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With $250,000--of somebody else's money--in his pocket, Ellery had the time of his life buying in the famous Garten book collection as it was auctioned off. But the fun didn't last long, for before evening John Mathews, who had been responsible for Garten's ruin, was found murdered. And neither the book collector, nor the dead man's nephew, Walter, who was engaged to Garten's daughter, had any kink of an alibi.

The police were certain it was murder - but a reliable witness "saw" the hated Wall Street millionaire shoot himself in the head! There were half a dozen suspects - each, naturally, with an airtight alibi - but first Ellery Queen had to figure out how the impossible crime was committed.
Ellery crashed through the door and bent over Nikki on the floor. "What happened?" he demanded. "Are you hurt?"
"I don't know" she moaned."I thought I was dead" She sat up and pointed at the corner of the room, where the chimpanzee cowered, whimpering. "That creature... he came through the window with a gun... he tried to murder me!"

The Perfect Crime - dust cover Grosset & Dunlap edition, New York, 1942The Perfect Crime - hard cover Grosset & Dunlap edition, N.Y., 1942The Perfect Crime - cover  pocket book edition,  Pyramid Books R-1814, June 1968The Perfect Crime - cover Paperback, Literary Licensing, LLC (September, 2011)The Perfect Crime - cover Paperback Literary Licensing, LLC (Oktober15, 2011)
Issue of "Movie Detective", Jan.1940 with publication of movies in story form e.g. "Ellery Queen & the Perfect Crime".Non-Queen based on the movie Ellery Queen and the Perfect Crime for which the the plot of  The Devil to Pay was used. Nikki Porter reappeared.
The 1942 Grosset & Dunlap edition has a sketch map of the crime scene in Chapter 6 (p. 75), which is essential if you wish to figure out how the murder occurred, and careful study of the map itself may provide the answer for you. A rather humorous aside is the conversations in which the investigators speculate 1) does a chimpanzee have fingerprints, and 2) if so, is it possible to take them? (Rick Mills)
Note: The sketch in the Pyramid edition can be found on p.57
Above right: Issue of Movie Detective, Jan.1940 with publication of movies in story form e.g. Ellery Queen & the Perfect Crime.*

Mr.Misdaad - Dutch coverFlieg, Kugel, flieg - cover German edition, Ullstein Bucher, 1969Flieg, Kugel, flieg - cover German edition, Ullstein Krimi, 1982Ellery Queen e il delitto perfetto - cover Italian edition, Il  Giallo Mondadori N° 1079, 1969Ellery Queen e il delitto perfetto - cover Italian edition, I Classici Del Giallo N°499, March 1986

The Perfect Crime Translations: 
Dutch/Flemish: Mr.Misdaad 
German: Flieg, Kugel, flieg 
Italian: Ellery Queen e il delitto perfetto 


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