|he Chinese Orange Mystery (1934)
Inspector Richard Queen wanted to know the identity of the
murdered man. How could he solve a murder mystery without knowing who was murdered? The
body was found in a private room of the Hotel Chancellor; no one connected with the
investigation had ever seen the man before. His name, where he came from, why he was
there, remain a mystery to the end. Yet all who were enmeshed in the web of the tragedy
found their lives changed by the death of the nameless nobody.
A puzzling publishing murder attracts the eye of Ellery Queen.
Mandarin Press is a premier publishing house for foreign literature, but to those at the top of this enterprise, there is little more beautiful than a rare stamp. As Donald Kirk, publisher and philatelist, prepares his office for a banquet, an unfamiliar man comes to call. No one recognizes him, but Kirk’s staff is used to strange characters visiting their boss, so Kirk’s secretary asks him to wait in the anteroom. Within an hour the mysterious visitor is dead on the floor, head bashed in with a fireplace poker, and everything in the anteroom has been quite literally turned upside down. The rug is backwards; the furniture is backwards; even the dead man’s clothes have been put on front-to-back. As debonair detective Ellery Queen pries into the secrets of Mandarin Press, every clue he finds is topsy-turvy. The great sleuth must tread lightly, for walking backwards is a surefire way to step off a cliff.
Evening Star, Among the stamp collectors
by James Waldo Fawcett - Dec 15, 1940
"The Chinese Orange Mystery by Ellery Queen is another detective story featuring a murder committed for a postage stamp - a mythical treaty port error. Its author knows something about philately, but not much about the literary use of the English language. His style is a crime more intriguing than that which he attempts to solve."
Above right: Issue of Redbook
from June, 1934 with the complete book-size novel The Chinese Orange
Ellery again with pince-nez, bachelor who has his own view on marriage.
He smokes cigarettes and uses an wooden stick. No mention of the Duesenberg.
Movie (more or less):
The Mandarin Mystery.
The Chinese Orange
Other articles on this book
(1) Reading Ellery Queen Jon Mathewson (Feb 2014)
(2) The Topsy-Turvy Murder Ho-Ling (May 16. 2013)
Interested readers should know
that the icons/covers
of books, used throughout the
website have extra
included in the text on the same
page. Pointing your cursor at
the icon/cover used to reveal
this extra information.
To achieve the same effect Firefox users can install an add-on called 'Popup ALT Attribute'. When installed pointing your cursor at an icon/cover results in showing you the details or additional information.
b a c k t o Q B I
Copyright © MCMXCIX-MMXXI Ellery Queen, a website on deduction. All rights reserved.