The Greek Coffin Mystery
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The Greek Coffin Mystery (Ellery Queen Detective #4)

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  376 ratings  ·  37 reviews
From the very beginning, the Khalkis case struck a somber note. It began, as was peculiarly harmonious in the light of what was to come, with the death of an old man. Georg Khalkis, internationally famous art dealer and collector, died of heart failure. After his funeral, his attorney found that the will was missing and immediately called in the district attorney.
When Insp...more
Paperback, Pocket Book #179, 322 pages
Published 1945 by Pocket Book (first published 1932)
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Luffy Monkey D.
The two authors who have taken the pen name of Ellery Queen are many things, but great writers they are not. By great I mean - maybe - humanizing. To see someone solve a rubik cube in record time inspires nothing but awe; I don't mean that in a good way by the way. They do not know how to make the journey to the final solution of the mystery memorable. But such is the force with which the authors have created this story that even an average minded person like me followed most of the ongoing dev...more
Ellery Queen [1:] and S. S. Van Dine each began to write and publish a successful detective series in the late 1920s/early 1930s. The lead character in each was a young man who had a personal relationship with members of the law enforcement community in New York City (close friends with the DA in the case of Vance and son of a prominent Inspector on the force in the case of Queen) but was not himself officially part of the force. As the series begin there are many parallels and a few major diffe...more
Cindy Barnett
Keeps one guessing, a good thing. Narrated clearly & well by Mark Peckham. Classic education is shown (proof of the dumb-down education). Loved the romp to yesteryear. I thought it was her... ╰(*´︶`*)╯
This is a delightfully convoluted puzzler from the Golden Age that shows off the impeccable logical reasoning of Ellery Queen to full advantage. The plotting is ambitious - a veritable roller-coaster ride of twists and turns and false leads that keep the reader guessing up to the end. It all begins with the death of a Greek art collector and the discovery that his will has been stolen, the search for which leads to a disinterment of the deceased that reveals a second body, that of a murder victi...more
There are certain books--mostly older mysteries--that maintain my interest but also help me nod off to sleep after several pages. I usually read these on my iPad, using a sepia setting that also encourages sleep (vs. the default blue light of digital screens), especially when I have a hard time returning to sleep in the middle of the night. This might not be the highest praise for a book, of course, but nevertheless, they're books I did not give up on.

This was the first Ellery Queen mystery I'd...more
Gilbert M.
One of the joys of reading Ellery Queen novels is that moment toward the end of the book when the narrator steps out of character and challenges the reader to solve the mystery. I’ve read four of them now and I haven’t come close to getting the solution right. This time I caught one of the red herrings with a fair degree of accuracy—which means I was wrong, but not as clueless as I sometimes feel when I reach this point.

This novel is a slow read but well worth your time. (It’s slow because you w...more
Stephen Osborne
A classic of the golden age of mysteries, this book features both Queen's Challenge to the Reader and his trademark "false" solutions to the crime. Well done, but the explanation is a bit wordy.
A great mystery. if you can figure it out you are definitely smarter than me. It will keep you guessing.
Adam Graham
This book while not the first Ellery Queen book ever published is chronologically the earliest Queen novel. The thing to understand about Ellery Queen is that unlike Nero Wolfe, Philip Marlowe, or Father Brown, there's not a whole lot of characters or wisdom to be garnered beyond the mystery, but when the mystery is good, it carries the rest of the book.

Such is the case here. A man dies and the latest version of his will is missing. A murder soon follows The book proceeds according to typical pl...more
As a nerdy child who read just about any mystery she could get her hands on, I often picked up musty copies of the Ellery Queen Magazine with stories by dozens of contributing writers at yard sales. And in recent years I’ve watched some episodes of the show starring Jim Hutton. But somehow, I had never read an original Ellery Queen novel.

