Wednesday, July 29, 2015
The Spanish Cape Mystery - Ellery Queen
I like Ellery Queen. I love the TV series from the 1970s and I love the books it was based on. It's the whole stylish 1930s and 1940s that I love. Men wore hats and suits and women wore hats and, well, always looked more pulled together than we do today. Not that I want to wear those styles, but they just look so great.
The Spanish Cape Mystery starts with Ellery and an older friend, a judge, heading off to the shore for a vacation. They arrive to find that the cottage they've rented has been broken into and there's an unconscious woman tied to a chair! She and her uncle were kidnapped, her uncle was spirited away on a motorboat, and she was left in the cottage.
She is the daughter of a wealthy man who owns an estate on Spanish Cape, a promontory on the Atlantic coast. Back at the estate, a man has been murdered. Although the rest of the household and guests are shocked, none are sad. He had been staying there for months and no one liked him. So why was he there? That's part of the mystery. He was found completely naked except for a long cape.
Ellery has to find the clues, put them together, and solve the mystery. As with, as far as I know, all Ellery Queen books and TV shows, the reader (or viewer) is challenged to solve the mystery before Ellery reveals the solution. I've just discovered that The Spanish Cape Mystery was a movie and is available on YouTube. You know what I'll be doing for the next two hours!
P.S. Wow, was the movie ever different from the book! The motive was completely different, the murderer was the same, Spanish Cape was in California, some of the names were partially changed (Rosa Godfrey was Stella Godfrey, Paul Kummer was David Kummer), and there were more murders!