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Buck Horne has roped thousands of cattle, slugged his way out of dozens of saloons, and shot plenty of men dead in the street—but always on the backlot. He is a celluloid cowboy, and his career is nearly kaput. The real box office draw is his daughter, Kit, a brawling beauty who can outshoot any rascal the studio has to offer. Desperate for a comeback, Buck joins Wild Bill Grant’s traveling rodeo for a show in New York, hoping to impress Hollywood and land one last movie contract. But he has scarcely mounted his horse when he falls to the dirt. It wasn’t age that made him slip—it was the bullet in his heart. Watching from the stands are Ellery Queen, debonair sleuth, and his police detective father. They are New Yorkers through and through, but to solve the rodeo killing, the Queens must learn to talk cowboy.
Driving along a lonely mountain road, detective Ellery Queen and his father, Richard, round a bend and nearly run headlong into a forest fire. To escape, they race up the mountain and take shelter at the cliffside manor of Dr. John Xavier, a surgeon of considerable repute. Ellery quickly suspects something strange is going on inside the house—from Xavier’s bizarre references to his work to the pair of eyes Ellery sees burning in the dark—but before he can confront Xavier about what he’s doing in his laboratory, the good doctor is found shot dead while playing solitaire—and the only clue is a ripped six of spades.
With the help of his father, a gruff police inspector, Ellery sets about solving the crime. The suspects include the victim’s valet, a pair of conjoined twins, and the mysterious Mr. Smith. In this game, the stakes are life and death.
One of the earliest novels starring the storied Ellery Queen, The Siamese Twin Mystery is a classic golden-age murder mystery. From the manor-house setting to the gothic atmosphere, it presents an Edgar Award–winning author at his very best.
After the death of his longtime friend Inspector Rummell, Ellery Queen drops in on Rummell’s son, a struggling lawyer named Beau. Before their meal is through, Queen and young Rummell are partners in a newly minted company: Ellery Queen, Confidential Investigations. Rummell promises not to burden Queen with any of the work—he only wants to capitalize on the name of the world-famous amateur sleuth. But when they are hired by an eccentric millionaire who refuses to say just why he wants their services, Rummell has no choice but to turn to Queen for help. And when their client dies at sea, they discover that the wealthy old man had countless enemies who might have put him out of his misery—most of them within his own family.
Ellery Queen and his father are meandering through breakfast when their apartment is invaded. Without making a sound, 2 men appear in the Queens’ living room, guns drawn, and proceed to search the place. When they’re done, a 3rd man follows: a paunchy little professor-type who happens to be the brother of a king. King Bendigo doesn’t rule a country, but his control of the international arms trade has made him one of the richest men in the world. It’s not surprising that somebody wants him dead.
Bendigo’s brother comes to the Queens to ask them to save the tycoon’s life—but they fail. The king is found dead in a hermetically sealed room, a bullet lodged in his heart. The murder is impossible to solve—that is, for anyone but Ellery Queen.
Miss Marple encounters a compelling murder mystery in the sleepy little village of St. Mary Mead, where under the seemingly peaceful exterior of an English country village lurks intrigue, guilt, deception and death.
Colonel Protheroe, local magistrate and overbearing land-owner is the most detested man in the village. Everyone--even in the vicar--wishes he were dead. And very soon he is--shot in the head in the vicar's own study. Faced with a surfeit of suspects, only the inscrutable Miss Marple can unravel the tangled web of clues that will lead to the unmasking of the killer.
A treasure worth killing for. Sam Spade, a slightly shopworn private eye with his own solitary code of ethics. A perfumed grafter named Joel Cairo, a fat man name Gutman, and Brigid O’Shaughnessy, a beautiful and treacherous woman whose loyalties shift at the drop of a dime. These are the ingredients of Dashiell Hammett's iconic, influential, and beloved The Maltese Falcon.
