Here’s another one of those typical mysteries where there are three suspects (Ackley, Benson & Chase, in this case), and Ellery has to figure out (in three pages) whodunit. A note must have been forged, by an American, who did not realize that the British victim would have written the word “honour.” Yes, that’s right: In America, there is no u in honor…
There is one interesting aspect of this one, though. Ellery is stumped until his father complains that all of the precinct officers “had all reverted to childhood…spending their spare time at headquarters playing games.”
“Games?” said Ellery.
“Crime puzzles. They make ‘em up and challenge one another to solve ‘em. They’ve even got the Chief Inspector doing it! Though come to think of it,” the Inspector chuckled, one he tossed at me today is pretty darn clever. Typical detective-story situation: Rich man with three no-good heirs who need money bad. He’s bumped off, one of the three did it, and each claims an alibi for the time of the murder. ….”
Could it be that the cousins viewed their simplistic stories in as nothing but childhood games?