Cornelia Potts is a cantankerous old woman who made a fortune in shoes. Everyone in lower-income America is wearing Potts shoes. She has six grown children. The older three have obsessions that border on madness. The younger three are sane and sensible. Ellery Queen is keeping an eye on the oldest son, who is now threatening to kill anyone who insults him or his illustrious name. So Ellery is on the scene when the first Potts is murdered. And the second.
This 1945 mystery is typical of the Ellery Queen novels in that the case keeps getting closed and reopened, as new solutions replace previous ones. The murderer has been so devious that Ellery has to keep revising his ideas. This can get tedious, unless I’m really caught up in the story, which I wasn’t in this case.
The extreme eccentricities of half the characters bothered me. I simply could not believe they were for real. I appreciate eccentricity as a rule, but I like it to be believable. There are just too many cracked Potts in this plot.