Includes “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” “The Mystery of Marie Rogêt,” and “The Purloined Letter”
Between 1841 and 1844, Edgar Allan Poe invented the genre of detective fiction with three mesmerizing stories of a young French eccentric named C. Auguste Dupin. Introducing to literature the concept of applying reason to solving crime, these tales brought Poe fame and fortune. Years later, Dorothy Sayers would describe “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” as “almost a complete manual of detective theory and practice.” Indeed, Poe’s short mysteries inspired the creation of countless literary sleuths, among them Sherlock Holmes. Today, the unique Dupin stories still stand out as utterly engrossing page-turners.
Includes a Modern Library Reading Group Guide
Hercule Poirot comes out of retirement in one of Agatha Christie’s ten favorite novels, The Murder of Rojer Ackroyd.
Roger Ackroyd knew too much. He knew that the woman he loved had poisoned her brutal first husband. He suspected also that someone had been blackmailing her. Then, tragically, came the news that she had taken her own life with an apparent drug overdose.
However the evening post brought Roger one last fatal scrap of information, but before he could finish reading the letter, he was stabbed to death. Luckily one of Roger’s friends and the newest resident to retire to this normally quiet village takes over—none other than Monsieur Hercule Poirot.
Guarded by three Brahmin priests, the Moonstone is a religious relic, the centerpiece in a sacred statue of the Hindu god of the moon. It is also a giant yellow diamond of enormous value, and its temptation is irresistible to the corrupt John Herncastle, a colonel in the British Army in India. After murdering the three guardian priests and bringing the diamond back to England with him, Herncastle bequeaths it to his niece, Rachel, knowing full well that danger will follow. True to its enigmatic nature, the Moonstone disappears from Rachel’s room on the night of her eighteenth birthday, igniting a mystery so intricate and thrilling it has set the standard for every crime novel of the past one hundred fifty years.
Widely recognized, alongside the stories of Edgar Allan Poe, as establishing many of the most enduring conventions of detective fiction, The Moonstone is Wilkie Collins’s masterwork and one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century.
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'Sherlock Holmes was transformed when he was hot upon such a scent as this. Men who had only known the quiet thinker and logician of Baker Street would have failed to recognize him. His face flushed and darkened. His brows were drawn into two hard black lines, while his eyes shone out from beneath them with a steely glitter.'
Set against the foggy, mysterious backdrops of London and the English countryside, these are the first twelve stories ever published to feature the infamous Detective Sherlock Holmes and his side kick Doctor Watson. They first appeared as stories in the Strand Magazine and feature some of his most famous and enjoyable cases, including 'A Scandal in Bohemia', 'The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle' and 'The Red-headed League'.
“The murderer is with us—on the train now . . .”
Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Edward Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. Without a shred of doubt, one of his fellow passengers is the murderer.
Isolated by the storm, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer among a dozen of the dead man's enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again.
“What more . . . can a mystery addict desire?”—New York Times
Mystery Writers of America Grand Master and Special Edgar Award–winning author Ellery Queen delivers yet another fast-paced and captivating story in The Greek Coffin Mystery.
The Godfrey family is vacationing among the picturesque rocky cliffs of the North Atlantic seaboard, expecting peace, quiet, and, perhaps, a bit of golf or tennis. But one dusky evening in an isolated spot on the grounds of Spanish Cape, Rosa and her uncle David get into an argument about her secretive romance with one of their guests, the roguish John Marco, a handsome cad with a yellow roadster and no visible source of income. That’s when a towering one-eyed man with a .38 revolver emerges from the twilight.
When renowned sleuth Ellery Queen arrives the next day from New York City, looking forward to a summer getaway on the coast, he realizes his trip will be no walk on the beach. Rescuing Rosa, he discovers her captor mistook David for John and struck the former down instead. But Ellery has more work to do when Rosa’s shady sweetheart is found stone dead and stark naked . . . aside from a black fedora and a theatrical-looking opera cloak. There are plenty of guests and members of the household who might have wanted John dead, but who did it—and what in the world happened to the victim’s clothes?
