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                 aka   Vanishing Corpse

Halfway across the room, Nikki stopped abruptly. From behind the desk protruded a leg. She stepped forward in mounting terror. Then she saw it all - the hand, the blood. Blood spilled all over the hand, the dressing gown, the carpet, the throat! She was trapped in a locked room with a dead man. Where was the key that would let her out of this house of terror?
The police believed pretty Nikki Porter had murdered John Braun, but Ellery set out to prove that she was innocent. Working alone, he matched his wits against a brilliantly clever criminal who twice stole the body of the murdered man from under the very nose of the police.

Ellery Queen Master Detective - dust cover Grosset & Dunlap edition, 1941Ellery Queen Master Detective - hardcover Grosset & Dunlap edition, 1941Ellery Queen Master Detective - dust cover Grosset & Dunlap edition, 1941Ellery Queen Master Detective - hardcover Grosset & Dunlap, 1941
Above: Dust and hard cover variations for Grosset & Dunlap editions.(Click on the covers to see the differences) *
Loosely based on The Door Between, later re-issued as The Vanishing Corpse. (After the movie script of Ellery Queen, Master Detective).

An Ellery Queen story but no real Queen, which shows in details great and small. "The true author of Ellery Queen, Master Detective was Laurence Dwight Smith (1895-1952), a long-forgotten hack who also wrote mysteries (some for adults, some for kids) and nonfiction books under his own name. Whether he wrote the other EQ novelizations remains unknown." (Francis M. Nevins)
The Vanishing Corpse - cover Pyramid Books, R-1799, May 1968 (1st) (cover art by Larry Lurin)Vanishing Corpse - cover Pyramid edition, T2615, 1968 (3rd printing)The Vanishing Corpse - cover Pyramid edition, 3rd printing, Jan 1976 (no logo on cover)The Vanishing Corpse - cover Pyramid edition, V4094, 5th printing, Dec 1976 (with Pyramid logo on cover) 

Ellery wears a wristwatch, smokes a pipe, wears a hat and drives a fast Cadillac! He just finished a book and some allusions are made on The New Adventures of Ellery Queen. He even signs a copy for Sergeant Velie. There are also references to the Halfway House in Trenton. His publisher is Jerry Ryan which has to take some criticism. He has silver-gray eyes, a clean-shaven American face, brown hair, broad shoulders and nice teeth. Some allusion are made on pince-nez. He introduces himself as "private investigator, code number 666". He still keeps a lead pipe as a souvenir to a solved murder case. We get to know Richard Queen telephone number: SP 7-3100. The Queens housekeeper since 6 months is Annie, and a smoking Dr.Samuel Prouty, married with children, still performs his duties. NYPD: Flint and Ellery's dear friend Velie.

One of the "first" encounters with the character of Nikki Porter.
Ellery is so smitten with Nikki that he makes a daring proposal to her at the fade out: "Will you be my...secretary?"!

Some lookalike EQ books are mentioned The Persian Tapestry Mystery (the National series continued) and The Mystery of the Feathered Hat (trials at authorship by Nikki Porter).

The story takes place on the Hudson, Gun Hill Avenue (in the East, upstream), in Spuyten Duyvil. John Braun is struck down with a knife. The story starts on July 23., has no floor plan nor a challenge to the reader.


Vanishing Corpse - cover Dutch pocket book edition, PrismaSanatorium des Todes - cover German edition Ullstein Krimi 1306/1307, 1970, translation Brigitte Fock. (other book William C. Gault - Ring around Rosa)Sanatorium des Todes - cover German edition Ullstein KrimiEllery e la salma inquieta - cover Italian edition, Mondadori - series I Giallo Mondadori N°1084, 1969Ellery e la salma inquieta - cover Italian edition, Mondadori - series I Classici del Giallo Nr 532, Ed. Mondadori - 1987O Cadaver Desaparecido - cover Portuguese edition,  Livros de Bolso / Serie Clube do Crime, Publicações Europa-América, April 1993

Ellery Queen Master Detective (aka The Vanishing Corpse)   Translations:  
Czech: Miznúca mŕtvola  
utch/Flemish: Lijk aan de haal  
German: Sanatorium des Todes  
  Hebrew: מסתרי הגופה שנעלמה  
Italian: Ellery e la salma inquieta  
Japanese: エラリー・クイーンの事件簿  
Portuguese: O Cadáver Desaparecido  
Russian: Исчезающий труп  
aka Санаторий смерти  
Spanish: El cadáver fugitivo  

O Cadaver Desaparecido - cover Portuguese edition, Editorial Edições Deaga, Lisboa.El cadáver fugitivo - cover Spanish edition, Jucar, December 1974El cadáver fugitivo - cover Spanish edition, Madrid 1974El cadáver fugitivo - cover Spanish edition El Pais, 2004Miznúca mŕtvola - Cover Czech edition, Publisher Smena, 1970
מסתרי הגופה שנעלמה - Cover Israelian edition, 1964Санаторий смерти (Sanatorium of death) - cover Russian edition, contains two Ellery Queen stories "The Roman Hat Mystery" (Таинственный цилиндр) and "Vanishing Corpse" (Санаторий смерти), 1994Исчезающий труп - Cover Russian edition, 2005 (also includes The Penthouse Mystery & Scarlet Letters)エラリー・クイーンの事件簿 - cover Japanese edition "The Case Files of Ellery Queen 1" Masaru Aota Sogen Detective Bunko1, contains "Vanishing Corpse" and "The Penthouse Mystery" Tokyo Sogensha, Somoto Reasoning Paperback, Jan 14. 1972The Vanishing Corpse - Penthouse Mystery - cover Japanese edition, Somoto Reasoning Paperback, Feb 1982

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Other articles on this book
My Reader's Block Bev Hankins
 (October 31. 2015)

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