click on cover to go back

previous indepth review... The Dutch Shoe Mystery (1931) next indepth review...

Murder in White! A tragic fall -- an impending operation -- strangulation! When Abigail Doorn was wheeled into the operation room at the Dutch Memorial Hospital, her face was strangely blue and bloated. A wire had been tightly wound around her neck. The strongest suspect, because he stood to benefit by the death of this wealthy old woman, was her protégé, the famous Dr. Janney. Just before her death he received a strange caller -- one whose name he would not divulge. Ellery Queen, having come to the hospital to visit his old friend Dr. Minchen, had been present during the time of the murder. He immediately took over the case. Besides the problem of Dr. Janney and his caller, Ellery found himself confronted with still another -- why had Abby Doorn and her housekeeper quarreled continuously for 20 years? The housekeeper admitted she hated the old woman, and with a religious fanaticism declared she was an evil old woman who had received only what she deserved.

"Carefully constructed ... deserves to be savored." -- The London Times

"It has everything needed to make it great."
-- Philadelphia Ledger

"A few detective stories stand out from the inky welter of crime, notably 'The Dutch Shoe Mystery'... a splendid story... with real flesh and blood actors, and written with verve and style."
-- Morning Post

"The book is thoroughly engrossing."
--
Bruce Nae, The New York Times
The Dutch Shoe Mystery - dust cover Stokes edition, 1931The Dutch Shoe Mystery - hard cover Stokes edition, 1931 (several colours seem to exist black and green)The Dutch Shoe Mystery - dust cover Grosset & Dunlap reprintThe Dutch Shoe Mystery - hardcover Grosset & Dunlap reprint
The Dutch Shoe Mystery - Triangle Books, reprint 1931The Dutch Shoe Mystery - hardcover Triangle reprint 1931
The Dutch Shoe Mystery - hardcover Triangle edition (variation 2)
Above: The first books published sometimes had identical front covers. The spine of the books/dust cover only differ in the publisher's logo. Top row left to right: dust and  hardcover for Stokes edition, dust and hardcover Grosset & Dunlap edition. 
Bottom row from left to right: dust cover for the Triangle reprints, which had several hard cover versions, with different designs/colours or either "Triangle" or "Blakiston/ Triangle" imprinted on the spine. At least 12 printings exist between January 1940 and July 1943. (Click on the covers to see the differences) *
 
Buffalo Evening News, "Thrill and Ingenuity" December 12, 1931

" 'There are only two detectives,' writes a Viennese police consultant, 'for whom I have felt, in my own capacity as hunter-of-men, any deeply underlying sympathy. These two, strangely enough, present the weird contrast of unreality, of phantom and fact. I refer of course to those imperishables - Mr. Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street, London and Mr. Ellery Queen of West 87th street, New York City.'

With the appearance of his third detective story, this author who uses such an intriguing pen-name fulfills the promise predicted for him by the London Times that 'Ellery Queen is the most logical successor of Sherlock Holmes.'

All ardent readers of detective fiction will remember 'The French Powder Mystery', where at high noon, the corpse of a beautiful woman suddenly tumbles into the window of a Fifth Avenue department store; and 'The Roman Hat Mystery', a murder in a theater, as smoothly performed as the play which is in progress.

Ellery Queen is equally famous for his unusual and striking settings and for the manner in which he employs the process of deduction.

In his latest tale, the richest woman in America is about to have performed upon her a most delicate operation to be done by a young doctor whom she has had educated. In the great operating room of the vast hospital which she has founded, relatives, friends, and even curious acquaintances wait anxiously to learn the result of the operation. The surgeon calls for his patient and a covered form is wheeled in on a stretcher into the amphitheater. The doctor bends over and finds the woman has been murdered only a few moments before...
Who did this ghastly deed, and who wore the Dutch shoes? Vital and refreshing, this absorbing tale will keep the most hardened detective fan up until the 'wee small' hours."

