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Publisher's Summary

When Abigail Doorn was wheeled into the operation room at the Dutch Memorial Hospital, her face was strangely blue and bloated. A wire had been tightly wound around her neck. The strongest suspect, because he stood to benefit by the death of this wealthy old woman, was her protégé, the famous Dr. Janney. Just before her death he received a strange caller - one whose name he would not divulge.

Ellery Queen, having come to the hospital to visit his old friend Dr. Minchen, had been present during the time of the murder. He immediately took over the case. Besides the problem of Dr. Janney and his caller, Ellery found himself confronted with still another - why had Abby Doorn and her housekeeper quarreled continuously for twenty years? The housekeeper admitted she hated the old woman, and with a religious fanaticism declared she was an evil old woman who had received only what she deserved.

©2013 Ellery Queen (P)2013 AudioGO

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Good, but not my favorite in series, so far

Abby Doorn, a wealthy old woman who has endowed the local hospital, seems rmuch beloved to most people there. However, she is in a diabetic coma after taking a fall, and they are preparing her for surgery. Alas, they discover she is already dead--by murder, rather than Nature, and so the mystery begins.

This is a good (enough) Ellery and Richard Queen story. But it is not up to the quality of the first two. To begin with, too many coincidences. For example, Ellery Queen, no kind of medical person whatsoever, just happens to have been invited to observe the surgery that would have taken place, thus is right there when murder is discovered. Also, even though the EQ series does typically employ rather two-dimensional characters in it's setup, some of these were too unbelievable and wooden. Finally, for some reason, I didn't quite think the narration of this one measured up to the quality of the first two.

Don't get me wrong. I really like this series. I am old, but somehow am only now getting around to enjoying them. But there seemed a stiffness (no pun intended in a murder mystery) about this one that was a trifle off-putting. I still recommend it, think other readers will enjoy. Especially when taking into consideration that the books are about 80ish years old.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Eric Marshall
  • 02-14-15

classic golden age mystery

this is a classic. very well read. 2nd time I've listened to it. Ellery is somewhat prissy but he grows on you. there are others on site. that's my next listen sorted.