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The Siamese Twin Mystery (1933)

A forest fire which hems in a mountain-top mansion on every side and creeps gradually closer and closer is a sinister background for the equally sinister tale of murder. It was murder with such complicated and subtle clues that no one but Ellery Queen could have unraveled the tangled web, and even he thought more than once that he held the end in his hands only to discover that it was really a loose end.What was the mystery of the isolated mansion? Why had the famous surgeon John Xavier, come there to live? Why was Marie Carreau, a society beauty supposedly traveling in Europe, hiding in one of the rooms? What was the Thing which Inspector Queen saw and could describe to his son only a giant crab? All the questions puzzled Ellery even before the first murder - and then there was another one.
The fire crept closer; there was no way to escape from it and neither was there any way for the murderer to escape from his guilt. It was death one way or another. But Ellery, the connoisseur of murder, was not satisfied with the idea of an impersonal punishment by impersonal forces. He must find out and confront the murderer with his crimes.
And then the miracles happened - Ellery Queen's miracle of brilliant deduction and the simple, impossible miracle of Nature. You'll be left gasping by this story of sordid crome and tortuous involvement's and tense horror. Ellery Queen has never done better, either as author or detective.
(cover)

"Who the devil do you think you are anyway?" Mark Xavier shouted. Ellery's father took a worn black case from his pocket and snapped the lid open. Inside lay a round embossed gold shield. "Inspector Queen of the Homicide Squad, New York City Police Department", he said. "I'm sorry I didn't announce last night that I'm a copper. "Because if I had, I'm certain that Dr.John Xavier would be alive this morning. And it's too damned beautiful a morning to be dead in."

We've got to get under cover," Ellery Queen insisted. "The house is burning now.... The cellar -- where's the cellar? Lord, what unmitigated idiots! Talk, will you, somebody?"
"The cellar," they chanted obediently, fixing glassy eyes on his face.
"Behind the stairs," rasped Mrs. Xavier. Her gown was torn away from one shoulder. "Oh, hurry, hurry." She sped down the hall.
Ellery Queen, his father and an odd group of people were trapped in a mountaintop house. A raging forest fire surrounded them.
Two of their number had already perished ... by murder.
And the murderer was still in their midst!

'Mr. Queen handles his story elements-the growth of fear, the interplay of emotion, the delineation of common people helpless before an uncommon situation-equally as superbly as he does his mystery and detective elements, in the concoction and treatment of which he is a past master.'

The Siamese Twin Mystery - cover Mercury Mystery nr.36The Siamese Twin Mystery - coverThe Siamese Twin Mystery - cover 1962
The Siamese Twin Mystery - coverThe Siamese Twin Mystery - cover SignetThe Siamese Twin Mystery - hardback dustcover Tower BooksThe Siamese Twin Mystery - hardback cover Tower BooksThe Siamese Twin  Mystery - cover eBook edition MysteriousPress.com/Open Road (February 5, 2013)

Something a little different for the Queens, with a remote house, raging forest fire and peculiar characters. Although some typical characteristics remain as (e.g. a map is provided) some aspects illustrate the change in the Queen approach to the story. The increasing departure from the fairplay-rules of 'the Golden Age' as the final solution depends a little to much on guesswork than deduction.The characters taking some of the time away from the otherwise slightly straightforward plot and the telltale absence of the 'Challenge to the Reader'. The second time after The Tragedy of X (1931) the Queen hallmark of the 'dying clue' was introduced.

The Siamese Twin Mystery - cover Tower books, April 1945 manufactured in compliance with the War Production Board's ruling for conserving paperThe Siamese Twin Mystery -  kaftThe Siamese Twin Mystery -  dustcover Grosset & DunlapThe Siamese Twin Mystery -  cover Grosset & Dunlap. copyright 1933The Siamese Twin Mystery - cover Otto Penzler Classic American Mystery Library,1992
The Siamese Twin Mystery - audio cover, read by Michael PrichardThe Siamese Twin Mystery - audio coverThe Siamese Twin Mystery -  cover HamlynThe Siamese Twin Mystery - cover Triangle Books, New York, 1942 + Center Books 1943Triangle Book published by The Blakiston Company

