|he Dragon's Teeth
Virgin Heiresses ( 1939)
When a very odd but important millionaire was
buried at the bottom of the Caribbean Sea, it might have embarrassed Ellery Queen. After
all, the millionaire had been the first client of Ellery Queen, Inc. And now the client
had joined the mackerels he was deader than. The crew of his yacht was scattered, and
there was no autopsy to suggest the ways and means of his death.
However, Ellery Queen, case-hardened and unembarrassed as ever, stepped into the case
without batting an eye, bringing along his new partner, Beau Rummell, a tough egg with a
yolk of gold. Together they sliced away as mysterious a tangle of events as even Ellery
Queen had ever seen. For clues they had one fountain pen covered with tooth marks, and a
few additional corpses. The climax delighted Queen. He liked his cases dramatic,
especially with a beautiful girl or two thrown in.
"The Dragon's Teeth
(1939) is an unusual book in the Queen canon. It is
certainly not centered on deduction, or the other things that make most of EQ great.
Things which one could find disturbing although the storytelling of the book is much
more advanced. EQ tries to create a new hero for the book, and get him involved in
romantic adventures. The story succeeds admirably as romantic fiction. If you are going to
enjoy it, you just have to accept the book on its own terms, and adjust yourself to its
orientation away from EQ's traditions." (Michael
Cadmus Cole was missing at sea. The story is set in
N.Y. City, Hollywood and Tarrytown
(in the 'Villanoy" room 1726).
A little while back the Ellery Queen detective agency was founded
by Beau Rummell. His father Johnny Rumell was chief inspector of the narcotics department,
and Beau was born in Cherry street, N.Y. in 1914. He wore a moustache and impersonated
Ellery on two occasions, once in Hollywood and once in Tarrytown.
Ellery smokes and had appendicitis. He was hospitalized in Adirondacks and was several
After this case Ellery immediately starts on a new case.
Richard Queen seldom appears when official business has to be taken care of. Dr.Murphy and
dr.Prouty appear as does justice officer Sampson. NYPD: Velie, Flint and Pigott who
knew Beau from childhood.
The story is set between June and Wednesday July 5. Although no year is mentioned we learn
that Cole is 66 years old and born in 1873 so it is fair to establish 1939 as the year
wherein this story takes place.
No map no challenge to the reader.