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The Roman Hat Mystery, a Problem in…

The Roman Hat Mystery, a Problem in Deduction (original 1929; edition 1957)

by Ellery Queen (Author)

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3671243,499 (3.46)75
Title:The Roman Hat Mystery, a Problem in Deduction
Authors:Ellery Queen (Author)
Info:Frederick A. Stokes company (1957)
Collections:Your library
Tags:read in 2019

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The Roman Hat Mystery by Ellery Queen (1929)



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I read this book in annotated form as included in Classic American Crime Fiction of the 1920s
edited by Leslie S. Klinger.

Thus far in this collection, I've read the first books about Charlie Chan and Philo Vance. Both had issues, from my modern perspective--a painfully slow start and barely any Charlie Chan in the first, and the rambling, annoying presence of Philo Vance in the second. But in this, the first Ellery Queen novel, I finally encountered a 1920s mystery I absolutely loved. The writing is fantastic from page one, the mystery utterly intriguing, and the cast of characters diverse and amusing. I could see myself reading and enjoying more Ellery Queen novels. ( )
  ladycato | Jan 18, 2019 |
#1 Ellery Queen - how exciting to find these vintage mysteries on Scribd. It's brilliant, of course, but Ellery's character is just developing. ( )
  ParadisePorch | Sep 25, 2018 |
OK, but hasn't aged well. I had no idea this series started in 1929. ( )
  SF_fan_mae | Dec 24, 2016 |
As a teenager I used to love the Ellery Queen television series (though I imagine they were already rather dated even then), and I remember reading a few of the books at that time. I hadn’t thought of him (Them? ‘Ellery Queen was actually a partnership of two writers) for ages until a colleague chanced to mention him in the office the other day.

In an idle moment I tracked this book (the first of the series) down on Amazon and decided to give it a go. The book hasn’t aged particularly well, though that is perhaps fair enough, given that it was published in the 1930s, with markedly different social mores and conventions. The basic premise is straightforward enough. Monte Field, a defence attorney with dubious gangland connections, is found dead, apparently poisoned, at a Broadway show. Inspector Queen is summoned to investigate. His son Ellery also turns up and, over the next few days, employs his beloved logical deduction to identify the killer.

The plot is certainly sound, and the clues are certainly all there. The relationship between Ellery and his father, Inspector Richard Queen, is very well constructed, with mutual affection and regard occasionally obscured by utter exasperation. (Well, that certainly struck a chord with memories of my own family!)

I enjoyed the experiment of revisiting Ellery Queen’s mysteries, and I would be interested to see an episode from the television series, too, but I don’t think I will be venturing any further down memory lane as far as the books are concerned. ( )
  Eyejaybee | Apr 5, 2016 |
The two things I remember about this mystery are that it is set in a theater --one of my favorite mystery settings --and the victim dies by a particularly horrible form of poisoning. ( )
  antiquary | Nov 27, 2015 |
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Ellery Queenprimary authorall editionscalculated
Karasjärvi, LeenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The dramatic season of 192- began in a disconcerting manner.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
The original appearance of Ellery Queen and his dad, Richard. Together they solve a back-stage mystery.
Haiku summary
Hail Ellery Queen

Mild mannered puzzle solver

Finds hat and solves case.


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A murder in a crowded theater leaves a pack of suspects, but only one clue 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.… (more)

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