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Halfway House (1936)

Halfway House, where a strange man finds final rest on his tortured journey through life . . . Halfway house, where, under the grim shadow of a sensational murder, opposites meet and clash -- common peddler and financier, young housewife and cold society woman, struggling lawyer and millionaire debutante... Halfway house, where Ellery Queen, crime consultant to the world-at-large, returns to his old love of pure and pungent deduction in what is unquestionably his most fascinating narrative of real people and subtle violence.

The victim had lived two lives, but a single knife thrust ended both of them. The trail of suspicion led into the guilt-edged world of the beautiful people—and climaxed in a vicious courtroom battle that ended with a shattering verdict. It seemed that for the first time Ellery had met his match—until the sleuth blended his usual impeccable logic with a most unusual fling … .

The Halfway House - Horz cover rare horizontal binding. Binding is at the top, resulting in a wider and shorter page.The Halfway House - cover Reader's League of AmericaHalfway House - coverHalfway House - Cover audiobook Blackstone Audio, read by Fred Sullivan, 2013
Mercury Mystery The Halfway HouseHalfway House - cover Great Pan paperback, 1959The Halfway House -  PocketBook - 12th Printing - May 1953Halfway House - Cover SignetThe Halfway House - cover Signet publ. 50th Anniversary edition

Halfway House appeared in full in 1936's June edition of (Hearst's International) Cosmopolitan. Nash's Pall Magazine also owned by Hearst had published the story in 5 parts between May and September 1936. 

In his foreword Ellery points out to JJMcC that the book might have been called 'The Swedish  Match Mystery' but it was not. It did however keep the subtitle of its predecessors ' a problem in deduction'. Page in Cosmopolitan june 1936: first publication of this story. Click for cover.The departure from the 'national' format was more than appropriate as it marks more than one shift. Although Queen's earlier work had been published in so-called women's slick magazines, it wasn't until Halfway House that it's influence took hold of the writing. The stories evolved with a reduction in cast of characters, a scaling down of the pure puzzle-element and a decline of the fair play rules. 'Halfway House' is the last to contain the Queen 'Challenge' which made him so distinct. (reappearing only in The Finishing Stroke.) Although being well conceived the puzzle is simpler, great attention is given to the trial of the culprit and several human interest stories were mixed in with the mysteries. Probably because it was his first step after his 'Golden Age' period it still stands as one of the better stories of the time.

Halfway House - cover Triangle BooksHalfway House - hardcover Triangle books, reprinted Dec. 1940 Several colors existHalfway House - hardcover Triangle BooksHalf-way House - cover Victor Gollancz, 1972, LondonThe Halfway House - cover Grosset & Dunlap, 1936
Halfway House - cover Tower books first editionHalfway House - hardcover Tower BooksHalfway House - cover Frederick A. Stokes Co., New York 1936 exists in several colours...Halfway House - cover eBook, JABberwocky Literary Agency, Inc, Feb 16. 2017

"The finale depends on one strand in EQ's writing. Various clues to the killer's identity left at the crime scene are developed by EQ into a profile of the potential killer. Then EQ goes through the list of characters in the story, showing how this profile fits one and only one of the suspects. It is similar to the deductions from the shoe in The Dutch Shoe Mystery. Fans of physical detection might enjoy this, and the book follows in a honorable tradition of "deduction through clues" in the detective story. But it seems very mild compared to EQ's best work. There is no complex plot, no wild crime schemes or final revelations. Some of Queen's logic is interesting, especially his reasons for concluding one character is speaking the truth." (Michael E.Grost)

Het Huis Halverwege - dutch coverHet Huis Halverwege - dutch coverHet Huis Halverwege - cover Geillustreerde Pers nr.14Le Mystère de l'allumette- cover French edition Collection L'Empreinte, N° 121, éditions de La Nouvelle Revue Critique, July 1937La maison à mi-route - cover French edition Le Limier, 1951La maison à mi-route - cover French edition J'ai Lu, 1984Une maison dans la nuit - cover French edition Libr.des Champs-Elysees "Masque de l'année 2001" N° 1163 translation Jean Mactar
Der Schrei am Fluss - cover German edition Heyne Crime ClassicsDas Haus auf halber Strecke - cover German edition Schertz nr.127Das Haus auf halber Strecke - cover German edition Die Schwarzen Kriminalromane ,1962Das Haus auf halber Strecke - cover German edition Scherz ,1972Das Haus auf halber Strecke - cover German edition Scherz ,1982Auf Halbem Weg - cover German edition Heyne-Verlag Nr 1151Die Dame mit dem Schleier - cover German edition Ullstein Krimi N°1814, 1977

