More featuring detectives

When a popular singer goes from retired to dead the day before New Year's Eve, Ellery Queen is certain it’s murder. Luckily, just before she died, the victim managed to scribble out a single mysterious word: F A C E. Unfortunately, no one knows what it means.

With the help of a new acquaintance, Inspector Harry Burke from Scotland, Queen uncovers even more baffling clues written in invisible ink. Enter the beautiful, discarded conquests of the dead singer's playboy husband, who prove a dangerous distraction for both Queen and Burke. Will erotic temptation derail the investigation? If it does, hearts will be broken, and what's worse -- someone will get away with murder.

From his first appearance in print in 1929, Ellery Queen became one of America’s most famous and beloved fictional detectives. Over the course of nearly half a century, Frederic Dannay and Manfred B. Lee, the duo writing team known as Ellery Queen, won the prestigious Edgar Award multiple times, and their contributions to the mystery genre were recognized with a Grand Master Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Mystery Writers of America. Their fair-play mysteries won over fans due to their intricate puzzles that challenged the reader to solve the mystery alongside the brilliant detective. Queen’s stories were among the first to dominate the earliest days of radio, film, and television. Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, which the writers founded and edited, became the world’s most influential and acclaimed crime fiction magazine.
“The grand dame of mystery mixed with screwball comedy” introduces her popular, sharp-witted Chicago lawyer/sleuth (Ed Gorman, Ellery Queen Award–winning author).
 
John J. Malone, defender of the guilty, is notorious for getting his culpable clients off. It’s the innocent ones who are problems. Like Holly Inglehart, accused of piercing the black heart of her well-heeled and tyrannical aunt Alexandria with a lovely Florentine paper cutter. No one who knew the old battle-ax liked her, but Holly’s prints were found on the murder weapon. Plus, she had a motive: She was about to be disinherited for marrying a common bandleader.
 
With each new lurid headline, Holly’s friends and supporters start to rally. There’s North Shore debutante Helene Brand; Holly’s groom’s press agent, Jake Justus; the madam of a local brothel, and Alexandria’s hand-wringing servants. But not one of them can explain the queerest bent to the crime: At the time of the murder, every clock in the Inglehart mansion stopped dead. And that’s only the first twist in a baffling case of “aunty-cide”—because Alexandria won’t be the last to die.
 
Making his debut in this fun and funny novel, Craig Rice’s one-of-a-kind Chicago attorney is “an inspired creation . . . an unapologetic champion of the defense bar . . . a defender of the guilty whose contempt for society outstrips his contempt for criminals” (Jon L. Breen, Edgar Award–winning author).
 
Eight Faces at Three is the 1st book in the John J. Malone Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
A Chicago attorney scours the Big Apple for a missing bride and a wedding-night murderer in a mystery that’s “Miss Rice at her best” (The New Yorker).
 
On a break from the Windy City, aspiring crime novelist Jake Justus and his wife, Helene, are acquainting themselves with Manhattan’s finest cocktail lounges when they befriend Dennis Morrison, a blind-drunk groom. The handsome former male escort thought he’d found his bounty in homely heiress Bertha Lutts, but while their wedding night may have been a bust, the morning after turned out to be the real horror. It seems Bertha has vanished from their bridal suite and in her place is an unidentified beheaded woman. Having taken a shine to Dennis, Jake and Helene call on his best defense: Chicago attorney John J. Malone.
 
Winding his way through both the city’s low lives and its high society, Malone quickly discovers a link between the nameless victim, the missing bride, and a slick gigolo: a bohemian Greenwich Village poetess who is free with her verse, knows more than she realizes, and is becoming more frightened with every New York minute. But when Dennis disappears as well, Malone’s left with the itchy feeling that another dead end is right around the corner.
 
The basis for the 1945 film starring Carole Landis and Pat O’Brien, Having Wonderful Crime is “a pleasure to read as pure entertainment but there’s a also a wicked social voice reporting back from the eyries of the wealthy and privileged. [Rice’s] observations are worthy of Tom Wolfe at his best and nastiest” (Ed Gorman).
 
Having Wonderful Crime is the 3rd book in the John J. Malone Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
A shake-up in the NYPD homicide squad following a high-profile murder is bad for business for private investigator Nero Wolfe.
 
When wealthy and popular crusader and reformer Lester Pierce is gunned down in front of his Park Avenue residence, the public outcry forces the NYPD to restructure its homicide department. As the deceased was highly critical of Inspector Lionel Cramer, the longtime head of homicide is temporarily relieved of his badge. But it seems Cramer was not just a scapegoat: He was seen dining in Little Italy with mob kingpin Ralph Mars.
 
All of which amounts to little more than conversational fodder for PI Nero Wolfe and his assistant Archie Goodwin. But if Cramer’s provisional replacement, Capt. George Rowcliff, becomes permanent, Wolfe’s future dealings with the force will be much compromised. Loath to depart from his routine, Wolfe makes the unusual decision to take on a case without an actual client.
 
His investigation quickly points toward Pierce’s organization, Good Government Group, where high-minded idealism is often trampled under the competing ambitions of the staff—several of whom would clearly have benefited from Pierce’s demise. Despite the burgeoning list of suspects, Wolfe hasn’t ruled out the involvement of the underworld and its connection to Cramer. But in order to untangle an abundance of motives and end the inspector’s forced furlough, Wolfe may have to venture out of his comfort zone—and the premises of his brownstone.
 
Continuing his beloved series—which also includes Archie Meets Nero Wolfe, Murder in the Ball Park, Archie in the Crosshairs, and Murder, Stage Left—Nero Award–winning author Robert Goldsborough “demonstrates an impressive ability to emulate Rex Stout’s narrative voice” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
 
The Battered Badge is the 60th book in the Nero Wolfe Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
 
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