Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Egyptian Cross Mystery

There's no photo for this one because I read it on my Kindle and I have no idea how to find and post a photo from another site.  Besides, I want to get back to reading!

I love these old, 1930s mysteries.  I love the atmosphere, the cars, the hats and suits men wore, the less hurried way of life, just everything about them.  I love movies from this era, too.  I own the complete Ellery Queen TV series from 1975 / 1976, starring the late great Jim Hutton and David Wayne.  Such style.

Several people lose their heads in this mystery.  Literally.  Ellery Queen, the sleuth son of NYC Inspector Richard Queen, is bored.  He reads of a murder in West Virginia, where a local teacher has been crucified at a crossroad and beheaded, hopefully both after he was dead.  He was hung to look like a gruesome, giant letter 'T', and there are other 'T's involved.  Ellery wonders about their significance.

A few months later, on Long Island, there's a murder that's almost identical.  Ellery has to investigate.  A few of the people from W.Virginia are living in the vicinity of the second murder, but are they involved?  And then there's another beheading and crucifixion.  What's going on?  How are they related?

It's hard to say much more about this book because there's a lot of deception.  People aren't always who they seem to be.  Motives aren't clear.  Someone like Ellery is needed to see through the fog.

At the end of the book, there's a heart-stopping chase across several states involving cars pursuing the murderer through storms and via trains and airplanes, often just missing him by minutes.

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