The French Powder Mystery

French s department store was famous for the rare merchandise it offered its elite clientele But no one there could be proud of its latest exclusive window display the bloodstained corpse of the owner s wife Ellery Queen and his father would soon discover a viper s nest of fear and hatred.
The French Powder Mystery French s department store was famous for the rare merchandise it offered its elite clientele But no one there could be proud of its latest exclusive window display the bloodstained corpse of the owner

  • Title: The French Powder Mystery
  • Author: Ellery Queen
  • ISBN: 9781883402907
  • Page: 210
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “The French Powder Mystery”

    1. Come with me to the heyday of the early portion of the twentieth century. Walk with me through the streets of New York, and stop, if you will, at one of the grand old department stores that I have never seen but only read about in books.I am talking about a store of many floors, full of salespeople and lunch counters, mattress departments, book departments, fabric departments, and store detectives roaming about. The store is run by its owner, who has a luxurious apartment on the top floor, acces [...]

    2. Another entry in the Quest for Christie-Likes:I've now read entries from something close to 10 authors writing in the same time and neighborhood as Agatha Christie. Ellery Queen (really a pseudonym for a writing team of two cousins) belongs right below John Dickson Carr and certainly belongs well within the top tier of pretenders to the Christie throne (for, in my mind, Christie is still matchless).Really, this should come as no surprise. Queen met great success in the US and eventually spawned [...]

    3. First time reading anything by Ellery Queen. It certainly doesn't approach the level of the Golden Age mystery greats, but is cleverly plotted enough. None of the characters ever graduated beyond the level of cardboard cutouts, but it's a plot-centric whodunit with plenty of clues, alibis, timetables and such—an entertaining enough mental puzzle to while away the time on a dull rainy afternoon.

    4. You have to be an avid reader of the golden age of mystery to appreciate these early Ellery Queen books. Written in 1929, when people wore pince nez, spats, and used racial epithets, it might be hard going for everyone since it is so dated. But with that said and being obsessed with that era of the mystery story, I had fun with this book.The plot, as are most of these early books, is ridiculously complex but that is the beauty of the early Queen works. And Ellery has not quite evolved into the c [...]

    5. As I read this book I found myself asking several questions:Why did The French Powder Mystery open not with the crime or the lead-up to the crime but rather with both Queens and a number of police officers complaining about the officiousness and meddlesomeness of the new police commissioner; why were Ellery's "brilliant insights" so mundane; why were Ellery's mundane insights repeated frequently and at length; why were the "regular police" so painfully inadequate at even the most routine aspects [...]

    6. The French Powder Mystery was the second of the Ellery Queen mysteries by Manfred Bennington Lee (Manford Lepofsky) and Frederic Dannay (Daniel Nathan). It appeared in 1930.The book certainly gets off to a stylish start. French’s Department Store in New York has a window exhibition of modernist furniture. Every day at the same time an employee of the store stages a demonstration of the features of this furniture, including in this case a foldaway bed. On this particular day when the employee p [...]

    7. The title is misleading. There are two different powders present on the crime scene, but the case cannot be summed up in this title. I like this book. In the past perhaps it would have earned a perfect five stars. Just a friction in the reading experience which denied this fine book a perfect score. The story ends right where the identity of the murderer is revealed. The end is abrupt, so that one gasps. But I like it.This is the second Ellery Queen book of my reading. The first, "The Roman Hat [...]

    8. Good plot. The author gives us some key clues late in the story, but to be fair, he gives them all well before the denouement.Richard Queen comes across as being thick and officious. Throws his weight about. His adoration of his son Ellery, and letting him into official investigations so openly (as if he were a police officer) is unconvincing.

    9. I’ve recently felt like reading classic mysteries, stories similar to cozies in that there is rarely any swearing or gratuitous sex, but different in that there are also no shops or hobbies or romantic interests. In both types of mystery, the primary focus is on the solving of the crime. I went to my bookshelf, where I have several of these I’ve acquired over the years, some from used bookstores, and found this classic mystery originally published in 1930.For those who are unfamiliar with El [...]

    10. A woman drops dead from a folded bed on display in a large store and Ellery Queen saves the day (and the reputation of the blundering police).This book started so-so for me. In some way, these mysterys have aged less well than others from the golden age of crime fiction. The "cool, hardboiled police slang" sounds rather quaint and sometimes even a little ridiculous to a modern ear, and the racial attitudes of the day that occasionally surface are jarring today.But at about the halfway-mark it st [...]

    11. The most difficult part of this book is the tendency of the author to make the words more flowery than necessary. I know it was the fashion of the time to create words from two more readily understandable words, but that can get annoying. Regarding the plot it is well conceived. The clues keep one guessing right up to the end.

    12. There are thirty-five Ellery Queen novels. The French Powder Mystery is one of the very early ones. I read several of the later ones first and enjoyed them. I thought I would go back and pick up some of the first in the series but was disappointed with those. It is as if they were copying the British mystery fiction popular at that time in the early work. At some point they must have found their own voice and the books improved. The Ellery Queen books were a collaboration of Daniel Nathan, profe [...]

    13. I can scarcely believe people used to read Ellery Queen mysteries for pleasure and not (as now) as historical curiosities--as examples of the bygone "classical" fair-play detective novel, essentially a very long "word problem" in which the clueing is especially scrupulous (even compared with the average English cozy), with every fact needed to deduce the identity of the murderer placed squarely before the reader.But you've got to really, really love puzzles to take pleasure from novels this unre [...]

