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The Origin of Evil Hardcover – November 23, 1994

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Hardcover, November 23, 1994
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ellery Queen is a pseudonym used by two American cousins from Brooklyn - Daniel Nathan, alias Frederic Dannay (1905-1982), and Manford (Emanuel) Lepofsky, alias Manfred Bennington Lee (1905-1971) - to write detective fiction. In a successful series of novels that covered forty-two years, Ellery Queen served as both the authors' name and that of the detective-hero. The cousins also cofounded and directed Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, one of the most influential English crime-fiction magazines of the twentieth century. They were given the Grand Master Award for achievements in the field of the mystery story by the Mystery Writers of America in 1961. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Random House Value Publishing (November 23, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517132184
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517132180
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,296,632 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael Wischmeyer on December 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
It is 1951 and Hollywood is reeling from the advent of television. Ellery Queen, visiting from New York City, has isolated himself in a rented home overlooking Los Angeles in hopes of quietly completing his latest mystery story. His writing is interrupted, however, by an unannounced visit from a young woman convinced that her father's heart attack at the sight of a dead dog was actually premeditated murder. This third Hollywood mystery reveals a growing list of surrealistic clues, exemplified by the dead dog, hundreds of dead frogs, a poisoned sandwich, and a mutilated leather bound book of Aristophanes. The solution within a solution offered by Ellery is quite ingenious.

The Origin of Evil is unusual in its short topical digressions on the threat of nuclear war, the call-up of troops for the Korean UN Police Action, and Hollywood's exaggerated concern with television. The characters include, among others, a mean spirited business man confined to a wheel chair; his sultry, voluptuous wife Delia; the chameleon-like man servant Alfred Wallace; the pretty, young daughter, Laurel, convinced of her father's murder; and Crowe Macgowan, an eccentric, muscular young man emulating Tarzan in the local trees. Unlike his experience on his two previous visits to Hollywood, this time Ellery's assistance is readily accepted by a detective in the Los Angeles Police Department.

The Origin of Evil has often been reprinted and should not be difficult to locate. My copy is a 1992 reprint edition by Harper Perennial. You might look for inexpensive paperback editions (1970s and 1980s) from either Ballantine Books, Signet Classics, or the Signet Double Mystery series.

Another option: The Devil to Pay (1937), The Four of Hearts (1938), and The Origin of Evil (1951) are unique Ellery Queen mysteries in that the setting is Hollywood. Four Walls Eight Windows published these three mysteries in 2000 under the title The Hollywood Murders.
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Format: Hardcover
Most Ellery Queen novels are written in a light vein, and are at times almost satirical of themselves. However, this novel stands out as not only more serious and thoughtful than the previous`but with definite dark tones. The mystery itself is complex and fascinating. There are glimpses into the inner being of the characters as well as looks at the society of the times. And while the 60's are looked at as the decade of change, this 1951 book reveals the roots of the change.Most highly recommended, but it would be well to be better acquainted with Ellery before reading this outstanding addition to the series.
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By Irina Poe on June 24, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book I ordered was as advertised upon it's arrival. I would order from this company again.
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