The Finishing Stroke Author:Ellery Queen On the eighth night of Christmas your true love sends to you, a head with one closed eye--a warning you will die... A gay Christmas house party in a snowbound mansion turns suddenly grim when a spoilsport guest begins sending anonymous gifts to his hosts. The presents are mysterious, the accompanying messages are cryptic, but the meaning behin... more »d it all is very clear. It is a slow, deliberate warning of murder--scheduled to arrive on the twelfth night with the final gift--The Finishing Stroke.« less
Written in the inimitable mode of far-fetched cleverness of the original Ellery Queen, The Finishing Stroke provides clues for each of the 12 days of Christmas. We think, then, that we know the answer, but the truth emerges years later when Queen looks at his notes again and sees a pattern he had overlooked.
If you enjoy good writing and wrestling with "puzzle"mysteries, the early Ellery Queen will please you. (Some of the later book were written by imitators, rather than the original team of two cousins from Brooklyn who created Inspector Queen and his sophisticated son. The fact that both the elder and the younger Queens are called Ellery suggests the sort of doubleness that lies at the heart of the ingenious plots.
Red Herrings abound, but Queen plays fair. The clues are there if you can unravel them.