    14. Whenever I read an Ellery Queen book, I find myself both agreeing and disagreeing with the critics. Yes, the Ellery Queen books are formulaic and they are dated. This book from 1930 describes a world in which all the power, all the wealth, was in the hands of older white males. There is sexism, racism, ageism. A certain amount of corruption in the police department of New York City was expected, even tolerated. Yes, all that is true. But I find these books interesting because, not despite of the [...]

    15. So, I sure have been on a classic mystery kick as of late. Re-discovering Agatha Christie has been great, so I decided to try Ellery Queen, whom I have never read. I've heard great things, and because I love classic Old Time Radio detective mystery shows, I heard EQ books follow the same sort of format, just in literary form. All this in mind, I found a copy of "The French Powder Mystery" laying around the house that I forgot I had and was pleased to see it was written in 1930.The following may [...]

    16. I like how the story opens, with the body being found in one of those large department store windows. We've got suspects galore, from family to the Board of Directors, and plenty of clues, both planted and actual. It's fair, I'll give it that. We have all the information, even though I didn't make the connections before the grand revelation, even when Queen steps out of the story and directly encourages the reader to make his/her guess.But-The French Powder Mystery is not quite what I'm looking [...]

    17. What I enjoyed? The mystery was written with the clues clearly given so that the reader is able to try and work it out for themselves.

    18. The second book in the stories of Ellery Queen and his father solving crimes that are a bit outre but great fun to read. This book really establishes the series, and is probably the best choice to read first if you would like to try the early EQ mysteries. (There are 10-11 in this first phase where the mystery is more important than character; that begins to change to a deeper set of stories with Halfway House.) This is one of the most fair mysteries I've ever read, and begins to establish the c [...]

    19. I have read many Ellery Quenn books and seldom been disappointed but this one left me cold. It was very slowly paced and written without the intent of keeping the reader interested in the story. As the complete book title suggests the book is presented as a problem in deduction and so very slowly and methodically it builds up an enormous pile of facts and information and assumptions upon which when logic is applied the correct solution to the mystery can be reached. In the grandest tradition of [...]

    20. I would like to give this three and a half stars, but from the benefit of maths, four it shall be. This book is a lot drier than most novels, and seems to have been intended more as a puzzle than entertainment. As it promises, by the time you get to the Challenge to the Reader, you are indeed " fully cognizant of all the facts pertinent to the discovery of the criminal; and that a sufficiently dilligent study of what has gone before should educe a clear understanding of what is to come." The att [...]

    21. This is a much better representation of what I know and love about Ellery Queen than anything I've read recently. I have a sort of romanticized memory of Ellery Queen stories from the days of the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and I was pretty disappointed when I made a point of reading a few of "his" books recently. The French Powder Mystery showcases the Queens - father and son - at their best - piecing together the clues and solving the mystery often while wearing their smoking jackets in thei [...]

    22. It's been a long time since I've read any Ellery Queen. I always loved them when I was younger. Although it was written in the 1930s I didn't notice it being particularly dated. Sure there were a few things, but nothing that affected my enjoyment of the story. Actually a lot of the plot points are still very relevant today. The plot very briefly is the wife of the owner of a major department store in New York City is murdered. Her body is found when a model in a store window display, as part of [...]

    23. I find myself attracted to these older mysteries and this one delivers better than many I have read. While it is lacking in realism it does give you all those things that I find attractive: non-gory, plenty of clues. the final where all the characters come together for the solving of the crime.There are, unfortunately a few glaring holes here: the aforementioned lack of realism and a particularly strange narcotics distribution scheme. But, these don't detract too much from the mystery. It is sor [...]

    24. An improvement on the Roman Hat Mystery but still a bit of a slog. These early Ellery Queens are not really novels, they are puzzles set out in words. If you enjoy solving puzzles - good luck to you, you may enjoy this. If you want some character development or a plot that has some connection to the real world, look elsewhere. The novel is badly dated and the father and son detective team unattractive characters.

    25. A locked room story with the body appearing in a department store window. Is that where she was killed? Or was she killed elsewhere and moved? Was Mrs. French killed in her husband's private apartment? Did her daughter do it? Where did the daughter go?I can't really say that I figured before Ellery. I figured during the end of his summation but before the actual naming. Okay, I figured it out on the next to last page. Locked room, drugs, people disappearing. This was pretty good.

    26. This is my first Ellery Queen mystery. I was intrigued by the idea of figuring out the murderer before the end. The tease was in. I found it tedious trying to retain all the clues and I did not figure it out. I learned who the murderer was on the last page, last paragraph, last two words. I will, however, try another one after I recover from this exercise in futility. Maybe I'm a glutton for punishment or maybe I just want to figure it out next time before the end.

    27. The second Ellery Queen novel. Well done. I guessed the criminal early on and then when Ellery did his final presentation I completely changed my mind to another character. Turns out I was right the first time. There is a very complete and detailed examination of the timeline, the evidence and the alibis. I especially like the break near the end when the author tells you that you now have all the clues and can solve the case. Brilliant.

    28. This is one of Queen's earliest ones. I liked that he had the cast of characters in the front and a couple of drawings of the locations involved.With lots to draw from it kept your mind going on figuing out who was the guilty party. Lots of red herrings and twists and turns, but not too many that you got too lost.

    29. Perhaps more beautiful and more fascinating than "The Roman Hat Mystery".Along with "The Greek Coffin Mystery", "Halfway House," "The Egyptian Cross Mystery," "The Dutch Shoe Mystery", and a few others followed, one of the most extraordinary creations of the pair of cousins.

    30. I listened to the audio book. I might have enjoyed the paper version more, but the reader annoyed with his plodding and pedantic style. It may also be that the material is just dated. Anyway, I won't listen to more EQs.

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