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The Spanish Cape Mystery. A Problem in…

The Spanish Cape Mystery. A Problem in Deduction (edition 1981)

by Ellery Queen (Author)

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191791,672 (3.43)4
Title:The Spanish Cape Mystery. A Problem in Deduction
Authors:Ellery Queen (Author)
Info:Hamlyn (1981)
Collections:Your library
Tags:read, thriller

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The Spanish Cape Mystery by Ellery Queen



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English (6)  Italian (1)  All languages (7)
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Ellery Queen has been invited by a retired judge friend to stay at a cottage at Spanish Cape. They arrive to find Rosa Godfrey, a beautiful young woman from a wealthy family, tied up and injured. Rosa and her uncle had been kidnapped earlier in the evening, her uncle having been mistaken for Rosa's disreputable suitor, John Marco. When Rosa is fit to travel, Ellery and the judge return her to her home to the news that John Marco has been murdered. Ellery and the judge assist the local police in the investigation of the murder. The suspects are limited to the residents and guests in the Godfrey home.

This mystery has elements of both country house and locked room variations popular in the Golden Age. I probably would have enjoyed it more in print. My mental image of Ellery Queen is largely influenced by Jim Hutton's portrayal of him in the 1970s TV series. When the book describes Ellery as speaking cheerfully, I imagine Jim Hutton's breezy characterization. The audio reader doesn't sound anything like Jim Hutton. His Ellery sounds like a supercilious snob. I think Jim Hutton's portrayal was likely closer to what the author intended. ( )
  cbl_tn | Feb 16, 2018 |
One of Ellery Queen's earlier books, it has a bit more detail to it and provides a solid read. There are red herrings to pull you off track, yet the clues are all there. This adventure finds Ellery on vacation and in the company of Judge Macklin heading for the coast for a bit. This is one story that doesn't include Inspector Queen.
The cast of characters is colourful and there is logic galore in the analysis of the clues. ( )
  ChazziFrazz | Jun 23, 2016 |
Ellery Queen books are quite inconsistent. They're a mixed bag. The more difficult is it to solve the crime on your own, the worse the book is. This I've gleaned from experience in reading the blighters. As for this particular book, there was too much melodrama and not enough drama. Concretely, too much eavesdropping was going on to facilitate the solution of the case. Ellery Queen had to find out a lot of the mystery by a too well informed butler. There was a single murder, and by the time the mystery hummed and hawed, I was losing interest. ( )
  Jiraiya | Mar 1, 2014 |
Another great mystery by EQ. ( )
  JeffreyMarks | Jul 11, 2013 |
Summary: Once again Ellery Queen (the authors) twist the plot, settings and characters in order to place Ellery Queen (the detective) at the right spot, at the right time to become semi-officially involved in solving a mystery. The authors have to go to great lengths to provide a setting that is isolated enough to rule out the possibility of random murderer and yet not so isolated that police, the press and various modern facilities are not on hand. The people encountered are either stereotypes or unbelievable as actual human beings (or both.)

For much of the book Ellery Queen (the character) makes speeches or offers explanations whose primary purpose appears to be to muddy rather than clarify the situation. For all the authors' attempts to make this a brain puzzler if one simply ignores Queen's verbal obfuscations the identity of the murderer is obvious.

[Note the first: Ellery Queen, the authors, do not strictly play fair with the reader. It is that lack of fair play that delays the reader from immediately recognizing the actual culprit.]

[Note the second: In addition to the usual racist and misogynist language and behaviour one comes upon in these early Ellery Queen novels this book includes scenes of psychical, emotional and verbal spousal abuse as well as fat-shaming and "lookism" that is extreme even for Queen novels of this period.]

In short: Since this is not one of the better-written of the early Queens, not a good brain-teaser, doesn't play fair with the reader and is full of language and behaviour that is disturbing this reader does not recommend the book to anyone who isn't a Queen afficiando/completist and/or a student of popular culture/mysteries of the 1930s.

Additional Trigger Warning: Chapter Twelve includes a disturbing description of a man verbally and physically assaulting his wife. Although Queen and the other men covertly observing this initially do not intervene because they are able to learn information that will assist them in solving the murder mystery they do nothing, after they have gained that information, to assist the woman and do nothing, even after the husband has left the scene, to render aid to her. The last we see of her she is sitting physically bruised and emotionally battered and the reader is left with no illusions that male observers feel more sympathy for the cuckolded husband than the battered woman.

To read the rest (spoilers included) go to: http://mmycomments.blogspot.com/2011/08/book-review-spanish-cape-mystery.html ( )
1 vote mmyoung | Aug 20, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451088646, Mass Market Paperback)

THE SPANISH CAPE MYSTERY is a study in jealousy, revenge and mistaken identity. The setting is a brooding headland called the Spanish Cape. The cast contains the monstrous Captain Kidd, the ill-fated David Cumer and his beautiful niece Rosa, and Rosa's suitors. Into this scene drives Ellery Queen, intent on a holiday. Instead he must solve a baffling kidnap-murder!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:06 -0400)

On a seaside vacation, Ellery Queen is ensnared in a trio of strange crimes Spanish Cape is a dramatic promontory, its rocky cliffs topped with a picturesque hacienda. This isolated spot belongs to millionaire Walter Godfrey and it should be a peaceful family getawaybut one summer evening, Rosa Godfrey argues with her uncle David as he tries to convince her not to run away with one of their guests, the roguish John Marco. Suddenly, a one-eyed gunman appears out of the twilight. He seems to mistake David for John, and forces the pair to the mainland, where he clubs David on the head and locks Rosa in an empty vacation cottage. The next day, Rosa is rescued by the renowned sleuth Ellery Queen, who had come to the coast for a holiday. For a moment, it seems her luck has changed, but then the universe delivers another crushing blow. John has been found stone dead and stark naked. This will not be the first working vacation for the unfailingly logical Ellery Queen, but to unravel the mystery of the undressed man, he will have to make sense of what happened on the worst night of Rosa Godfrey's life.… (more)

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