Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Greek Coffin Mystery by Ellery Queen

My first Ellery Queen mystery! For reasons now forgotten to me, I have Ellery Queen's The Scarlet Letters on my TBR list. Unfortunately, the library only has The Greek Coffin Mystery, so that's what I got.

The Greek Coffin Mystery starts with a will gone missing, a body in a coffin where it should not be, and then ends up with a stolen painting. Chronologically, it's the 'first' of the Ellery Queen mysteries, so it features a young Ellery Queen.

I have no idea if this Ellery Queen is different from the older version, but he really is a very unique character. The only way I can describe him is that he's amusing on paper, but if I had to work with him in real life, I would probably go crazy.

Apart from Ellery himself, another interesting feature of the book is that once all the facts are given, the fourth wall is broken and the reader is invited to guess what the correct solution is. And there are absolutely no tricks here (obviously I didn't manage to guess it)

Oh, and I also thought it was interesting how the first letter of each chapter title made up the title 'The Greek Coffin Mystery'

I really enjoyed this book. It feels very 'American' (or at the very least, very different from Christie), although their romances follow the same inscrutable pattern. Or perhaps I just suck at discerning romances, which is a definite possibility.

I'll be on the look out for more Ellery Queen mysteries, and I think it's a shame that the library doesn't have more.

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