Read The Egyptian Cross Mystery by Ellery Queen Free Online
Book Title: The Egyptian Cross Mystery|
The author of the book: Ellery Queen
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 1903 times
Reader ratings: 4.8
Date of issue: May 1st 1979
ISBN 13: 9780451086631
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 3.53 MB
Read full description of the books:
“The most pitiful Christmas story of the year was revealed today when the beheaded body of Andrew Van, 46-year-old schoolmaster of the little West Virginia hamlet of Arroyo, was discovered crucified to the signpost on a lonely crossroads near the village early Christmas morning.
Four-inch iron spikes had been driven into the upturned palms of the victim, impaling them to the tips of the signpost's weatherbeaten arms. Two other spikes transfixed the dead man's ankles, which were set close together at the foot of the upright. Under the armpits two more spikes had been driven, supporting the weight of the dead man in such a way that, his head having been hacked off, the corpse resembled nothing so much as a great letter T.
The signpost formed a T. The crossroads formed a T. On the door of Van's house, not far from the crossroads, the murdered had scrawled a T in his victim's blood. And on the signpost the maniac's conception of a human T...”
(Excerpt from newspaper article on what would come to be known as the first of “The Egyptian Cross Murders.”)
No one has ever seen anything like this. Van was eccentric, but inoffensive. He had no enemies or friends. His only close associate was his servant/handyman, Kling, who has also vanished without a trace. The district attorney, coroner, and law enforcement of Arroyo and Hancock County have no idea how to deal with this.
Ellery Queen hears about the bizarre murder and promptly goes to Arroyo. However, his investigation, though it turns up some interesting facts, doesn't really solve the crime. Ellery returns home to New York, thinking he has heard the last of the odd murder...Then six months later he receives a telegram from an old professor that ends:
“MY NEIGHBOR FOUND CRUCIFIED TO HIS TOTEM POST WITH HEAD MISSING STOP I SHALL EXPECT YOU TODAY.
It has started again.
This is probably the most bloody of the Ellery Queen novels, but it's pretty tame by today's standards. The plot is complicated and twisted. This is one mystery that had me completely stumped until the end. The plot reminded me somewhat of The Three Coffins (a/k/a “The Hollow Man”) by John Dickson Carr – someone flees a dark, violent past, only to be hunted down. “Egyptian Cross” is a wonderfully dark tale with a strong paranoid streak running through it. You literally do not know whom to trust. The terror is palpable. The only weak spots are the two romances involving secondary characters, which really just get in the way. Those characters could have been left out and the story would not have suffered.
Of all the Ellery Queens, this is probably my favorite. Very recommended.
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Read information about the authoraka Barnaby Ross.
"Ellery Queen" was a pen name created and shared by two cousins, Frederic Dannay (1905-1982) and Manfred B. Lee (1905-1971), as well as the name of their most famous detective. Born in Brooklyn, they spent forty two years writing, editing, and anthologizing under the name, gaining a reputation as the foremost American authors of the Golden Age "fair play" mystery.
Although eventually famous on television and radio, Queen's first appearance came in 1928 when the cousins won a mystery-writing contest with the book that would eventually be published as The Roman Hat Mystery. Their character was an amateur detective who used his spare time to assist his police inspector father in solving baffling crimes. Besides writing the Queen novels, Dannay and Lee cofounded Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, one of the most influential crime publications of all time. Although Dannay outlived his cousin by nine years, he retired Queen upon Lee's death.
Several of the later "Ellery Queen" books were written by other authors, including Jack Vance, Avram Davidson, and Theodore Sturgeon.
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