click on cover to go back

The Tragedy of X   (1931)

Let the unknown = X! A crowded street car! A man is murdered! Everyone saw him die, but no one saw the killer! Many people (even his own partner) had good reason to hate Longstreet. Inspector Thumm's few clues all led up a blind alley. He finally sought the aid of Drury Lane, retired Shakespearean actor, who made a hobby of solving crimes. Seated amid the splendor of the vast medieval halls of his castle on the Hudson, Drury Lane hears the story from the Inspector. He knows who the murderer is, but refuses to reveal his identity until he has sufficient evidence for the police to arrest him. This story is crammed full of chilling thrills! Why was the streetcar conductor murdered? Why won't Longstreet's partner talk? The answers to these questions and others all lead to the solution of this puzzling mystery.
Tragedy of X - cover Frederick A. Stokes Company Inc., 1940. "For Victory, Buy United States War Bonds and Stamps" - This book was produced under wartime conditions, in full compliance with government regulations for the conservation of paper and other essential materials.New York City, the early 30's. A man is poisoned on a crowded streetcar during rush hour. Everyone saw him die, but no one saw the killer! And far too many people had good reason to hate Longstreet. The few clues lead up to a blind alley, and District Attorney Bruno and Inspector Thumm pay a call on Drury Lane.
Drury Lane! Retired Shakespearean actor. Matinee idol. Master of disguise. Amateur sleuth who finds "crime the highest refinement of human drama." Ellery Queen's most flamboyant creation.
Seated amid the splendor of the vast medieval halls of his castle on the Hudson, Drury Lane hears the story. Almost at once, he knows who the murderer is, but refuses to reveal his identity until he has sufficient evidence for the police to arrest him.
In the great tradition, all the clues are scrupulously presented to you, the reader. Can you solve the case before the police?

The Tragedy of X - softcover Barnaby Ross edition Grosset & DunlapThe Tragedy of X - hardcover Barnaby Ross edition Grosset & Dunlap, several colours exist.Click for a red/blue versionThe Tragedy of X - cover Readers' League of America reprint 1942The Tragedy of X - cover Avon
The Tragedy of X - cover Avon
The Tragedy of X - cover publ. Grosset & Dunlap. New York, 1940The Tragedy of X - coverThe Tragedy of X - cover audiobook Blackstone Audio, Inc., read by Mark Peckham, September 1. 2014The Tragedy of X - cover MysteriousPress.com/Open Road, July 28, 2015

First appearance of Drury Lane himself, his associates, and his gift for disguise. Drury Lane, admittedly greater than life, is well delineated, as well as his supporting cast and his ambience as the best parts of this book concern these characters. It may not be as well known as the Queen books featuring Ellery Queen. Fetching backgrounds (New York circa 1932), a  nasty murder method, and a dandy sleuth: retired Shakespearean actor Drury Lane. His estate on the Hudson shows EQ's interest in design, just like the references to Art Deco in The French Powder Mystery. The plot deals with three murders committed on transport (e.g. trams,  ferries and trains), with the murders themselves being peculiarly nasty (the first murder shows some of EQ's gift for surrealistic mise-en-scène as it is committed by means of a nicotine-tipped-needle-filled cork ball put into the victim's pocket), including Ellery Queen's first 'dying message' (the second would appear in The Siamese Twin Mystery) - and the ingenious. The finale is deductive, as in all of the early EQ books, but the solution is somewhat far fetched, and the mystery plot is not especially imaginative. It shows similarities to both Conan Doyle's  A Study in Scarlet and one of the stories from G. K. Chesterton's The Innocence of Father Brown". 

The Tragedy of X - cover International Polygonics, Ltd.,1986-1987,art by QuayThe Tragedy of X - cover AvonTragedy of X - cover Illustrator Kitchell, Joyce. No. 8 in the Mystery Library series. San Diego University of California Press, 1978The Tragedy of X - cover Mystery Library Collection, hardback,1978The Tragedy of X - cover of 'Philadelphia Inquirer' Newspaper Novel dated May 24. 1941. Illustrated throughout by artist W. V. Chambers.


