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The Dutch Shoe Mystery (1931)

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

"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)

The Dutch Shoe Mystery - dust coverThe Dutch Shoe Mystery - Triangle Books, reprint October 1941The Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover several colours existThe Dutch Shoe Mystery - hardcover april 1945The Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover Pocket Book Nr.3, 1942The Dutch Shoe Mystery - Pocket cover
The 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 Gollancz edition, 1931The Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover Gollancz edition, 1970

Ellery still with 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.

"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 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): EQ and the Murder Ring." (Michael E.Grost) and 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...

*Malevich, Kasimir (1878-1935) Russian painter who died in poverty and oblivion

The Dutch Shoe Mystery - paperbackcover Mercury Book Series by The American Mercury, Inc.The Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover Otto Penzler Classic American Mystery LibraryThe 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. 2013


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 - Canadian publication in (French) "Policier"Le Mystere du Soulier Blanc - cover French publication, J''ai Lu, N° 3349, 1992Das Zerrissene Schühband - 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 2002

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 Schühband) 
Hebrew: Ta'alumat ha-na'al ha-holandit 
Indonesian: Pembunuhan
 
Italian: Un paio di scarpe 
Japanese: オランダ靴の謎 (aka orandakutsunonazo) 
Portuguese: O enigma do sapato Holandês 
(aka O Misterio do sapato Holandês) 
Russian: Тайна голландской туфли 
(
Taina gollandskogo bashmaka) 
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, 1962O Misterio do sapato Holandês - cover Brazilian edition Livraria do globo vol129 Coleçao Amarela, 1947
O Misterio do sapato Holandês - cover Brazilian edition Livros do Brazil, 2nd edition, 1983.El 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, 2008Døden i hvidt - cover Danish edition, Lommeromanen KrimiDøden i hvidt - cover Danish edition, 2015, Rosenkilde & BahnhofSkomysteriet - cover Swedish edition, Bra Deckare, 1971
Skomysteriet - cover Swedish edition, 1975Skomysteriet - cover Swedish edition, Bokhuset, 1982kenkäparin arvoitus - cover Finnish editionkenkäparin arvoitus - cover Finnish edition, Sapo 171Tajemství bílého střevíce - Soft Cover Czech edition, Praha  Jan Naňka, 1935Tajemství bílého střevíce - Cover Czech edition, Praha  Jan Naňka, 1935Zahada Chirugovej Topanky - Cover Czech edition, 1974
Zlocin v holandské nemocnici - Cover Czech edition, 2016Ta'alumat ha-na'al ha-holandit - cover Hebrew edition, Tel Aviv: Yediot Aharonot, 1986Pembunuhan - cover Indonesian edition 'Dutch Shoe Mystery', Berselubung Putih Karya, 1980 Cetakan PertamaThe 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 PaperbackThe Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover Japanese edition, Somoto Reasoning Paperback
The 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 TakenakaThe Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover Japanese edition, Tokyo Sogensha, 2012Тайна голландской туфли - Cover Russian edition, 2004 (Together with The Spanish Cape Mystery)
Dutch 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 Taiwanese editionThe Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover Taiwanese edition, October 21. 2004The 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
 

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