Friday, October 19, 2018

The Chinese Orange Mystery by Ellery Queen

book cover
The Chinese Orange Mystery
by Ellery Queen

ISBN-13: 9781613161104
Publisher: American Mystery Classics
Released: Oct. 2, 2018

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
The offices of foreign literature publisher and renowned stamp collector Donald Kirk are often host to strange activities, but the most recent occurrence­—the murder of an unknown caller, found dead in an empty waiting room—is unlike any that has come before. Nobody, it seems, entered or exited the room, and yet the crime scene clearly has been manipulated, leaving everything in the room turned backwards and upside down. Stuck through the back of the corpse’s shirt are two long spears—and a tangerine is missing from the fruit bowl. Enter amateur sleuth Ellery Queen, who arrives just in time to witness the discovery of the body, only to be immediately drawn into a complex case in which no clue is too minor or too glaring to warrant careful consideration.

Reprinted for the first time in over thirty years, The Chinese Orange Mystery is revered to this day for its challenging conceit and inventive solution. The book is a “fair-play” mystery in which readers have all the clues needed to solve the crime.

My Review:
The Chinese Orange Mystery is a mystery set in New York City and was originally published in 1934. The mystery was a clue-based puzzle that can be solved based on the clues. I was able to narrow my suspects down much more quickly than the detective or his clever son, Ellery Queen. Ellery got started down an odd, wrong track at the start. There really wasn't a lot more to go on by the time the author asked the reader to guess whodunit than there was shortly after the murder. Still, it was entertaining to see the results of Ellery following up on every "backward" lead.

I was able to guess whodunit after we're given the vague details of the experiments that Ellery performed AFTER the author suggested that the reader guess at whodunit. However, I could not guess how or why. There was no sex. There was occasional use of bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this interesting mystery.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

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