The Roman Hat Mystery

The Roman Hat Mystery

Ellery Queen

Language: English

Pages: 397

ISBN: 149769518X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

A murder in a crowded theater leaves a pack of suspects, but only one clue
Despite the dismal Broadway season, Gunplay continues to draw crowds. A gangland spectacle, it’s packed to the gills with action, explosions, and gunfire. In fact, Gunplay is so loud that no one notices the killing of Monte Field. In a sold-out theater, Field is found dead partway through the second act, surrounded by empty seats. The police hold the crowd and call for the one man who can untangle this daring murder: Inspector Richard Queen.
With the help of his son Ellery, a bibliophile and novelist whose imagination can solve any crime, the Inspector attacks this seemingly impenetrable mystery. Anyone in the theater could have killed the unscrupulous lawyer, and several had the motive. Only Ellery Queen, in his debut novel, can decipher the clue of the dead man’s missing top hat.

Frequent Hearses (Gervase Fen, Book 7)

Cherry Bomb (Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels Mystery, Book 6)

Why Me? (Dortmunder, Book 5)

Thirty-Three Teeth (Dr. Siri Paiboun, Book 2)

The Drowning Spool (Needlecraft Mysteries, Book 17)

The Sleeping Doll











Most theatres are tidied early in the morning, but I’ve always had my employees come immediately after the evening performance. Just what is on your mind?” Ellery, who had frowned slightly when the Inspector spoke, brightened at the manager’s reply. He began to polish his pince-nez with satisfaction. “Here’s what I want you to do, Mr. Panzer,” continued Queen evenly. “Arrange to have your cleaning women make a particularly thorough search tonight, after everybody is gone. They must pick up and

didn’t happen to remark by any chance that he was going with anybody?” “No, sir.” Lewin shuffled his feet. “I see.” Queen paused. “Lewin, as manager you must have been closer to Field than any other of his employees. Just what do you know about him personally?” “Not a thing, sir, not a thing,” said Lewin hastily. “Mr. Field was not a man with whom an employee could become familiar. Occasionally he said something about himself, but it was always of a general nature and more jesting than

hurried toward the stagestairs. Like the audience they peered toward the nucleus of the trouble in bewilderment. A buxom old lady, in garish clothes—the very fine imported actress billed in the character of Madame Murphy, “keeper of the public house”—her name was Hilda Orange; the slight, graceful figure of “the street waif, Nanette”—Eve Ellis, leading-lady of the piece; the tall robust hero of “Gunplay,” James Peale, attired in a rough tweed suit and cap; the juvenile, smart in evening clothes,

there more than two minutes when I felt somebody brush up against me. I naturally moved a little to one side, thinking the person had stumbled. But when he—it was a man—when he did it again, I became a little frightened and started to walk away. He—he grasped my wrist and pulled me back. We were halfway behind the iron door, which was not pushed back completely and I doubt if anyone noticed his action.” “I see—I see,” murmured the Inspector sympathetically. “It seems an unusual thing for a total

body, we may say that the poison was administered about 9:35. If the tetra ethyl lead took at the most twenty minutes—that gives us 9:55. Much before then, of course, the murderer left the scene of the crime. Remember—he could not have known that our friend Mr. Pusak would suddenly desire to rise and leave his seat. The murderer was probably figuring that Field’s body would not be discovered until the intermission, at 10:05, which would have been ample time for Field to have died without being

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