Ellery Queen investigates a murderous dead dog in Hollywood
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.
About the author
Ellery Queen was a pen name created and shared by two cousins, Frederic Dannay (1905–1982) and Manfred B. Lee (1905–1971), as well as the name of their most famous detective. Born in Brooklyn, they spent forty-two years writing, editing, and anthologizing under the name, gaining a reputation as the foremost American authors of the Golden Age “fair play” mystery.
Although eventually famous on television and radio, Queen’s first appearance came in 1928, when the cousins won a mystery-writing contest with the book that was later published as The Roman Hat Mystery. Their character was an amateur detective who uses his spare time to assist his police inspector uncle in solving baffling crimes. Besides writing the Queen novels, Dannay and Lee cofounded Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, one of the most influential crime publications of all time. Although Dannay outlived his cousin by nine years, he retired Queen upon Lee’s death.
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