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Opis ebooka The Spanish Cape Mystery - Ellery Queen

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 getaway - but 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. Review Quote. "A new Ellery Queen book has always been something to look forward to for many years now." - Agatha Christie "Ellery Queen is the American detective story." - Anthony Boucher, author of Nine Times Nine "A great way to visit Moscow without having to live there." - San Jose Mercury News Biographical note. 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 was later published as The Roman Hat Mystery. Their character was an amateur detective who uses his spare time to assist his police inspector uncle 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.

Opinie o ebooku The Spanish Cape Mystery - Ellery Queen

Fragment ebooka The Spanish Cape Mystery - Ellery Queen

Contents

Cover

About the Book

About the Author

Title Page

Copyright Page

Epigraph

The Scene

Foreword

Chapter One: The Colossal Error of Captain Kidd

Chapter Two: The Error is Rectified

Chapter Three: The Problem of the Naked Man

Chapter Four: The Notorious Impatience of Time and Tide

Chapter Five: The House of Strange Guests

Chapter Six: No Man is a Hero

Chapter Seven: Dissertation on Morals, Murderers, and Maids

Chapter Eight: Of Hospitality

Chapter Nine: Night, the Dark-blue Hunter

Chapter Ten: The Gentleman from New York

Chapter Eleven: Obolus to Charon

Chapter Twelve: In Which a Blackmailer Encounters Difficulties

Chapter Thirteen: Foul Deeds Will Rise

Chapter Fourteen: Extraordinary Confessions of a Self-made Maid

Challenge to the Reader

Chapter Fifteen: Of an Interruption

Chapter Sixteen: Nudaque Veritas

Afterword

Looking for more suspense?

Cover

Begin Reading

About the Book

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 getaway - but 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.

Review Quote.

“A new Ellery Queen book has always been something to look forward to for many years now.” - Agatha Christie

“Ellery Queen is the American detective story.” - Anthony Boucher, author of Nine Times Nine

“A great way to visit Moscow without having to live there.” - San Jose Mercury News

About the Author

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 uses his spare time to assist his police inspector uncle 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.

The Spanish Cape Mystery

Ellery Queen

 

BASTEI ENTERTAINMENT

 

Bastei Entertainment is an imprint of Bastei Lübbe AG

 

Copyright © 2014 by Bastei Lübbe AG, Schanzenstraße 6-20, 51063 Cologne, Germany

 

For the original edition:

Copyright © 2013 by The Mysterious Press, LLC, 58 Warren Street, New York, NY. U.S.A.

 

Copyright © 1935 by Ellery Queen

 

Project management: Lori Herber

Cover adaptation: Christin Wilhelm, www.grafic4u.de

Cover design by Jim Tierney

 

E-book production: Jouve Germany GmbH & Co. KG

 

ISBN 978-3-95859-410-4

 

www.luebbe.de

www.bastei-entertainment.com

 

All rights reserved, including without limitation the right to reproduce this e-book or any portion thereof in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of the publisher.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Nudaque Veritas. —Horace—Carmina. I. 24. 7.

THE SCENE

SPANISH CAPE, A PECULIAR coastal formation on the North Atlantic seaboard; and environs. The Cape, an outthrust headland of sheer rock about a square mile in area, is connected with the mainland by a narrow tongue of cliff. Although it is only a few hundred yards from a wide motor highway and is flanked by public bathing beaches, it is utterly private and virtually inaccessible.

PERSONS OF THE STORY

THE HOUSEHOLD

GODFREY, WALTER: owner of Spanish Cape

GODFREY, STELLA: his wife

GODFREY, ROSA: their daughter

KUMMER, DAVID: Stella’s brother

THE GUESTS

CONSTABLE, LAURA: fat, frenetic, forty

CORT, EARLE: Rosa’s fiancé

MARCO, JOHN: Messer Diavolo

MUNN, CECILIA: ex-Broadway

MUNN, JOSEPH A.: ex-Arizona

THE CASUALS

KIDD (CAPTAIN): a local character

PENFIELD, LUCIUS: attorney-at-law

STEBBINS, HARRY: a local gas merchant

WARING, HOLLIS: the absent neighbor

THE MENIALS

BURLEIGH: housekeeper

JORUM: man-of-all-work

PITTS: Stella’s maid

TILLER: house valet

(and nameless others)

THE INVESTIGATORS

MACKLIN (JUDGE): a vacationing jurist

MOLEY (INSPECTOR): the local law

QUEEN, ELLERY: the incorrigible logician

FOREWORD

IN THE COURSE OF the five years or so during which we have had the pleasure of publishing Mr. Queen’s novels, hundreds of inquiries have been addressed to us demanding an explanation both for the mystery surrounding and the identity of the gentleman who has invariably written the forewords to the Queen books. We regret that we cannot satisfy our correspondents. We do not know.

The Publishers.

I KNOW THE PLACE very well, having viewed it innumerable times from the water-side in my modest motorboat, and on at least three occasions panoramically from the air, since Spanish Cape lies on the Atlantic coast directly in the path of a great North-to-South airline.

From the sea it looks for all the world like a gigantic chunk of weathered stone chipped out of some Alpine mother-mountain, sliced roughly down its sides, and plumped into the waters of the Atlantic seaboard to soak its feet thousands of miles from its birthplace. When you get up close to it—as close as those devilish sharp rocks encircling its base permit—it becomes a granite for tress monstrous in its grandeur, impregnable, and overpowering as Gibraltar.

From the sea, as may be imagined, Spanish Cape is a grim and rather chilling object.