Based on the pulpiness of the magazine (in both content and printing material), I presumed the novel would have that hard-boiled grittiness to it. I expected da...more
Oh. My. God. It took SOOO long to finish this book. I just couldn't get into it. The characters were uninteresting, Ellery was just annoying, and the multiple solutions were mystifying.
Greorg Khalkis, blind art dealer, has been found dead By the time they figure out that there's hinky stuff going on, his body is already buried.
Yep. Long, boring story. Not worth it.
This is one of the older Ellery Queen mysteries, when the two cousins first started writing. It is excellently plotted and the twists and turns and possible multiple solutions are dazzling. Some of the later Queen novels, I don't like. Some, I do. But this is a good introduction to the series!
Donald De Morris
A bit old-fashioned, but what would you expect? Ellery Queen was written in the late 40s. A few typos in the ebook, but not enough to be a distraction. I did have a problem with one of the main clews (clues), but to state what it was would be a major plot spoiler. Overall a decent book, but there are better Ellery Queens.
Honestly, I could not even finish this. It was just too dated and some parts were just plain offensive. I know you have to accept some things as attitudes of the times, but the offensive stereotyped characters were too much for me.
Every bit as good as I expected!

No wonder Agatha Christie looked forward so much to every new Ellery Queen novel! What a brilliant plot with a devilish twist right at the very end!
I probably won't read any more from this series. The idea is that it's a logic puzzle where you are given all the information you need to figure out the answer, and it felt a little like that-- too clinical, not enough of the human element. From the beginning, when all the characters were introduced at once and I couldn't keep anyone straight, I knew that this wasn't going to be as good as my favorites: Dorothy Sayers, P.D. James, Rex Stout-- they have recurring characters but each mystery featu...more
Linda Howe Steiger
Wow. Talk about complicated, puzzle based plots. This one out does Christie by a long shot, in a "prequel" to the rest of the Ellery Queen books in which we learn of young Ellery's embarrassing mistakes as he leaps rather too quickly to conclusions. Great fun, but pay attention as characters and motivations shift around rapidly.
Generally, I enjoy Ellery Queen but this one seemed to drag on and on. It does have plenty of red herrings and plot twists along with the usual reader challenge.
Peggie Ross
Ellery Queen is a classic......Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot of the United States. I have read a few of his exploits and always find them to be very complicated but interesting. This one is one of his first cases.
I enjoy "old-fashioned" mysteries where logic rather than weapons triumph but this was Tedious with a capital T.
Sometimes Queen's logic gets a bit convoluted and hard to follow, but nevertheless, a great romp.
Janette Brown
We get a chance to see Ellery Queen make very human mistakes.
Rick Lohmeyer
I loved the Ellery Queen series when I was a teenager, but on rereading the first four books, this is by far my least favorite. The plot is unusually convoluted and Ellery himself is even more annoyingly pretentious than in the previous books. "Be loyal to your Ovid," Ellery advises at one point. "Have patience and endure; this unhappiness will one day be beneficial." Well, I guess it's possible that slogging through this book will make us all better people someday, but I'm not holding my breath...more
Slow to get started. If you take a break for a few days from it, it's very easy to get lost, because there is so much going on...I found myself a few times having to go back and reread some parts. I've read Ellery Queen before, and don't remember him being so long winded and always speaking in French and quotations from literature, and that was a bit annoying. All in all, the ending took me by complete surprise. The last few chapters kept me roped in til the end!
When a wealthy art dealer dies, his doctor is convinced it was his patient's dicey heart that killed him. But when the body is exhumed, there's a second corpse in the coffin. Fresh out of college, sleuth Ellery Queen, son of the police inspector in charge of homicide, comes up with multiple solutions.
It was pretty suspenseful, and I liked it, but it was not really my style of book. As to be expected with a mystery, it was all about the clues and who-dun-it, and people were just casually murdered. I'm not really a fan of anything that treats something as awful as murder so flippantly.
Cathy Houston
Ellery Queen with very verbose explanations of the crimes
I did not find all the convolutions as delightful as other reviewers. By the end I was just annoyed with all of Ellery's long-winded explanations and just wanted to know who did it already. I was really tempted to just skip to the end.
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aka Barnaby Ross.

"Ellery Queen" was a pen name created and shared by two cousins, Frederic Dannay (1905-1982) and Manfred B. Lee (1905-1971), as well as the name of their most famous detective. Born in Brooklyn, they spent forty two years writing, editing, and anthologizing under the name, gaining a reputation as the foremost American authors of the Golden Age "fair play" mystery.

Although eventual...more
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