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Abby Doorn, a wealthy old woman who has endowed the local hospital, seems rmuch beloved to most people there. However, she is in a diabetic coma after taking a fall, and they are preparing her for surgery. Alas, they discover she is already dead--by murder, rather than Nature, and so the mystery begins.
This is a good (enough) Ellery and Richard Queen story. But it is not up to the quality of the first two. To begin with, too many coincidences. For example, Ellery Queen, no kind of medical person whatsoever, just happens to have been invited to observe the surgery that would have taken place, thus is right there when murder is discovered. Also, even though the EQ series does typically employ rather two-dimensional characters in it's setup, some of these were too unbelievable and wooden. Finally, for some reason, I didn't quite think the narration of this one measured up to the quality of the first two.
Don't get me wrong. I really like this series. I am old, but somehow am only now getting around to enjoying them. But there seemed a stiffness (no pun intended in a murder mystery) about this one that was a trifle off-putting. I still recommend it, think other readers will enjoy. Especially when taking into consideration that the books are about 80ish years old.
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