Sunday, February 15, 2009

Ellery Queen: Face to Face

God, I’ve hardly read any Ellery Queen. Nothing has appeared in the blog before, anyway. It’s always seemed a bit naff I suppose. The whole “Ellery Queen is author and main character” thing. I couldn't resist this at the library though, because the cover of this edition said "Ellery Queen's challenge to mystery buffs: Face to Face" which was so delightfully reader-oriented and newspaper-like that I fell like the proverbial stone down a well. And I quite enjoyed this. It was quite direct and outspoken in terms of sex and relationships – between the lines, obviously, but in that one can see where the true morality of the society of the times lay.

A famous retired singer is found murdered in her study. On the desk is a final scrawled clue: the word face. The singer was a mystery and puzzle buff as well as an artiste, you see. With the warped judicial method of this type of novel the father policeman allows the son detective to do whatever he wants to solve the puzzle. Hurrah. Not bad at all. I especially appreciate that it’s a proper whodunnit. I’m given everything I need to solve it, just like the detective. Nice. I failed (I guessed, but not thanks to the clues so it doesn't count), but nice.

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