYCE to scream. JACK exclaims. There is a
second shot, and a crash of glass as if an electric bulb were
shattered. JOYCE groans.)
JACK: (Hoarsely) Those two shots—somebody shot out
the living-room light . . . . Joyce! Are you all right? (Pause.)
Joyce! Why are you so . . . limp? (Death-gurgle from JOYCE.)
Joyce . . . ! (Pause. Hysterical scream.) She's dead!
THE CASE BOOK OF ELLERY QUEEN is available online here.

Category: Detective fiction

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