- A domineering bully of a man, a captain of industry
- His wife, the luscious blonde, who makes Ellery and every man go weak at the knees
- A sinister servant
- A young girl and a young boy who are destined to fall in love
- A cop to do the donkey work
The theme is that some crazed killer, bent on revenge, is stalking the businessman leaving cryptic clues (Aristophanes enters at one point). Names come into it as well. We have to swallow some pretty big flies: there is no record of either the businessman or his partner twenty years previously, they have no past; the servant has no past either having been found wandering the streets with amnesia; no-one knows the parentage of the young girl who was a foundling etc.
In the end Ellery solves it of course. Of all the clues that are swimming around, only one is really used. And there is a twist at the end.
Standard hokum. July 2015; 296 pages
Other Ellery Queen novels I have reviewed on this blog are: