“The Devil To Pay,” by Ellery Queen

I was in the mood for an old-fashioned whodunit, and this fit the bill.

This one is set in Hollywood, in the 1930’s, and so is missing familiar supporting characters from the early Queen books, such as Inspector Queen and Sgt. Velie. Ellery himself is absent from most of the early chapters. It’s a tale lost fortunes, rich people and misleading assumption, featuring a crime not nearly so bizarre as those in many other Queen novels. Indeed, I solved this one, and I often do not solve Queen murders.

I nearly gave up on this one, not particularly liking any of the characters and finding the prose more dated than I expected, but  once Ellery arrived on the scene things got more fun and the story moved more swiftly. Not the best of Queen, but a neat puzzle nonetheless.

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