Calamity Town (Ellery Queen) ★✬☆☆☆

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Title: Calamity Town
Series: Ellery Queen
Authors: Ellery Queen
Rating: 1.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 198
Words: 80K


From Wikipedia & Me

Ellery Queen moves into the small town of Wrightsville, somewhere in New England, in order to get some peace and quiet so that he can write a book. As a result of renting a furnished house, he becomes peripherally involved in the story of Jim Haight and Nora Wright. Nora’s father is president of the Wrightsville National bank, “oldest family in town”, and when the head cashier Jim Haight became engaged to his daughter Nora, he built and furnished a house for them as a wedding present. That was three years ago—the day before the wedding, Jim Haight disappeared, the wedding was called off, and the jinxed house became known as “Calamity House”. Ellery rents it, just before the return of Jim Haight, and the wedding is soon on again. Ellery finds some evidence that Jim is planning to poison Nora and, after the wedding, she does display some symptoms of arsenic poisoning. But it is Jim’s sister Rosemary who dies after drinking a poisoned cocktail. Jim is tried for the murder and it is only after some startling and tragic events that Ellery reveals the identity of the murderer.

Haight had gotten married after the original wedding didn’t happen and his wife wouldn’t divorce him. So he married Nora and she found out that he was now a bigamist and it drove her right off the mental tracks. She planned everything and killed Rosemary, who was actually Haight’s wife and Jim escaped prison with the help of his real sister and killed himself by driving off a cliff in the escape car. Nora gives birth and dies. Happy times for everyone.

My Thoughts:

Why people think something like this story is fit entertainment, to be written OR read, is beyond me. But I am done with “Ellery Queen”. I didn’t like this and I haven’t liked any of the previous books, so kaput, I’m done.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

13 thoughts on “Calamity Town (Ellery Queen) ★✬☆☆☆

  1. Happy times for everyone who finishes the book and goes on to better things. This sounds really awful. I thought Ellery Queen might be along the lines of Nero Wolfe, but it doesn’t sound like he’s fit to clean Wolfe’s boots so I won’t bother with him.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was hoping Queen would be along the lines of Wolfe too. I had high expectations. But the 3 books of his that I tried, none of them worked well for me. So I guess for mysteries, it is back to Wolfe 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. This book was atypical of the style and plotting the team used on previous Queen mysteries. It reminded me more of a slow moving Greek tragedy train than a whodunit. I enjoyed your pithy summary!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It definitely was more tragic than anything.

      I try to use wikipedia now for the synopses, as a lot of the books I read are old enough for that, but when they don’t, I have to write my own. Or in this case, finish it so it is a real summary and not just a publisher’s blurb.


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