Now 2023 Previous Articles Road Essays Road Reviews Author Black Authors Title Source Age Genre Series Format Inclusivity LGBTA Portfolio Artwork WIP

Recent posts

Month in review

Academic Discourse at Havana by Wallace Stevens
All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor
Arabella by Georgette Heyer
The Big Pony Race by Erica David
Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton
Borders of Infinity by Lois McMaster Bujold
Bye-Bye, Big Bad Bullybug by Ed Emberley
Camp Buccaneer by Pam Smallcomb
Charlotte Gray by Sebastian Faulks
Child of the Owl by Lawrence Yep
Creole Ladies, Marti the Smuggler, Bullfighting by Maturin M. Ballou
Cuban Sketches (excerpt) by James Steele
Dancing Above the Waves by Susan Walerstein
The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
Evergreen by Belva Plain
Enfant Terrible by Scott Dalrymple
Everybody Needs a Rock by Byrd Baylor
Flight of the Goose by Lesley Thomas
The Frog Prints by B. L. Harwick
Fullbrim's Finding by Matthew Hughes
A Grief Observed by C. S. Lewis
Havana Letter by William Cullen Bryant
If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Numeroff
King Solomon's Mines by H. Rider Haggard
LoveHampton by Sherri Rifkin
Marlin off the Morro by Ernest Hemingway
The Minister's Wooing by Harriet Beecher Stowe
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
My Pet Virus by Shawn Decker
Nana Volume 1 by Ai Yazawa
Native Tongue by Carl Hiaasen
The Penthouse Mystery by Ellery Queen
Reader's Guide by Lisa Goldstein
Red as Blood by Tanith Lee
The Roberts by Michael Blumlein
The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason
Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky
Sea Gift by John Ashby
Sin in the Second City by Karen Abbott
Singing to Cuba (excerpt) by Margarita Engle
Spiders and Scorpions: A Look Inside Series by P. D. Hillyard
Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself by Alan Alda
Unholy Domain by Dan Ronco
Virus Games by G. L. Sheerin
Zen of Fish by Trevor Corson

Good Thing We Didn't Have Any Plans

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

Canadian Book Challenge: 2023-2024

Beat the Backlist 2023

Chicken Art

Privacy policy

This blog does not collect personal data. It doesn't set cookies. Email addresses are used to respond to comments or "contact us" messages and then deleted.

The Penthouse Mystery: 07/20/08

My grandmother turned me onto the Ellery Queen mysteries when I was a kid. Ellery Queen, the author, was actually join pseudonym of two cousins, Frederic Dannay and Manfred B. Lee, who collaborated on the books. Two years ago I received a bunch of Ellery Queen mysteries as library rescues and I have been enjoying them this year during my son's swim lessons.

The first book I finished is The Penthouse Mystery which started actually as a film and was novelized and sold as a "junior mystery." Ellery's secretary cons him into working on the mystery of a missing ventriloquist famous for his act in China. He has come back to New York on business but never makes it out of his penthouse.

Some of these Ellery Queen mysteries hinge on now outdated cultural norms. The Penthouse Mystery holds up fairly well and any attentive reader will be able to figure out the twist behind the mystery.

Many of the Ellery Queen mysteries are written as "Encyclopedia Brown for grownups" as my husband describes them. They will often stop at the point where all the clues have been laid and then Ellery (who is a character as well as an "author") will address the reader directly to ask if he has solved the mystery before going through the final summary chapters. The Penthouse Mystery, perhaps because it was a film first, doesn't break the fourth wall. For that reason alone, it's a better than average Ellery Queen.

Copies of the book can be readily found online for a few bucks. The film, though, doesn't seem available.


Lab puppy
Email (won't be posted):
Blog URL:

Twitter Tumblr Mastadon Flickr Facebook Facebook Contact me

1997-2023 Sarah Sammis