The Queens are intrigued when a grisly murder mars a small town's Christmas.
It's Christmas in Chicago, and Detective Richard Queen is enjoying a busman's holiday at a conference on gangland violence - but his son, amateur sleuth Ellery, is bored silly. Until, that is, Ellery reads of an unusual killing in rural Arroyo, West Virginia. A schoolmaster has been found beheaded and crucified. Ellery hustles his father into his roadster and heads east, since there is nothing he'd like better for Christmas than a juicy, gruesome puzzle.
When the Queens arrive in Arroyo, they learn that the victim was an eccentric atheist, but not the sort to make enemies. What initially looks to be the work of a sadistic cult turns out to be something far more sinister. In the months ahead, more victims will turn up all over the world - all killed in the same horrifying manner. It will take several bodies before Ellery divines the clue that unlocks the mystery of the Christmas crucifixion.
©1943 Ellery Queen (P)2013 AudioGO
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"how come this says optional, if required?"
Quirky, intricate, just enough horror. (I think I put it succuntly enough not to need 20 words!)
The story was long but had plenty of twists and turns. Like getting all the clues!
Some books keep me awake at night. This old war horse with its mechanical, grade school narration had the reverse effect. It is the cure for insomnia.
"Very Bloody for an Ellery Queen"
The Ellery Queen stories are getting more gorey as the series goes on. Some of the "conclusions" drawn from the evidence are a little thin. Overall, it still had a nice way of twisting and turning at the very end.
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