 
The Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover Pocket Book Nr.3, 1942The Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover Pocket Book, 1952, illustration George MayersThe Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover Pocketbook, 11th Pocket Printing, 1958,  illustration Jerry AllisonThe Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover Signet, January, 1968.The Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover Signet Books #451-E8578, 1968 (50th Anniversary)
The Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover Penguin edition, 1956.The Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover for paperback edition, Mercury Book Series by The American Mercury, Inc. , 1940The Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover Otto Penzler Classic American Mystery LibraryThe Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover paperback large print edition, ‎G. K. Hall & Co (July 1, 1998)
The Dutch Shoe Mystery (1931) is the third and last of Ellery Queen's apprentice works. The best part of the story is the initial ten chapters, which set up the central crime, and contain the main investigation. The initial murder shows some of Ellery Queen's surrealistic flair, without reaching the flamboyant extremes of much of his later work. These chapters move with the speed and grace  They include one of the better and more interesting floor plans in a Golden Age novel. However, nothing much especially interesting happens after Chapter 10, till the finale (Chapter 30), when the crime is explained, with some ingenuity. The mid sections of the book are mainly character studies of the suspects, looks at motives for the murder, etc. They include a well-done portrait of a religious fanatic, which is countered and balanced by many sympathetic quotations from Ellery about religion. Religious imagery will go on to be present in many of EQ's late novels. All in all, this is a decent novella, which has unfortunately been expanded to novel length. (Michael E.Grost)
            Add in the "The New York Sun," October 16. 1931 for Stokes' "The Dutch Shoe Mystery".
Above: Add in the The New York Sun, October 16. 1931 for Stokes' The Dutch Shoe Mystery.
The book perhaps shows the influence of the Freeman school, with its medical setting, its background of a hospital, its timetable crime, deductions from physical evidence (the shoes of the title), and its solution through that Freeman-Crofts tradition, an alibi depending on "the breakdown of identity". However the story still has an intuitionist feel to it, not to mention one of the fullest imitations of  S.S. Van Dine's mannerisms in the Queen canon. Unlike Freeman, medical knowledge plays no role in the mystery, although the hospital setting is deeply integrated into the plot. Most importantly, the logical precision with which the characters move through the floor plan seems very intuitionist indeed. It recalls Chesterton, and his rearrangement of characters and bodies in space and time. The book has a visionary quality, perhaps because it seems to be the product of something truly imagined, to borrow a phrase of Ursula K. LeGuin's. The book is organized around imagery of total whiteness, appropriate for a hospital of the 1920's. Together with the rectilinear architecture of the floor plan, it recalls the abstract art of its time, especially Malevitch's** suprematism, and his painting "White on White". The effect of a "white-out", of a world turned totally white and disappearing into an haze of light, seems strong in this book. Movie (greatly altered): Ellery Queen and the Murder Ring. (Michael E.Grost)
** Malevich, Kasimir (1878-1935) Russian painter who died in poverty and oblivion.
The Dutch Shoe Mystery - hard cover Gollancz edition, 1931The Dutch Shoe Mystery - dust cover Gollancz editionThe Dutch Shoe Mystery - hard cover Gollancz edition, 1949, typical hard cover (red with gold plated lettering on the spine of the book)The Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover Gollancz edition, 1970
In the Summer of 1940 this add with coupon was printed in several newspapers. For a 10c (postage and handling) or a dime 3,000 readers could request their copy of "The Dutch Shoe Mystery" (Mercury Books, The American Mercury).Ellery still using the pince-nez and walking-stick is smoking a pipe and sometimes is surrounded with cigarette smoke. We learn he can't stand the sight of blood. Ellery is said to have written the manuscript of "the Murder of the Marionettes" under his own name. A young Djuna is present as is Dr. Prouty, Sampson and Cronin. The NYPD is represented by Hesse, Ritter and Velie. Pete Harper a journalist is introduced. It takes place in N.Y., at the Dutch Memorial Hospital on Center Street- East 60. The Doorn's house is situated on Fifth av. opposite Central Park. Abigail Doorn is strangled with a wire (iron).

The story starts off on a Monday in January. Later in Ten Day's Wonder a case in a N.Y. operating theater is recalled.
All chapter titles end in -ion (variation, explication,...). A Challenge to the Reader is present.

Above right: In the Summer of 1940 this add with coupon was printed in several newspapers. For a 10c (postage and handling) or a dime 3,000 readers could request their copy of "The Dutch Shoe Mystery" (Mercury Books, The American Mercury).

In 1984 (?) Spinnaker Software brought us a video-game based on the plot of this book called Operation MURDER. Here players had to find their own solution using the video material and clues provided through detective cards ...

The Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover Hamlyn edition, 1983The Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover eBook edition MysteriousPress.com/Open Road, February 5, 2013The Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover audiobook Blackstone Audio, Inc., read by Robert Fass, September 15. 2013The Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover Penzler Publishers 'American Mystery Classics', March 4. 2019The Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover Thorndike Press Large Print "Penzler Publishers 'American Mystery Classics' ", december 2020

 
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, William M. Isaacs - Sunday March 27. 1932

" 'You Can't Win Even in Book - Crooks Get Theirs, as Reader Raises Goose Pimples Over Them.' A well-composed detective story is Ellery Queen's 'The Dutch Shoe Mystery' (Frederick A. Stokes Co.). In this, Queen, who is the detective as well as the author, is confronted with a seemingly inexplicable problem. While paying a visit to the Dutch Memorial Hospital he is invited to witness an operation upon one of the richest and most famous women in America. The operating theater is ready, the small audience is seated, the surgeon calls for his patient. She is wheeled in and placed upon the operating table. The covering sheet is taken off, the patient is dead—strangled. Who could have committed this crime when the victim had been constantly attended? The answer to this is carefully and acceptably worked out. The story has just enough action to keep it interesting."

 
Молодая Гвардия - Russian monthly literary, artistic and socio-political magazine of the Komsomol Central Committee "Young Guard", Issue 5, 6 and 7 of 1979 had "The Dutch Shoe Mystery" in it.
Молодая Гвардия - Russian monthly literary, artistic and socio-political magazine of the Komsomol Central Committee "Young Guard", Issue 5, 6 and 7 of 1979 had "The Dutch Shoe Mystery" in it.
Молодая Гвардия - Russian monthly literary, artistic and socio-political magazine of the Komsomol Central Committee "Young Guard", Issue 5, 6 and 7 of 1979 had "The Dutch Shoe Mystery" in it.
       
Above left: French magazine Mon Magazine Policier (Revue Moderne) published in Montreal, Canada, 1944-45 (?). It featured Le Mystere du soulier blanc.
Above right: Молодая Гвардия Russian monthly literary, artistic and socio-political magazine of the Komsomol Central Committee "Young Guard", Issue 5, 6 and 7 of 1979 had The Dutch Shoe Mystery in it.
 


Misdaad op de operatietafel - dustcover Dutch edition Nr.1 Avonturen en Detective reeks-  Avond reeks. Uitgeverij JT Swartsenburgh NV,  ZeistMisdaad op de operatietafel - hard cover Dutch edition Nr.1 Avonturen en Detective reeks-  Avond reeks. Uitgeverij JT Swartsenburgh NV,  ZeistPatient overleden, operatie geslaagd - dutch cover Prisma-detective 139Patiënt overleden, operatie geslaagd - coverLe Mystère du  Soulier Blanc - Cover French edition L'Empreinte n° 114, Edition de la Nouvelle Revue Critique, April 1937.Le mystère du soulier blanc - French edition, Ed.GarniersLe mystère du soulier blanc - French edition in the Collection Les Classiques du Roman Policier n° 3, C.d.L., n°2219, 1958
Le Mystere du Soulier Blanc - cover French publication, J''ai Lu, N° 3349, 1992Das Zerrissene Schuhband - cover German edition "Die gelben Ulsteinbücher" , 1932Mörder im Hospital - cover German edition Ullstein, Nr. 1718, 1975Mörder im Hospital - cover German edition Humanitas Verlag Konstanz,1961Mörder im Hospital - cover German edition, SMDas Geheimnis der Weissen Schuhe - cover German edition Dumont Verlag,Nr 1115, September 2002Das Geheimnis der Weissen Schuhe - cover German edition, e-book DuMonts Digitale Kriminal-Bibliothek, March 27. 2014

The Dutch Shoe Mystery Translations
Chinese: 荷蘭鞋子的秘密 
Czech: Tajemství bílého střevíce 
(aka Zahada Chirugovej Topanky) 
(aka Zlocin v holandské nemocnici) 
Danish: Doorn-hospitalets gaade (aka Døden i hvidt) 
Dutch/Flemish: Patiënt overleden, operatie geslaagd 
(aka Misdaad op de operatietafel) 
Finnish: kenkäparin arvoitus 
French: Le mystère du soulier blanc 
German: Das Geheimnis der Weissen Schuhe 
(aka Würger im Hospital) 
(aka  Mörder im Hospital) 
  (aka Das Zerrissene Schuhband) 
Hebrew: Ta'alumat ha-na'al ha-holandit 
Hungarian: Bűntény a műtőben
 