Halfway House Translations: 
Brazilian:O misterio dos fosforos quiemados 
Czech: Přestupní stanice
Danish: Huset på halvvejen 
Dutch/Flemish: Het huis halverwege 
Finnish: Puolmatkan Talo 
French: La maison à mi-route (aka Le Mystère de l'allumette 
 aka Une maison dans la nuit) 
German: Das Haus auf halber Strecke (aka Auf Halbem Weg) 
(aka Der Schrei am Fluß) (aka Die Dame mit dem Schleier) 
Hebrew:  הבית על אם הדרך  
Hungarian: Ház a félúton 
(aka A kétlelkű Gimball)
Italian: La casa delle metamorfosi 
Japanese: 途中の家 (cyuutonoie) 
Korean: 중간지점의 집 
(aka 중간지대) 
Mexican: La casa en la mitad del camino 
Polish: Přestupní stanice 
Russian: Дом на полпути 
Spanish: La casa a medio camino (aka El misterio de las cerillas) 
Swedish: Mannen som var två 

La casa delle metamorfosi - cover Italian edition, Giallo Mondadori N°81, 1950La casa delle metamorfosi - cover Italian edition, Giallo Mondadori N°17, 1955La casa delle metamorfosi - cover Italian edition Arnoldo Mondadori, series Biblioteca del Giallo Mondadori 6, 1963La casa delle metamorfosi - cover Italian edition Sfida al lettore N°16, 1985La casa delle metamorfosi - cover Italian edition, I Classici del Giallo Mondadori N°688, June 1993La casa delle metamorfosi - cover Italian edition, I Classici del Giallo Mondadori Nr1035, nov 2004O misterio dos fosforos quiemados - cover Brazilian edition
O misterio dos fosforos quiemados - cover Portuguese edition, book/e-Book, Os Mestres Da Literatura Policial, Livros do Brasil, 2016O misterio dos fosforos quiemados - cover Brazilian edition Livros do Brazil, Vampiro Nr.2 Livros do Brasil, 2000La Casa en la mitad del camino - cover Mexican edition Colecction Incognita #1, 96 pp, September 1954La casa a medio camino - cover Spanish edition, Ediciones Picazo, 1973El misterio de las cerillas - Cover Spanish edition, Editorial Hachette, Biblioteca de bolsillo Nr10, Buenos Aires, 1943.El misterio de las cerillas - Cover Spanish edition, Círculo del Crimen
Huset på halvvejen - Cover Danish edition, LademannHuset på halvvejen - Cover Danish edition, LommeromanenPuolmatkan Talo - cover Finnish edition, 1948A kétlelkű Gimball - Dustcover Hungarian edition, BudapestA kétlelkű Gimball - Cover Hungarian edition, BudapestHáz a félúton - cover Hungarian edition, Albatrosz Konyvek Budapest, 1977
Ház a félúton - cover Hungarian edition, Magyar Könyvklub-Saxum Budapest, 1977Přestupní Stanice - dustcover Czech edition, Mladá fronta, Praha 1968, edice SmaragdPřestupní Stanice - Cover Czech edition, Mladá fronta, Praha 1968, edice SmaragdPřestupní stanice - cover Czech edition, 1968Přestupní stanice - cover Czech edition, 2011 הבית על אם הדרך - cover Israelian edition Halfway House, 1970
Дом на полпути - Cover Russian edition, 2005 (also includes The American Gun Mystery)Halfway House - cover Japanese edition, Hayakawa Pocket Mystery Book, 1956Halfway House - cover Japanese edition, Hayakawa-mystery paperbackHalfway House - "cyuutonoie" Japanese edition, Somoto Reasoning Publishing, 1962Halfway House - "cyuutonoie" cover Japanese edition, 1981Halfway House - Japanese cover with cover art by Takenaka, Published by Kadokawa Shoten July. 2015
The Halfway House - cover Chinese edition, Masses Press, April 2000Halfway House - cover Taiwanese edition, March 25. 2004Halfway House - cover Chinese (Mongolian) edition, Inner Mongolia People's Publishing House, April 2009Halfway House - cover Chinese edition, Chemical Industry Press, June 1. 2013중간지대 (Halfway House) -  cover South-Korean edition,  Sigma Books, Feb 1 1995중간지점의 집(Halfway House) - cover South-Korean edition, Dongsuh Mystery Books, 검은숲, Jul 1. 2003

Other articles on this book
(1) Reading Ellery Queen - The Halfway House Jon Mathewson (Dec 2014)

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