Despite the dismal Broadway season, Gunplay continues to draw crowds. A gangland spectacle, it's packed to the gills with action, explosions, and gunfire. In fact, Gunplay is so loud that no one notices the killing of Monte Field. In a sold-out theater, Field is found dead partway through the second act, surrounded by empty seats. The police hold the crowd and call for the one man who can untangle this daring murder: Inspector Richard Queen. With the help of his son Ellery, a bibliophile and novelist whose imagination can solve any crime, the Inspector attacks this seemingly impenetrable mystery. Anyone in the theater could have killed the unscrupulous lawyer, and several had the motive. Only Ellery Queen, in his debut novel, can decipher the clue of the dead man's missing top hat.
©2013 Ellery Queen (P)2013 AudioGO
Have re-discovered "quality time." Evenings listening to good books have replaced mindless tv watching. What a difference!
This was my first Ellery Queen. Loving mysteries, I have long intended to get to these books because they're a significant part of the American contributions during the classic mystery writing period. (This one was originally published in 1929). Being a lover of mysteries from that time, so far as I can tell, this is about as good as it gets.
This is the "fun" kind of mystery--where it is laid out as a pure logic problem for the reader from beginning to end. Clues and suspects are plentiful, but the author has (now looking back on it) been very clever in creating a straightforward mystery that the reader could [theoretically] solve along with them. (Clues are everywhere but few red herrings). Toward the end, the author has an aside to the reader, stating that now, at this point, we know as much as the detectives do--there will be no surprises thrown in at the end--and invites the reader to use their own deductive powers to solve the murder/puzzle. Quite a fun book, really--like a giant cerebral murder puzzle. It's "Clue" on steroids. If you know how to pay attention, you can solve the mystery (but fair warning--it is far from obvious and I won't say if I was smart enough to figure it out :-) .
Richard Queen (the father) is a member of the homicide squad--greatly respected by all his peers and superiors (there's a different idea--modern detective stories so often have the main characters butting up against forces that do not support them--so they become lone wolves). But not here--this is a book with "class". Ellery Queen is the son, who for all practical purposes is not a detective, but a book lover, but father & son are unusually close, and Ellery does a great deal of the "detecting" in the team. The book is written without a single swear word, in fact I would call it "polite" much of the time because it is not meant as a series of shocks, but a series of clues to the reader.
It is peppered with some literary allusions, and the occasional Latin phrase (to point out how erudite the father & son are). I feel the need to just comment on how it has a small amount of what would today be viewed as a sort of political incorrectness--a very few comments by characters left me cringing and sad, but I finally decided that the writing represents mindsets of that era, and I believe the authors would be sensitive enough to present a couple of offhand remarks differently today. Although noticeable, it didn't take away from the overall enjoyment.
So there were two authors for the Ellery Queen series. I looked that part up--and it sounds like two men wrote the books--one came up with the logic puzzle sort of setup and the clues, while the other wrote the dialogue and fleshed the books out. I'm old, and have read hundreds of good mysteries in my life. I had heard of Ellery Queen, but never before read one. I was beyond thrilled with this discovery, I'm groggy with lack of sleep this morning because I listened till the wee hours to hear the end, and I cannot wait till I can listen to the next one! I so highly recommend--I wish I could give it all 10 stars!
At home in the snowy mountains of Utah. Who says you need to have a summer...
A true classic.
I would not change a thing. While it does not meet current ideas of political correctness, it is a great representation of the times in which it is set and was written.
The narrator does not go overboard with the vocal representations of the characters, but still manages to convey tone and intent.
Listened to it non-stop on a trip across Nevada from Utah to San Jose. Great listen!
If you enjoy the Ellery Queen method and don't mind a period piece that shows its age in places, you will enjoy this production.
There are no listener reviews for this title yet.
Report Inappropriate Content