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Archibald's Swiss Cheese Mountain by Sylvia Lieberman
Arkfall by Carolyn Ives Gilman
The Blunder by Joe Kilgore
A Bell for Adano by John Hersey
The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder
The Chinese Orange Mystery by Ellery Queen
The Copenhagen Connection by Elizabeth Peters
Eat, Drink and Be Married by Eve Makis
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Idaho Snapshots by Rick Just
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King, Queen, Knave by Vladimir Nabokov
King of the World by David Remnick
The Last Plague by Glen E. Page
Lifeguard by James Patterson and Andrew Gross
Marvin K. Mooney Will Please Go! by Dr. Seuss
The Mental Environment by Bob Gebelein
Moscow Rules by Daniel Silva
Night Train to Memphis by Elizabeth Peters
Nine Whispered Opinions Regarding the Alaskan Secession by George Guthridge
Peachblossom by Eleanor Frances Lattimore
Picnic at Pentecost by Rand B. Lee
Ookpik by Bruce Hiscock
Quondam by Jayel Gibson
Run! Run! by John Aikin
Salad for Two by Robert Reed
Search Continues for Eldery Man by Laura Kasischke
Shed That Guilt! Double Your Productivity by Michael Swanwick and Eileen Gunn
Small Worlds by Gretchen Laskas
Templeton Turtle Goes Exploring by Ron Pridmore
The Twenty Dollar Bill by Elmore Hammes
The Uncertainty Principle by Lynda Curnyn

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The Chinese Orange Mystery: 09/10/08

Over the summer while Sean was taking his swim lessons I read through three Ellery Queen mysteries: The Penthouse Mystery, The Chinese Orange Mystery and The Dutch Shoe Mystery.

Both The Penthouse Mystery and The Chinese Orange Mystery cover the clashes and misunderstandings between American and Chinese cultures. Although the overall set up of The Chinese Orange Mystery (1934) is more challenging than The Penthouse Mystery (1941), Ellery Queen is far more ignorant of Chinese culture than he is in the later novel.

The set up is this: a John Doe is found murdered in a private office in the Hotel Chancellor. His clothing has been removed and put on backwards and all the furnishings in the room have been turned around too. How can inspector Richard Queen with the help of his son, Ellery, solve the murder if they don't know his identity?

What bothered me most was the implication early on in the novel that the backwardness of the crime scene was a message to imply the backwardness of Chinese culture. Ellery Queen is usually more worldly than this. Thankfully though he does realize the error of his ways. Although the dead man is tied to China, the reason behind his murder is far more interesting than what Ellery Queen first implies.

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Comment #1: Saturday, September, 13, 2008 at 03:21:03

Carrie, Reading to Know

Just the book cover is intriguing and nostalgic. I love it.

Thanks for the notes on this one. "



Comment #2: Saturday, September 13, 2008 at 19:35:30

Pussreboots says:

I'm glad you enjoyed the review. The old Ellery Queen mysteries are fun to read if you can find them.



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