This style of the very short story was obviously a new and awkward one for the cousins, and the brevity of the tales seems to have necessitated a dumbing down of the mysteries. However, they were getting the hang of the style by the July 9, 1950 story, reprinted in QBI as “Park Patrol Department: A Lump of Sugar.”

Don’t get me wrong: this still is not close to their best work, but the essential red herring is enough to make this, at least, an amusing and memorable tale. Regarding the murder victim, “He must have been one of your readers,” complained the Inspector. “Because Ellery, that’s a dying message or I’m the Senator’s uncle.”

Oh, but which Senator? And why his uncle?

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