After an outing to the Hamlet on the banks of the Hudson River, the cousins returned home to Ellery Queen. Home had changed, though, with a higher body count, more complex characters, and more scenery. Ellery Queen the detective is shot, and, it turns out, he bleeds.
Home is no longer a secluded, exclusive resort. While the characters still reek of affluence, there is room to stretch and walk around the city. Neighboring houses are entered, as well as a tavern, a vault and police headquarters.
The logic does tend to get messy, though. To wit: speaking of statements made by someone now found murdered, Ellery asserts, “For while a suspect his testimony was open to suspicion, as an innocent man he must perforce be believed.” What a crock. I would argue that just because someone is later murdered, that does not make all of his pre death statements truths. Someone predestined to be murdered can also be a liar. This statement was made while Ellery insists he is being perfectly logical: “Let me show you how logic and the exercise of the brain provide an interesting deduction.” And, two pages following, “Logic, not necromancy, Sampson, although it is true I am anticipating future events by a sort of consultation with the dead . . . ”
But we forget: this is not really home, it is a retreat, a dalliance from reality, an escape from the height of the Great Depression, presenting readers with a world they would never know, of art dealers and family crypts in urban backyards.
By now the cousins were easing into the idea of writing more and more Ellery Queen novels, and were changing the unlikable character to someone they could socialize with better. They had stayed at this cabin in the woods before, purchased (or stolen) from Philo Vance, and now they were ready to redesign the place, they were ready to take out that wall, paint the living room, ventilate the underground burial chamber, renovate and update their characters, they were ready to relaxing into Ellery Queen.