ELLERY QUEEN'S MEMORABLE CHARACTERS by Eleanor & Karen A. Price--Eds. Sullivan


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Older stories predominate in this lackluster collection of 22--going all the way back to 1926 for Melville Davisson Post's ""The Forgotten Witness"" (a solid Colonel Braxton twister) and to 1935 for W.R. Burnett's ""Traveling Light"" (hitchhiker mixed up with ruffians), only Ellery Queen's own ""Cold Money""--from 1952--really seems worthy of excavation, however, with its blessedly lighthearted, neat-turning mystery--the clear standout in a gathering heavy on overlong, humorless stories, many of them in a breathy, matronly mode (like Dorothy Salisbury Davis' ""Spring Fever"" and Charlotte Armstrong's ""The Other Shoe""). And the better items among the rest include Stanley Ellin's boyhood lesson in power-corruption (""The Day of the Bullet,"" 1959), a stylish murder-in-the-madhouse piece by Peter Godfrey, sturdy kidnap-suspense from Michael Gilbert, and an atmospheric jazz-club murder from William Bankier. Dated stuff, for the most part--with the material from the 1960s often as stiff and archaic as the earlier entries.

Pub Date: Oct. 19th, 1984
Publisher: Doubleday