Thursday, January 14, 2021

Another Look: “The Dutch Shoe Mystery”

Warning: Artistic inspiration drawn from book titles may vary.

Left: The Dutch Shoe Mystery, by Ellery Queen (Pocket, 1952); cover illustration by George Mayers. Right: The Dutch Shoe Mystery, by Ellery Queen (Pocket, 1958); artwork by Jerry Allison. Published originally in 1931, this was the third whodunit starring author-sleuth Queen and his father, Inspector Richard Queen of the New York Police Department. It followed The Roman Hat Mystery (1929) and The French Powder Mystery (1930).

Although I often choose these cover pairings at random, that was not the case here. Today’s picks were inspired by news that “The American Mystery Classics Book Club”—linked to Otto Penzler’s publishing line of that same name, which last year released a fresh edition of The Dutch Shoe Mystery—“will be meeting on Zoom on February 1st at 6:30 p.m. EST to discuss [this] puzzling tale of murder in the hospital …” The event will be free to the public, and feature a special guest: Richard Dannay, the son of Ellery Queen co-creator Frederic Dannay. Simply drop an e-mail note to to RSVP.

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