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The Four of Hearts (1938)

It was a script that could only have come from Hollywood: the spectacular wedding of two superstars after a scandal-filled courtship...a wild trip by private plane to an exclusive hideaway... a deadly double overdose of drugs... But these corpses weren't play-acting. And once again Ellery Queen was cast in the role of master detective, as he found nothing was quite what it seemed in the never-never land of moviedom--except sudden, violent death
Here is a grand mystery with an extremely ingenious, intricate, and watertight plot. The setting is Hollywood, and something is happening all the time. It's fantastic and uproarious, and full of Hollywood patter at its lushest. It's expertly solved, with an effective extra turnover at the end resulting in a surprising and thrillful finish.

The Four of Hearts - Reader's League Of America Books ##NN9 ,1942The Four of Hearts - cover Mercury Mystery Book number 47, 1948The Four of Hearts - cover SignetThe Four of Hearts - Signet Cover
The Four of Hearts - coverThe Four of Hearts - cover Avon  #T-242, 1958. Cover art by ReeseThe Four of Hearts - cover Harper Perennial, 1994The Four of Hearts - cover Penguin Books, 1958

Page in Cosmopolitan october 1938: first publication of this story. Click for cover.

 

By contrast, this second Hollywood book, shows more of Queen's plotting artistry. It is also the only one of his Hollywood books to have a setting within the film industry itself. Agatha Christie and S.S. Van Dine are mentioned by name in Chapter 1 of The Four of Hearts. Ellery Queen makes clear who his closest literary relatives are by referring to the imaginary mystery writer Ellery Van Christie.

 

The Four of Hearts - dustcover Triangle Books, New York,1941The Four of Hearts - cover Triangle Books, New York,1941The Four of Hearts -  coverThe Four of Hearts - hardcover Tower Books Edition 1st Printing Oct. 1946The Four of Hearts - cover Tower Books World Publishing 1946 Cleveland New YorkThe Four of Hearts - cover Frederick A. Stokes Company, New York, 1938.
The Four of Hearts - cover Cheap War Edition, 1940The Four of Hearts - coverThe Four of Hearts - coverThe Four of Hearts - cover audiobook Blackstone Audio, Inc., read by Mark Peckham,January 1. 2014The Four of Hearts - cover eBook, JABberwocky Literary Agency, Inc, Feb 15. 2017

 


Harten vier - dustcover Dutch edition AW Bruna, Balken seriesHartenvier - cover Dutch edition AW Bruna, Balken seriesHartenvier - coverHartenvier - coverLe Quatre de Coeur - cover French edition Collection de l'empreinte N° 173, 1939Le quatre de coeur - cover French Edition Opta 1967,collection du club du livre policierLe Quatre de Coeur - cover French edition J'ai Lu, 1985
Das Goldene Hufeisen - German edition Ullstein KrimiDas Goldene Hufeisen - cover German edition, Ullstein, BerlinQuattro di cuori - cover Italian editionQuattro di cuori - cover Italian edition, Mondadori,series 'Il Classici del Gialli Mondadori' N°648, November 26. 1991El Cuatro de Corazon - cover Catalan edition, Hachette, 1941.El Cuatro de Corazon - cover Spanish edition, Hachette, 1953El Cuatro de Corazones - cover Spanish edition, 1973

The Four of Hearts Translations:  
Danish: Hjerter fire   
Dutch/Flemish: Hartenvier   
Finnish: Kuolemanlento Hollywoodissa   
French: Le quatre de coeur   
German: Das goldene Hufeisen (aka Herz 4 )  
 (aka Trauung in der Luft)   
Greek: Το τέσσερα κούπα   
Hebrew:
משחק קלפים   
Italian: Quattro di cuori   
Japanese: ハートの4 (haatonoyon)   
Korean: 트럼프 살인 사건    
Norwegian: Hjerter fire   
Polish: Srdcová čtyřka   
Russian: Сердца четырёх   
Spanish: El Cuatro de Corazon
   
(aka El Cuatro de Corazones)
  
Swedish: Hjärter fyra   
Turkish:
Kupa dörtlüsü   

Το τέσσερα κούπα - cover Greek edition, ViperKuolemanlento Hollywoodissa - cover Finnish edition, Otova 1942Kuolemanlento Hollywoodissa - cover Finnish edition, Otovan Taskuromaani, 1963Hjerter fire - Cover Danish edition, 1970Hjärter fyra - cover Swedish edition,Tema, 1968Kupa dörtlüsü - cover Turkish edition, 1963
משחק קלפים - Cover Israelian edition, 1960Сердца четырёх - Cover Russian edition, 2004 (Also contains There was an Old Woman)The Four of Hearts (ハートの4) - cover Japanese edition, Somoto Reasoning, 1959The Four of Hearts ('haatonoyon') - cover Japanese edition, Sogensya Tokio, May 1979The Four of Hearts (ハートの4) - cover Japanese edition, Hayakawa editions, Feb 26. 2004Four of Hearts - cover Taiwanese edition, Face Press, November 15, 1995
Four of Hearts - cover Taiwanese edition November 20. 1995Four of Hearts - cover Taiwanese edition, Face Press, August 31. 2005The Four of Hearts - cover Chinese edition, New Star Press, October 2010The Four of Hearts - cover Chinese edition, New Star Press, October 2010The Four of Hearts - cover Chinese edition, Chemical Industry Press, August 1. 2014 트럼프 살인 사건(The Four of Hearts) - cover South-Korean edition, Sigma Books, Mar 1. 1995
 

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