When the past comes back to haunt you, there is no escape.
A dead dog, a green alligator wallet, a burned book and a series of cryptic notes send Ellery Queen on the trail of a murderer.
Laurel Hill, daughter of Hollywood jeweller Leander Hill, believes that her father was frightened to death, and asks Ellery Queen to investigate. Someone is still out to get Hill's business partner, Roger Priam, but he's not talking. And it appears that a mysterious and violent incident in the men's past may be at the heart of the matter.
When Priam begins to receive a series of less than pleasant 'gifts', master detective Ellery Queen must discern the pattern that connects the clues and the notes, and entrap the criminal.
Ellery Queen is both a fictional detective and the pen name shared by his creators, Brooklyn-born cousins Manfred B. Lee and Frederic Dannay. The character first appeared in a book that won a mystery-writing contest and was eventually published in 1928 as The Roman Hat Mystery. The amateur detective character of Ellery Queen shared an apartment with and assisted his father, the NYPD's Inspector Queen. As well as dozens of Ellery Queen novels, the cousins wrote numerous radio scripts and short stories featuring their detective, and were the joint recipients of several Edgar awards from the Mystery Writers of America, including the 1960 Grand Master Award. In their time Lee and Dannay were considered to be the foremost American writers of the Golden Age 'fair play' mystery, with Dannay said to have largely provided the plots and Lee most of the writing. The cousins also founded Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine in 1941, which is still considered one of the most influential crime fiction publications of all time. While Frederic Dannay outlived his cousin and co-author by eleven years, he retired from writing at the time of Lee's death.