Het X-mysterie - coverLa tragédie de X - cover French edition Collection Détective, Gallimard - 1934La tragédie de X - cover French edition Editions Denoël Oscar N°28, 1954Die Zange - cover German edition Goldmann Bd. K 55La tragedia di X - cover Italian edition, Giallo Mondadori N° 60, 1949La tragedia di X - cover Italian edition, Giallo Mondadori N° 44, 1956La tragedia di X - cover Italian edtion, editions Mondadori, series ' I Classici del Giallo' N°5, 1967
La Tragedia Di X - cover Italian edition, Collana I Classici del Giallo N° 588, 1989La Tragedia Di X - cover Italian editionX, O Simbolo fatal - cover Brazilian edition Edições MM, 1974A tragédia de X - cover Brazilian edition, 1951,  Coleçao Amerela, Editora GloboA tragédia de X - cover Portuguese edition Livros do Brasil, Vampiro Nr 54, Lisbon, 1990A tragédia de X - cover Brazilian edition La tragedia de X - cover Spanish edition, Ediciones Picazo, 1975

The Tragedy of X Translations: 
Chinese: X的悲劇 (X de bei ji) 
Danish: Hvem er X? 
Estonian: Müstiline X 
Dutch/Flemish: Het X-mysterie 
French: La tragédie de X 
German: Die Zange 
Italian: La tragedia di X 
Japanese: Xの悲劇 (X no higeki)
Korean: 드루리 레인 X의 비극
 
Portuguese: A tragédia de X (aka X, O Simbolo fatal) 
Russian: Трагедия Икс 
Spanish: La tragedia de X 
Swedish: X-tragedin 
Turkish: Ölüm Otobüsü
 
Vietnamese: Tấn bi kịch X 

La tragedia de X - cover Spanish edition, 1986X-tragedin - cover Swedish editionHvem er X? - Cover Danish edition, 1946Hvem er X? - Cover Danish edition, Lademann, København. Printed in BelgiumMüstiline X - dust and hardcover Estonian edition, Tallinn, Kriminalromaan nr.13  Loodus, 1938Müstiline X - cover Estonian edition, Kuldsulg, 1994Ölüm Otobüsü - cover Turkish edition, 1979
Трагедия Икс - Cover Russian edition, 2007 (also contains some stories from Queens Full)드루리 레인 X의 비극 (The Tragedy of X) - cover Korean edition, 시그마 북스 (Sigma Books), Nov 1. 1994드루리 레인 X의 비극 (The Tragedy of X) - cover Korean edition,  동서문화동판(Dongsuh Mystery Books), Jan 1. 2003드루리 레인 X의 비극 (The Tragedy of X) - cover Korean edition, 정태원 | 국일미디어 (De Jung, Zhou Media), Jul 15. 2003드루리 레인 X의 비극 (The Tragedy of X) -  cover South-Korean edition,  검은숲, The Ellery Queen Collection, May 14. 2013The Tragedy of X - cover Japanese edition, Arakisha Publishing, Black Book Selection, 1950The Tragedy of X - cover Japanese edition, Tokyo Sogensha paperback
The Tragedy of X - cover Japanese edition, "Junior High School", March 1963The Tragedy of X - cover Japanese edition, Somoto reasoning paperback, October 1970The Tragedy of X - cover Japanese edition, Kadokawa Bunko The Tragedy of X - cover Japanese edition, Hayakawa Pocket Mystery BookThe Tragedy of X - cover Japanese edition, Shinchosha Publisher, 80sThe Tragedy of X - cover Japanese edition, Hayakawa Bunko, October 26. 2012
The Tragedy of X - cover Japanese editionThe Tragedy of X - cover Japanese edition, Poplar paperback, Mystery Box, 2004The Tragedy of X - cover Japanese edition, Hayakawa PublishingXの悲劇 (The Tragedy of X) - cover Japanese edition, Kadokawa Bunko, 2009The Tragedy of X - cover Taiwanese edition, Face Press, August 1995The Tragedy of X, The Tragedy of Y - cover Chinese edition, Masses Press, August 2000
The Tragedy of X - cover Chinese edition, Adventure Press, August 2002The Tragedy of X - cover Chinese edition, Xinjiang People's Publishing House, 2004The Tragedy of X - cover Chinese edition,  New Star Press, 2009The Tragedy of X - cover Chinese edition,  New Star Press, January 2010The Tragedy of X - cover Chinese edition,  New Star Press, May 2011The Tragedy of X - cover Chinese edition,  New Star Press, Jan 2017Tấn bi kịch X - cover Vietnamese edition of  'The Tragedy of X", Văn học editions, 2016
 

previous indepth review...  b a c k   t o  Q  B  I  next indepth review...


Copyright
© MCMXCIX-MMXVII   Ellery Queen, a website on deduction. All rights reserved.