- Publisher: Buccaneer Books Inc (31 Dec 1980)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0899661459
- ISBN-13: 978-0899661452
Certainly, the situation is contrived. Dr. Xavier's work on Siamese twins in an isolated mountain lodge is a bit fantastic. The clues are supremely subtle. And yet this mystery is highly effective. Under the stress of the approaching fire, Ellery too hurriedly offers solutions, seemingly masterful examples of pure logic, but flawed nonetheless. (The reader may be reminded of another remarkable Ellery Queen story, The Greek Coffin Mystery.)
Ellery and Inspector Queen refuse to let the relentless forest fire dissuade them from continuing their investigation. The drama and suspense shifts back and forth between the danger posed by the ever advancing fire and the more immediate threat, the likelihood that the unknown killer will murder again.
The Siamese Twin Mystery (October, 1933) is a good example of the deductive mystery genre that was especially popular in 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. To assist the reader in unraveling the mystery, it comes complete with a playful description of the cast of characters and a floor plan of the ground level of Dr. Xavier's lodge. Surprisingly, it is missing Ellery's trademark, a pause generally found at the beginning of the last chapter, in which the author challenges the reader to solve the mystery before reading further, as all clues have now been revealed.
The Siamese Twin Mystery makes a good introduction to Ellery Queen. It has all of the elements that characterize a classic Ellery Queen mystery. It is among the best of Ellery Queen stories, comparing favorably with The Greek Coffin Mystery, The Spanish Cape Mystery, and The Tragedy of X.