Monday, October 10, 2011
The Perfect Crime, by Ellery Queen
The Perfect Crime
by Ellery Queen
When I started reading this Ellery Queen book I had another Ellery Queen (And On The Eighth Day) on my To Be Read stack. I'd started it a while back, got fed up and put it aside. I found that book to be something of a slog, to say the least, but I whipped through The Perfect Crime in no time at all.
The only information I can find about this book is that it's supposedly a novelization of a 1941 movie called Ellery Queen and the Perfect Crime. The Pyramid paperback I read is dated 1968 with a copyright of 1942 and mentions nothing about it being a novelization. I'm not really sure what the score is but in any event it didn't affect my enjoyment of the book.
To start with a very mild spoiler, it's pretty obvious to any reader that Ellery is going to hash things out before it's all over and thus the crime is not actually a perfect one. But I quibble. What actually happens concerns a tycoon who has ruined a number of his investors due to some shady business practices. One of those investors just happens to live next door, a fact that comes into play when the tycoon is found dead in his study, having apparently shot himself.
Which is exactly what happened, of course, and everyone accepts this as gospel truth and the book ends there.
But I jest. Of course, Ellery (or anyone else with a grain of sense) isn’t buying the suicide explanation and he springs into action, attempting to sort out exactly what happened. I won't go into much detail for fear of spoiling, except to note that there's a monkey on hand, that naturally the reader is provided with a map to help keep tabs on things, and that this compact novel zipped right along at a nice clip and is well worth a look.