(aka  Fojtogató a kórházban)
 
Indonesian: Maut Berselubung Putih
 
  aka  Pembunuhan Berselubung Putih
 
Italian: Un paio di scarpe 
Japanese: オランダ靴の謎 (aka orandakutsunonazo) 
Korean: 네덜란드 구두 미스터리 
Persian: کتاب راز کفش هلندی  
Portuguese: O enigma do sapato Holandês 
(aka O Misterio do sapato Holandês) 
Russian: Тайна голландской туфли 
(
Taina gollandskogo bashmaka) 
aka Загадка больничных туфель 
Spanish: El Zapato holandés 
(aka El Misterio del Zapato Blanco) 
Swedish: Skomysteriet 

Un paio di scarpe - cover Italian edition, 1940Un paio di scarpe - cover Italian edition, I Capolavori dei Gialli, N. 71, 1957, Arnoldo Mondadori EditoreUn paio di scarpe - cover Italian edition, I classici del Giallo N° 297Un paio di scarpe - cover Italian edition, Mondadori, N°10, 1985Un paio di scarpe - cover Italian editionO Misterio do sapato Holandês - cover Brazilian edition, Edições de Ouro, Rio de Janeiro, 1962
O Misterio do sapato Holandês - cover Brazilian edition Livraria do globo vol129 Coleçao Amarela, 1947O Misterio do sapato Holandês - cover Portugese edition Livros do Brazil, LisboaO Misterio do sapato Holandês - cover Portugese, ed. Livros do Brazil, Col. Vampiro N°20, Lisboa, Mar 2018El Zapato holandés - Cover Spanish edition, Barcelona, 1987El Misterio del Zapato Blanco - cover Spanish edition, Hachette, Nr.89 in Biblioteca de bolsillo,1944El Zapato Holandes - Cover Argentinian edition, 2008
Døden i hvidt - cover Danish edition, Lommeromanen KrimiDøden i hvidt - cover Danish edition, 2015, Rosenkilde & BahnhofSkomysteriet - cover Swedish edition, Bra Deckare, 1971Skomysteriet - cover Swedish edition, 1975Skomysteriet - cover Swedish edition, Bokhuset, 1982kenkäparin arvoitus - cover Finnish editionkenkäparin arvoitus - cover Finnish edition, Sapo 171
Tajemství bílého střevíce - Soft Cover Czech edition, Praha  Jan Naňka, 1935Tajemství bílého střevíce - Cover Czech edition, Praha  Jan Naňka, 1935Zahada Chirugovej Topanky - Cover Czech edition, 1974Zlocin v holandské nemocnici - Cover Czech edition, 2016Ta'alumat ha-na'al ha-holandit - cover Hebrew edition, Tel Aviv: Yediot Aharonot, 1986کتاب راز کفش هلندی - cover Persian edition from 2015 by ویدا (Vida)
Pembunuhan Berselubung Putih - cover Indonesian edition 'Dutch Shoe Mystery', Berselubung Putih Karya, 1980 Cetakan PertamaMaut Berselubung Putih - cover Indonesian editionЗарубежный детектив (Foreign Detectives) - cover Russian omnibus edition with stories by Marcin Dor, Sándor Illés and Ellery Queen. This translation for "The Dutch Shoe Mystery" translated by Vyacheslav Fedorovsky appeared the year before in the magazine "Молодая Гвардия" "Young Guard", Publisher Ташкент Самиздат (Tashkent Samizdat), 1980Загадка больничных туфель - softcover Russian edition, Zarub. detective v.5 (Заруб. детектив в.5), 1990Тайна больничных туфель - cover Russian edition Dutch Shoe Mystery, Ed. Kometa (Комета), 1990Загадка больничных туфель - cover Russisch edition, two books into one, "The Dutch Shoe Mystery" by Ellery Queen and Ross McDonald's "The Far Side of the Dollar", Ed. Детективы Века, 1992
Эллери Квин, Джон Кризи (Ellery Queen, John Creasy) - cover Russian edition, two books into one, "The Dutch Shoe Mystery" by Ellery Queen and John Creasy's "Murder London-Australia", ed. Bayan (Баян), 1992Встречи во мраке ("Rendezvous in Black") - cover Russian edition, stories by three authors "The Dutch Shoe Mystery" by Ellery Queen, "Rendezvous in Black" by William Irish (Cornell Woolrich ) and several stories by Ian Fleming, Bestseller series ed. CKC, 1992.Загадка больничных туфель ("The Dutch Shoe Mystery") - cover Russian edition with three classical foreign detectives, Ellery Queen's "The Dutch Shoe Mystery", Václav Folprecht's "Smrt v pokutovém území" (Death in the penalty area) and Noel Vexin's "Crochet au coeur", editions ""Physical education and sports" (Физкультура и спорт), 1992Российская книжная палата - cover Russian edition with a novel by Ellery Queen "The Dutch Shoe Mystery" adn two novels by Rex Stout "Champagne for One" and "Omit Flowers", 1993Тьма в конце тоннеля (Darkness at the end of the tunnel) - cover Russian book with three novels, "The Dutch Shoe Mystery" by Ellery Queen, Alistair MacLean's "Night without End" and John Godey's "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three", ed. Марихи (Marikhi), 1994.Смерть в Голливуде (The Origin of Evil) - cover Russian edition with 2 stories by Ellery Queen (The Origin of Evil & The Dutch Shoe Mystery), editions Канон (Большая б-ка крим. р-на), 1994.