In this iconic series inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and praised by none other than Agatha Christie, carefully planted clues, logical deduction, and an atmospheric 1930s setting combine for an irresistibly enjoyable read for anyone who loves a murderous puzzle.
In the dog days of August, it is no surprise to see New Yorkers perspire. But this summer, a killer called the Cat gives the city a new reason to sweat. He selects his victims seemingly at random and strangles them, then escapes without leaving a clue. As the death toll climbs, and the press whips the public into horrified frenzy, Gotham teeters on the edge of anarchy. Ellery Queen, the brilliant amateur sleuth, has gone into retirement when the Cat begins to kill. As his father, a seasoned homicide detective, leads the investigation into the murder, Ellery tries to avoid getting involved. But as the body count rises, he can no longer resist the urge to hunt. The Queens are known for their curiosity—and everyone knows how curiosity can affect a cat.
Ellery Queen stands naked by the window, sipping rum from a frosted glass, a corpse at his feet. The deceased is Hollywood, and the cause of death is clear: television. Queen has come to Los Angeles in search of a plot for his latest mystery, but the moribund movie business offers nothing more than nostalgia for better days. He’s about to give up and go home when a pretty girl appears and offers a mystery far stranger than anything a filmmaker has ever produced.
The woman’s name is Laurel, and her father has been murdered by a dead dog. The canine was sent as a gift—1 in a series of vile, cryptic packages—and it scared her father to death. The deceased pet is the most peculiar murder weapon Queen has ever come across, and unless he’s quick, this story will not have a Hollywood ending.
Homicide has never had a place in Shinn Corners. This backwater New England hamlet has seen three unlawful deaths in its 250-year history: infanticide in 1739, a political killing in the 1860s, and a forgettable murder some 15 years ago. In his long tenure on the bench, Judge Lewis Shinn has hardly seen any violent crime at all. His nephew, Johnny, is happy to settle in such a quiet place. After fighting in the Korean and Second World Wars, he’s seen enough bloodshed to last a lifetime. On returning to Shinn Corners, however, he learns that death has followed him home.
When the town’s only celebrity, landscape painter Fanny Adams, is killed with a fireplace poker, suspicion falls on a foreign stranger who recently passed through. As mob rule threatens to corrupt the stranger’s trial, Johnny will fight for justice—and learn the chilling truth about his Yankee neighbors.
Ellery Queen was raised in New York City, but his heart belongs to the village of Wrightsville. An idyllic New England hamlet, it was the site of some of the world-famous detective’s most remarkable investigations. After years of solving murder cases in Wrightsville’s coziest parlors, Queen was sure the community did not have any further mysteries to offer. But an anonymous letter draws him back to the most dangerous small town in America.
Luke MacCaby’s sagging old Victorian mansion sits on the edge of a respectable Wrightsville district as a fading reminder of the area’s long-vanished heyday. When the owner—a seemingly impoverished hermit—passes away, the town is shocked to learn that he was a partner in the local dye works and left behind a fortune worth millions. To find MacCaby’s killer, Queen must peel away the surface of the place he so dearly loves.
It’s 1943, the war is raging, and sleuthing scribe Ellery Queen wants to do his bit. After a tortuous cross-country drive, he takes a job writing scripts for a Hollywood propaganda house—twelve hours a day of hack work that quickly turns his mind to jelly. After a few weeks, he is so worn down that he can type nothing but gibberish, and he decides to drive home. The trouble starts as soon as he reaches the desert.
His ancient roadster breaks down on the edge of Death Valley. Wandering in search of help, he is saved by a man known as the Teacher, who takes him to an oasis called Quenan. Here, Queen finds a bizarre, reclusive cult that seems to have come straight out of the ancient past. A murder has been committed in the desert, and the Quenanites plan on delivering some Old Testament justice. Queen is just the detective they’ve been waiting for.