And now we’re in July on the Calendar of Crime, with a lover’s triangle complete with three suspects. The cast includes an aging tycoon, a younger wife, and an artist brother, a situation which would be fleshed out to greater detail and interest in Ten Day’s Wonder. The lover’s triangle must have been on their minds in 1951, since the June mystery, “The Adventure of the Medical Finger,” contained a similar situation.

I do like the way the cousins explain the convoluted way the gargoyles were actually chimera, which were seen by family members as angels: family lore often follows such pathways.

Also, mysteries, especially from this era, shied away from graphic descriptions of the blood that tends to pool around violent crime scenes. This short story has a rare example of blood:

They found him a moment later in a sitting room upstairs, kneeling beside an outstretched man who seemed to have run head on into a copious quantity of tomato puree.

Mild by today’s standards, I’m sure, but unexpected in this tale from 1951.

This one, by the way, was based on the radio drama “The Fallen Angel,” which aired on July 2, 1939. It appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine in July, 1951.

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