Customer Reviews


7 Reviews
5 star:
 (3)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ellery Queen's The Devil To Play
Ellery Queen was a master at the "fair play" mystery story. All the clues were there, even if the reader was unable to decipher them. Unfortunately the series (both the books starring the fictional detective and those only written by him) are hard to find. I applaud the print on demand method of keeping these classics alive. Anyone unfamiliar with Queen's work firsthand...
Published on January 4, 2012 by Lee Houston, Junior

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The murderer is overly obvious
Ellery is in Hollywood for the first time in this mystery and assumes an identity as a reporter named Hillary King in order to investigate the murder of a well hated millionaire who's bilked a number of people ruining them. The humorous writing style is top notch and Ellery's deductions as usual are spot on, but the fact that any experienced mystery reader will spot the...
Published on April 25, 2010 by Neal C. Reynolds


Most Helpful First | Newest First

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ellery Queen's The Devil To Play, January 4, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Devil To Pay (Paperback)
Ellery Queen was a master at the "fair play" mystery story. All the clues were there, even if the reader was unable to decipher them. Unfortunately the series (both the books starring the fictional detective and those only written by him) are hard to find. I applaud the print on demand method of keeping these classics alive. Anyone unfamiliar with Queen's work firsthand will love this mystery about a despised man who is murdered. Hardly anyone mourns for his loss, but how do you find a murderer amongst practically everyone the deceased knew?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The murderer is overly obvious, April 25, 2010
By 
Neal C. Reynolds (Indianapolis, Indiana) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Ellery is in Hollywood for the first time in this mystery and assumes an identity as a reporter named Hillary King in order to investigate the murder of a well hated millionaire who's bilked a number of people ruining them. The humorous writing style is top notch and Ellery's deductions as usual are spot on, but the fact that any experienced mystery reader will spot the murderer early on is disappointing and the explanation seemed overly contrived; therefore I rate this as average, or typical run-of-the-mill.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Not the best, October 13, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Devil to Pay (Kindle Edition)
Man, when Ellery Queen does it right, ain't no party like an Ellery Queen party. This one isn't as slam-dunk as some others; the clues rely on some pretty outdated knowledge, but what are you going to do, insist that it be re-written? It's like 100 years old.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars The Queen series in a transitional period, May 9, 2013
By 
Jim Davis (St. Charles, MO USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Devil to Pay (Kindle Edition)
This Queen mystery is in a transitional period between the plot driven early books and the "psychological" period that began with Calamity Town. Queen the author has by this time streamlined his books by jettisoning the clumsy frames of the early ones supposedly written by "J. J. McC." The mid-story "Challenge to the Reader" has also disappeared. Queen the detective is no longer a stuffed shirt but has not completely morphed into the likeable, sensitive, and vulnerable character to come.

The mystery is fairly deep with a lot of complexity and easily a half dozen plausible suspects. Queen mixes it up somewhat by making a lot of the suspects quite sympathetic which impaired this reader's efforts to be objective. The murder itself was quite plausible with few strains on the credulity of the reader. On the other hand, I had just read The American Gun Mystery so maybe it looked better by comparison.

Besides the mystery itself Queen spends much time lampooning Hollywood culture in particular and California in general. There is no doubt much real life experience being put to use here.

The Kindle version of the book has a few flaws but nothing major. The Table of Contents is present and linked but does not appear in the menu. It can be reached easily enough however by going to the beginning and going back a page. The progress bar is sparsely populated with only the 5 "Parts" marked instead of the more numerous 21 "Chapters". Annoying, but not a deal breaker.

All in all, fairly entertaining and perplexing. Recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book, April 20, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Devil to Pay (Kindle Edition)
Ellery Queen' s books are always so intriguing. It is usually very hard to tell who is the murderer until you need the end of the book. However, this particular book was easier than most of his books to discover who the murderer was much earlier in the book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Amusing, Light-Hearted Mystery as Ellery Queen Visits Hollywood., May 21, 2006
Ellery Queen in The Devil to Pay (1937) has been persuaded to rush to Hollywood to assist in writing a major production only to find that the producer is unavailable. While waiting for his first assignment, he inadvertently becomes involved in solving a bizarre murder of a hard-hearted, unethical financier. The murder weapon is an Italian dueling sword of the seventeenth century; its tip is coated with molasses and cyanide.

Ellery's remarkable reputation on the eastern seaboard is of little value in Los Angeles and he is soon ejected from the murder scene. Masquerading as Hilary "Scoop" King, a colorful investigative reporter, he regains access to crime scene and to confidential information.

Suspects include the murdered financier's partner Rhys Jardin, Rhy's daughter Valerie, and her fiance Walter, the estranged son of the murdered man. Walter seems to suspect Valerie's father, while he in turn is apparently suspicious of Walter. Another key suspect is an unethical lawyer with an obvious interest in the dead financier's flirtatious girl friend.

Surprising everyone, especially the police, the rather ridiculous Hilary King stumbles upon one clue after another. This light-hearted mystery may not be among the best Ellery Queen mysteries, but it is fun. The Devil to Pay, rates three, perhaps even four stars.

The Devil to Pay has been reprinted often and is not difficult to find. I have two paperback copies, one is a 1971 Signet Mystery paperback, and the other is a 1980 Signet Double Mystery paperback that also contains The Door Between (1936), another EQ mystery.

Another source: The Devil to Pay (1937), The Four of Hearts (1938), and The Origin of Evil (1951) take place in Hollywood. Four Walls Eight Windows published these three together under the title The Hollywood Murders (2000).
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars There's No Tomorrow., June 28, 2006
This review is from: The Devil to Pay (Hardcover)
In the late '30s, Hollywood seemed like the Land of Oz with the tin Christmas trees around the lamp-posts under ninety-degree sun. There were restaurants shaped like lighthouses and hats; the Walk of "Stars" was begun with stars like Cary Grant, Robert Sterling, et.al pressing their hands in wet cemet, not television game show hosts. How'd he get down there in the first place?

This is a love story/murder mystery combined. Who took his coat and why? Why was the victim stabbed in his own bar? "I didn't see anything. I didn't hear anything. I didn't do anything." Sound familiar. Do things ever change. No one is guilty of anything!

There didn't seem to be anything left to say... They had come full circle; it was all a trick by that fool in Denver which had mushroomed into a full-fledged prank turned into a crime. Nots to all of you, the has-beens who are foistering their ill-begotten fame on gullible people. The instigator held on with a pathetic tenacity as the network turned into a ploy for Wink's tour guide business on the side.

There was no artistic efficiency, nothing to do but wait for further developments. They'd picked on the wrong person this time. With eloquence and tenacity of her own, she set out on a design so they'd all have the devil to pay -- even the godly one. Those who pretend to be so good are the ones to pay the most as the devil is active in them. Case solved, and the guilty one is left-handed!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0xd9541024)

This product

The Devil To Pay
The Devil To Pay by Ellery Queen (Paperback - February 1, 2011)
$14.95 $13.46
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.