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Police Captain Bartholdi sometimes indulged himself in a harmless fantasy. His thoughts, he would imagine, were irresponsible imps that wriggled out of his head and scampered around with an abandon that was often embarrassing. A woman had been kidnapped. The woman was dead. Bartholdi was convinced that a murderer was at that moment having a grim laugh at his expense. He knew who the murderer was. He would have bet his pension and his sacred soul that he knew. But he could not, knowing, prove what he knew. He needed confirmation of one critical point. From among his antic imps he culled the three that had directed his mind to its present state:

  • One newspaper too many.
  • A girl who slept too soundly.
  • And, most important of all, a ragout with too many onions.
The Devil's Cook - cover pocket book edition, Pocket Book N° 50495, April 1966. (1st)The Devil's Cook - cover pocket book edition, Signet 451-Q6645, August 5. 1975.The Killer Touch/The Devil's Cook - cover pocket book edition, Signet Double Mystery, 451 AZ3204, October 2 1978The Devil's Cook - cover audiobook Blackstone Audio, Inc., read by Mark Peckham, January 1. 2015The Devil's Cook - cover Road, August 11, 2015 

The student and junior-faculty residents of a small apartment house in a university town find themselves in a thickening stew when the house sexpot suddenly vanishes, and suave Captain Bartholdi investigates the possibility that she was murdered either by her cuckolded professor husband or one of her lovers or a woman on whose man the victim had been poaching.

Third ghost-written Ellery Queen book by Fletcher Flora. Nevins called it an implausible tale, poorly plotted and characterized and written in a repulsively arch style that’s a lot less humorous than it tries to be. He goes by stating that for some reason (perhaps because he was a gourmet chef himself) Anthony Boucher loved this entry, describing it (June 19, 1966) as “far and away better than most of the Ellery Queen paperback originals: a good conservative straight whodunit about a Midwest college town, with a well-clued puzzle, an attractive (and quite non-procedural) police detective, and a promising recipe for Students’ Ragout as the focus of the murder-problem.” 

The culinary aspect seems to be the reason why Ellery pops up a cookery book with "Ellery Queen's Student Ragout". Some commentaries said it looked somewhat like "mashed brain" but don't let that hold you from trying this out during winter:  

1 pound lean round steak 
salt and pepper 
2 carrots, slices thin 
2 medium onions sliced thin 
4 medium potatoes, sliced a little thicker 
1 cup red wine 

Take a heavy Dutch oven or stew pot and cover the bottom with cut bacon strips. At this point I usually go ahead and turn the burner heat on low. Next add the round steak sliced thin into bite size pieces. Then add the carrots, then onions, then potatoes, one layer of each. Put salt and pepper on top, can add some parsley if desired. Add 1 cup red wine, then water to make enough liquid to cover potatoes. Cover and simmer on low heat 2 hours. Add water if "gravy" gets too thick. Stir through a few times after about 1 - 1/2 hours. This makes a great meal with garlic bread and a salad.
(Columbus Jr. League cookbook)

In the book itself 3 carrots and 3 onions are used. No wine is mentioned.

Uitgekookt alibi - dutch coverUitgekookt Alibi - Dutch coverDochter van een Gangster/Uitgekookt Alibi - cover Dutch pocket book edition, Prisma dubbel detective N°535, 1984 (1st)Im eigenen Saft - cover German edition Ullstein 1132, 1967 translation Mechtild SandbergIm eigenen Saft - cover German edition Ullstein, 1981La ricetta del diavolo - cover Italian edition I Giallo Mondadori Nr 1020, August 1968Receita Diabolica - Cover Brasilian/Portuguese edition Clube do Crime Nº 34
El Cocinero del Diablo - cover Spanish editionEl Cocinero del Diablo - hardcover Spanish edition,  Planeta, 1976El Cocinero del Diablo - cover Spanish edition, 1986El Cocinero del Diablo - cover Spanish edition, 1987, Editors S.A.Dábelské ragú - cover Czech edition, Vysehrad, 1984Dábelské ragú - cover Czech edition, 2011Οι Νεκροί δεν γυρίζουν - cover Greek edition, Viper editions Νο. 603, 1976

The Devil's Cook Translations: 
Czech: Dábelské ragú 
Dutch/Flemish: Uitgekookt alibi 
German: Im eigenen Saft 
Greek: Οι Νεκροί δεν γυρίζουν 
Italian: La ricetta del diavolo 
Portuguese: Receita Diabólica 
Spanish:El Cocinero del Diablo 


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