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Summary

Armed men invade the Queen apartment, led by Abel Bendigo, brother of one of the world's most powerful men. King Bendigo of Bodigen Arms is an industrial monster whose tentacles embrace the planet. Someone is threatening to kill the King, and Ellery must take on the task of saving his hated life. Virtual prisoners, Ellery and his father are whisked away to an island "somewhere in the Atlantic." In a frightening atmosphere of industrial slavery and brute militarism, Ellery comes to grips with a baffling murderer who calmly announces the exact moment of the assassination. The trouble is, Ellery is with the confessed murderer at the time of the crime - so how could he have possibly done it?

©2014 Blackstone Audio, Inc.; 1952 Ellery Queen

What listeners say about The King Is Dead

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Profile Image for Mary B. Wheeler
  • Mary B. Wheeler
  • 14-02-21

"All the King's men..."

This is an outstanding mystery. At first I thought that the premise was too absurd, but as Ellery begins to fight back and take charge, the story gets more and more interesting. Of course, you ( along with Inspector Queen) don' have a clue where it is going, but I can promise you, the action unwinds in a very unusual way. I was extremely intrigued to find out just "whodunit." I had guessed correctly, but I couldn't have begun to know why all the masquerade. This is a good read and Mark Peckham is as always outstanding in his reading of it. I highly recommend. Enjoy!

2 people found this helpful

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  • CR
  • 08-05-18

Disappointing and tedious

Slow, boring and predictable. A lot of things in this story happen for no reason at all and the turning points of the "mystery" are underwhelming and presented in a clunky, repetitive manner. There is a lot of long, opinion-laden exposition that is very tedious to get through. The whole set-up is very cartoonish and when the eventual truth is revealed you can't help thinking that there had to have been about a million easier and more effective ways for the person in question to achieve the desired result, all of which would have rendered this entire book and the Queens involvement completely unnecessary. The end of the book actually proves this conclusively, just in case there was any doubt as to how unnecessary it all was.

I like old mystery stories and am generally willing to overlook outdated views, stereotypes, and storytelling modes, but the overall story itself has to compensate and feel worth the effort, and in this case it unfortunately just didn't. This would have made a great 30 minute old time radio drama, or even an hour long special, but 8 hrs and 43 minutes was at least 7 hours too long for me.

1 person found this helpful

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  • beviolette
  • 21-02-17

Awesome

Wonder book. Exceptional story with a plot that will keep you hanging. I would definitely recommend it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lisa H. Lee
  • 09-12-21

Depressing

Such a depressing story

Call me sentimental

I again share that I missed the earlier storyline set in New York

This story rested heavily on psychology which has become
more and more relied on as a panacea for the crime rather than logic which was the earlier plot solutions of earlier books

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  • Graycee
  • 15-11-21

Ellery Queen!

I liked the narrator and storyline. It was a surprise ending and that made me smile.

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  • Karla Milton
  • 02-07-21

Repetition

Dragged out to be a very long way around telling a story. Repetition of facts made it very tiresome.
Storyline is excellent though. Narrator is good as well. Just try to bear thru the telling of it.

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  • E. Cohen
  • 07-02-21

Very disappointing locked room

The main disappointment is in the solution for what is being hailed as a top locked rooms. There are at least two other more plausible solutions that were carelessly allowed for no good reason, making the entire deduction process itself faulty. There is also an entirely unnecessary 2-week side trip whose clues could have been more interestingly developed by talking to people already on the island. And unlike a good Carr novel, that uses its length to develop atmosphere that adds to the mystery, the atmosphere of this book (such as it is) simply leaves us waiting for the next thing we know will happen. The plot (with some improvement) would have made a nice short story, but it's a letdown as a novel.

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  • Stephen W Osborne
  • 20-12-16

The King is dead, long live Ellery Queen!

The premise is maddening. A man is told precisely when he will be killed. And he knows who is trying to kill him. So he's in a locked room, with only his wife, and the man who threatened him is two rooms away, with no loaded weapon, watched all the time. Yet, at the exact moment predicted, King Bendigo is shot. No gun is found in the room. I thought the solution was brilliant, and the characters kept me guessing the whole time. Loved the brief return to the world of Wrightsville, which I didn't expect. I much prefer Mark Peckham over other Ellery readers.

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  • Jerri
  • 04-03-16

Story good. Narrator not so much

I struggled with the narrator but still enjoyed the story. This is the first time I knew who did it but I still was fooled on how it was done.