But from the air you get an almost poetically different impression. There lies far below you, a queerly shaped emerald, dark green and mysterious, imbedded in the wrinkled blue moiré of the sea. It is thickly powdered with trees and underbrush; from the height of a ’plane there are only three details which give relief from the prevailing green. One is the sandwhite little beach of the Cove, with its terrace slightly above (although still below the level of the surrounding cliffs in which it is sunken). Another is the house itself, a sprawling and somewhat fantastic-appearing habitation, a hacienda on a grand scale, with stucco facings and patio and Spanish-tile roofs. Yet it is not ugly; merely foreign to the Yankee modernisms about it, like that filling-station which seems so close to it from the air, but which actually is not on Spanish Cape at all, occupying a site on the other side of the public highway.

The third relieving detail is that knife-like sunken road which slashes across the greenery of the Cape, winging straight as an Indian arrow from the public highway down the slender neck of rock connecting the Cape with the mainland, and cutting through the heart of the Cape to the Cove. The sunken road is white from the air and, although I have never set foot on it, I suspect is made of concrete; even at night it glows under the moon.

In common with most of the informed gentry of that stretch of shore I knew that this remarkable rock formation—of course it is the result of millions of years of patiently chewing sea—was the property of Walter Godfrey. Few people knew more, for Godfrey had always exercised the prerogative of excessive riches and shut himself away from the world. I had never met any one who had actually visited Spanish Cape, which was only Godfrey’s summer place, until the dramatic events which shook it—and its owner—out of their traditional isolation; and then, of course, who should the trespasser be but my good friend Ellery Queen!—who seems dogged by a curious destiny.

Much as he struggles against it, Ellery is constantly being either preceded or followed by crimes of a violent nature; to such an extent that a mutual acquaintance, more than half-seriously, once remarked to me: “Every time I ask Queen out to my shack for an evening or a weekend I hold my breath. He attracts murders the way a hound—if he’ll pardon the figure—attracts fleas!”

And so he does. And so, in fact, he did on Spanish Cape.

There are many things about the Problem of the Undressed Man—as Ellery himself refers to it—which are fascinating, outré, and downright baffling. It is only rarely in real life that a crime of such peculiar quality occurs in a setting of such extraordinary magnificence. The murder of John Marco, occurring as it did after the Kidnaping-of-the-Wrong-Man, plus the almost weird circumstance of Marco’s nakedness, made for a robust poser; and, now that it is merely another successful Queenian adventure in deduction, for a piece of prime reading.

As usual, I consider myself fortunate to have the privilege of acting the herald in this tragedy of violent errors; and, if my friend will forgive me, of strewing flowers once again in the path of his remarkable mental triumph over what, for a long, long time, looked like insurmountable odds.

J. J. McC.

NORTHAMPTON

Chapter OneTHE COLOSSAL ERROR OF CAPTAIN KIDD

IT WAS TO ALL intents and purposes a sickening blunder. Criminals have made mistakes before, usually as a result of haste or carelessness or mental myopia, and nearly always to their own disservice; ultimately finding themselves, at the very least, contemplating their errors through steel bars and along a dismal vista of years. But this was a mistake for the books.

The whimsically named Captain Kidd did not number among his few virtues, it appeared, the quality of brilliance. He was an unbelievable mountain of a man; and in return for conferring upon him the gift of physical exaggeration it was assumed that his moody creator had penalized him with a paucity of brains. It seemed clear enough at the beginning that the blunder had been Captain Kidd’s, a development of his pure stupidity.

The pity of it was that this was one criminal mistake which seemed to work no hardship upon the rascal responsible for it, and still less apparently upon the mysterious person for whom this immense and dull creature was pulling the strings. All its consequences, as was evident, were massed upon the head of its victim.

Now, why fate in the incredible person of Captain Kidd should have chosen poor David Kummer for the sacrifice, every one agreed when it occurred (including Mr. Ellery Queen), was one of those cosmic problems the answer to which is swathed in veils. They could only nod in silent despair at his sister Stella’s hysterical requiem: “But David was always such a quiet boy! I remember…Once a Gypsy woman read his palm in our town when we were children. And she said that he had a ‘dark destiny.’ Oh, David!”

But this is a long hard tale, and how Mr. Ellery Queen became involved in it is another. Certainly, as a laboratory microscopist peering at the phenomena curiosa of the human mind, he had cause in the end to feel grateful for Captain Kidd’s grotesque mistake. For when the light came, as it did after those wild and astonishing days, he saw with etching clarity how essential to his solution the gigantic seaman’s error really was. In a sense, the whole fabric of Ellery’s thinking came to depend upon it. And yet, in the beginning, it merely muddled things.

The blunder would never have occurred, in all probability, had it not been for David Kummer’s dislike of crowds, on the one hand—it was a personal distaste rather than a pathological dread—and his affection for Rosa, his niece, on the other. Both were characteristic of him. Kummer had never cared for people; they either bored or irritated him. And yet, a social anchorite, he was admired and even liked.

At this time he was in his late thirties, a tall strong well-preserved man. He was irrevocably set in his ways and almost as self-sufficient as Walter Godfrey, his famous brother-in-law. For most of the year Kummer maintained a bachelor’s eyrie in Murray Hill; in the summer he resided on Spanish Cape with the Godfreys. His brother-in-law, a bitter cynic, often suspected that it was not so much the proximity of his sister and niece that drew Kummer to the Cape as the peculiar grandeur of the place itself—a rather unfair suspicion. But the two did have something in common: both were solitary, quiet, and in their own way somehow magnificent.

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

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