The story is set two days from N.Y. on Arrowmountain (close to the Tomohawkvalley in the Tepee mountains). Quiet accurately put at the 60th km on  the road Tuckesas to Osquewa (which was 80 km in total).The Queens are returning from holiday in Canada in the Duesenberg which plays a major role at the beginning of the story.
Dr.Xavier is poisoned.When the victim has diabetes rigor mortis sets almost immediately, EQ had encountered this once before (Egyptian Cross ?)
Often some new discoveries are featured in Queen books here a new medication is mentioned: alpha-lobeline.
Ellery remarked that the etching on the wall was etched after the 'grisly' Rembrandt painting The Anatomy Lesson.
Ellery's mother is mentioned. Not so long ago he was in Florence were he bought a ring. He still wears a lornget and smokes cigarettes.
Richard is close to sixty, uses his snuffbox and wears a cheap weddingring.

The Siamese Twin Mystery - cover Penguin Books, 1961The Siamese Twin Mystery -  dustcover Victor Gollancz, London, 1934The Siamese Twin Mystery -  dustcover Victor Gollancz, LondonThe Siamese Twin Mystery -  cover audiobook read by Michael Prichard


De Siamese Tweeling - coverLe mystère des frères Siamois - French coverLe mystère des frères Siamois - Inside cover French edition, Famot, 1979Le mystère des frères Siamois - cover French edition éditions J'ai lu, Paris, 1990Le mystère des frères Siamois - cover French edition éditions J'ai lu, Paris, 1990
Die siamesischen Zwillinge - German edition Goldmanns Täschen Krimi, Bd. 0131, 1961Die siamesischen Zwillinge - German edition Goldmann Krimis, 1961Das Rätsel der siamesischen Zwillinge - cover German editionΟι διπλοπρόσωποι - Cover Greek edition, 2009, Δημοσιογραφικός Οργανισμός Λαμπράκη (Lambrakis)Il caso dei fratelli siamesi - cover Italian edition, Oscar del Giallo Mondadori 1976
Il caso dei fratelli siamesi - cover Italian edition, I Classici Del Giallo Mondadori N° 490, 1985Il caso dei fratelli siamesi - cover Italian edition, 2005El Misterio de los Hermanos Siameses - Cover Spanish edition, june 2005El Misterio de los Hermanos Siameses - Cover Spanish edition, March 2007El Misterio de los Hermanos Siameses - Cover Spanish edition, 1974

The Siamese Twin Mystery Translations
Brazilian: Caso dos Gémeos Desconhecidos 
Danish: De siamesiske tvillinger 
Dutch/Flemish: De Siamese Tweeling 
German: Die siamesischen Zwillinge 
(aka Das Rätsel der  siamesischen Zwillinge) 
French: Le mystère des frères siamois 
Greek: Το μυστήριο των Σιαμαίων διδύμων
Hebrew:
תעלומת רצח 
Italian: Il caso dei fratelli siamesi 
Japanese: syamufutagononazo 
Polish: Příběh siamských dvojčat 
Portuguese: O Mistério dos Gémeos Siameses 
Russian: Тайна французского порошка 
Spanish: El Misterio de los Hermanos Siameses 

Tjech: Záhada siamského dvojčete 
Turkish: Siyamlı İkizler 

El Misterio de los Hermanos Siameses - cover Spanish edition, 1981El Misterio de los Hermanos Siameses - cover Spanish edition, Coleción Polismen, ediciones Picazo, 1975El Misterio de los Hermanos Siameses - cover Spanish edition, El País, Serie Negra, 2004El Misterio de los Hermanos Siameses - cover Spanish edition, Ciudad de Libros (eBook)O Mistério dos Gémeos Siameses - cover Portugese edition, Clube do Crime N°39
Caso dos Gémeos Desconhecidos  - cover Brazilian/Portuguese edition EUROPA-AMÉRICA,first edition, livros de Bolso, serie clube do crime,1994Siyamli Ikizler - cover Turkish edition, 1965תעלומת רצח - Cover Israelian editionТайна французского порошка - Cover Russian Edition, 2004 (Also includes The Roman Hat Mystery)Siamese Twin Mystery - cover Japanse edition
Siamese Twin Mystery - Japanse edition, 1999The Siamese Twin Mystery - Japanese cover, Kadokawa Shoten published October 25. 2014, artwork by TakenakaSiamese Twin Mystery - cover Taiwanese editionSiamese Twin Mystery - cover Taiwanese edition, December 27. 2004
 

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