Яд в коктейле - cover Russian compilation, contains "Calamity Town" (Яд в коктейле), "The Door Between" (Дверь между…) & "The Dutch Shoe Mystery" (Тайна голландского башмака), Editions Центрполиграф, Альба (Tsentrpoligraf, Alba), 1995.Эллери Куин в 3-х тт. (Ellery Queen in 3 volumes) - cover Russian edition, part 1 of three volumes with 3 Ellery Queen stories each, this volume contains "The Roman Hat Mystery" (Тайна римской шляпы), "The French Powder Mystery" (Тайна французского порошка) & "The Dutch Shoe Mystery" (Тайна голландских туфель), published by Terra Bookclub (Терра - Книжный клуб), 2001Тайна голландской туфли - cover Russian compilation, includes "The Dutch Shoe Mystery" (Тайна голландской туфли) & "The Spanish Cape Mystery" (Тайна Испанского мыса), publisher Centrograph (Центрполиграф), 2004The Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover Japanese edition, Tokyo Sogensha, July 20. 1961The Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover Japanese edition, Hayakawa PublishingThe Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover Japanese edition, Somoto Reasoning Paperback
The Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover Japanese edition, Somoto Reasoning PaperbackThe Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover Japanese editionThe Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover Japanese edition, Poplar, Jan 1990. Edition aimed at juvenile girlsThe Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover Japanese edition, 1995The Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover Japanese edition, Mar 23 2013,  illustration by Takenaka
The Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover Japanese edition, Tokyo Sogensha, 2012Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover Chinese editionThe Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover Chinese edition, Liaoning People's Publishing House, March 1. 1981The Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover Chinese edition, July 20.1997The Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover Chinese (Mongolian) edition, Inner Mongolia People's Publishing House, January 2009The Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover Chinese edition, New Star Press, October 2014
The Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover Taiwanese edition, July 15. 1997The Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover Taiwanese editionThe Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover Taiwanese edition, October 21. 2004네덜란드 구두 미스터리(The Dutch Shoe Mystery) - cover South-Korean edition, Sigma Books, Sep 1. 1994네덜란드 구두 미스터리(The Dutch Shoe Mystery) - cover South-Korean edition, Dongsuh Mystery Books, Jan 1. 2003네덜란드 구두 미스터리(The Dutch Shoe Mystery) - cover South-Korean edition,  검은숲, Ellery Queen Collection, Dec 26.2011
 


Click if you think you can help out...!

Other articles on this book
(1) The Green Capsule Noah Stewart (Dec 2017)
(2) Mysteries Ahoy! Aiden Brack (Jan 2018)
(3) Reading Ellery Queen Jon Mathewson (Mar  2013)
(4) My Reader's Block Bev Hankins (October 13. 2019)
(5) Tale of Two Shoes Ho-Ling (May 11. 2013)
(6) Noah's Archives Noah Stewart (Jul.23 2017)
(7) JetBlackDragonFly... the man who read too much (Oct 1. 2015)
 
* Interested readers should know that the icons/covers of books, used throughout the website have extra descriptions/information not 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.

previous indepth review... b a c k   t o  Q  B  I next indepth review...


Copyright
© MCMXCIX-MMXXII  Ellery Queen, a website on deduction. All rights reserved.