Calamity Town (Ellery Queen) ★✬☆☆☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Calamity Town
Series: Ellery Queen
Authors: Ellery Queen
Rating: 1.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 198
Words: 80K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia & Me

Ellery Queen moves into the small town of Wrightsville, somewhere in New England, in order to get some peace and quiet so that he can write a book. As a result of renting a furnished house, he becomes peripherally involved in the story of Jim Haight and Nora Wright. Nora’s father is president of the Wrightsville National bank, “oldest family in town”, and when the head cashier Jim Haight became engaged to his daughter Nora, he built and furnished a house for them as a wedding present. That was three years ago—the day before the wedding, Jim Haight disappeared, the wedding was called off, and the jinxed house became known as “Calamity House”. Ellery rents it, just before the return of Jim Haight, and the wedding is soon on again. Ellery finds some evidence that Jim is planning to poison Nora and, after the wedding, she does display some symptoms of arsenic poisoning. But it is Jim’s sister Rosemary who dies after drinking a poisoned cocktail. Jim is tried for the murder and it is only after some startling and tragic events that Ellery reveals the identity of the murderer.

Haight had gotten married after the original wedding didn’t happen and his wife wouldn’t divorce him. So he married Nora and she found out that he was now a bigamist and it drove her right off the mental tracks. She planned everything and killed Rosemary, who was actually Haight’s wife and Jim escaped prison with the help of his real sister and killed himself by driving off a cliff in the escape car. Nora gives birth and dies. Happy times for everyone.

My Thoughts:

Why people think something like this story is fit entertainment, to be written OR read, is beyond me. But I am done with “Ellery Queen”. I didn’t like this and I haven’t liked any of the previous books, so kaput, I’m done.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

And On the Eighth Day ★★☆☆☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: And On the Eighth Day
Series: Ellery Queen
Authors: Ellery Queen
Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 128
Words: 55.5K



Synopsis:

From the Publisher

It’s April 1944 and Ellery Queen has been working for the military making films in Hollywood. Driving through Death Valley on his way home, his car breaks down. Stumbling over a rise in the desert, he encounters an odd man who seems to come from an earlier time, and is welcomed into his community as a sort of prophet. Queen must root out a growing corruption while operating within the limits of an alien world and comes to the realization that evil can invade the most guarded of people’s hearts and societies.

My Thoughts:

Really? Ellery is an idiot, gets lost in the desert, comes across a cultic commune and solves a murder mystery that would destroy the commune if the cult leader had let it and then he just leaves? And once the murder took place, even “I” knew what had really happened (the cult leader covering for his protege so as to not leave the commune without a leader in the coming years) but good ol’ (c)elery for brains couldn’t? Sure, he’s supposed to be exhausted from writing propaganda during WWII, but come on!

This was a real mix bag of Christian aphorisms mixed with actual Scripture from the Bible mixed with pagan philosophy while referencing such people as Josephus and Pliny (the Elder or the Younger not being specified).

I did not enjoy this. I’ve decided that unless the next Queen book is a 4.5star read and completely blows me out of the water, that I’ll be done with this series.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

ps,

I have NO idea what that cover is supposed to convey. I didn’t like this book and so I chose the most unappealing cover I could find for it. If you like this cover, please drop me a comment telling me why and giving me your doctor’s name and number so I can get you some emergency psychiatric care.

The Chinese Orange Mystery ★★★☆☆

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: The Chinese Orange Mystery
Series: Ellery Queen
Authors: Ellery Queen
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 172
Words: 70.5K



Synopsis:

From Wikipedia.org

A wealthy publisher and collector of precious stones and Chinese postage stamps has a luxurious suite in a hotel that serves to handle his non-publishing business and the comings and goings of his staff, his relatives, and his female friends. When an odd and anonymous little man arrives and refuses to state his business, no one is surprised; he is locked (from outside only) in an anteroom with a bowl of fruit (including tangerines, also known as Chinese oranges) and left to await the publisher’s arrival. When the door is unlocked, though, a truly bizarre scene is displayed.

The little man’s skull is crushed, his clothing is reversed, back to front, all the furnishings of the room have been turned backwards — and two African spears have been inserted between the body and its clothing, stiffening it into immobility. The circumstances are such that someone has been observing every entrance to the room, and no one has apparently entered or left. The situation is further complicated by some valuable jewelry and stamps, the publisher’s business affairs and romantic affaires, and a connection with “backwardness” for seemingly every character. It takes the considerable talents of Ellery Queen to sort through the motives and lies and arrive at the twisted logic that underlies every aspect of this very unusual crime.

My Thoughts:

First off, this whole time (however long since I’ve heard that Ellery Queen was a mystery writer) I have thought that Queen was a woman. A Grand Dame of the Golden Age of Mystery Writers. So imagine my surprise when it turns out that not only is Ellery Queen the writer AND main character of the series but that HE is a young middle aged private detective living at home with his father.

Yeaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh.

There was no real order listed on the library site I borrowed this from so I pretty much randomly poked my finger at a title and said “I am reading YOU”. I guess this is book 8? Didn’t really seem to matter though.

This reminded me of Dorothy Sayers and her Lord Peter Wimsey and not in a positive way. While there were no railroad schedules or pages of fake code to decode, there was an exhausting amount of detail that didn’t matter to me as I just wanted a fething mystery to read about, not solve. I’ve talked about that aspect of mysteries that I despise but since a large segment of the mystery community wants such garbage, well, the authors pander to them and not to me. It was a very shocking realization to my delicate and fragile ego.

I have to admit, I am not having a good feeling about the longevity of the friendship struck up between me and Queen. I’m giving Queen 3 books to impress me and then it’s cement shoes for him if he doesn’t. These authors think they’re big stuff and as a reader, I’ve learned to put them in their place. With cement shoes.

Rating: 3 out of 5.