FIRST PAGE: The Devil to Pay by Ellery Queen, Signet, 1971.

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The Devil to Pay by Ellery Queen PB Paperback 1971 Vintage Mystery Cri – Monster Books and Items


Bull market for murder

Stocks rose, stocks fell, but Solly Spaeth always came out ahead. The fat little man with the computer mind was a financial magician--a wizard at making other people's money disappear into his own pocket.

Then Spaeth made one fast deal too many, and someone decided to make a different kind of killing. By the time Ellery Queen arrived on the scene, Solly had cashed in his blue chips, everyone including his loving mistress and his hating son was a suspect--and Ellery had no margin for error as he plunged into a game of wits with a murderer too deadly to sell short....



Hollywood, like the Land of Oz, possesses a quaint and fluty flavor: it is the place where tin Christmas trees suddenly sprout around lamp-posts in December under a ninety-degree sun, where restaurants take the shape of lighthouses and hats, ladies on Saturday nights stroll the boulevards in trousers and mink coats leading baby leopards on a leash, where morning newspapers cost five cents and evening newspapers two, and people wait in queues for unexhausting hours to witness other people pressing their hands into juicy cement.

A trivial happening in Hollywood, therefore, is hugely less trivial than if the identical event occurs in Cincinnati or Jersey City, and an important one incalculably more important.

So when the Ohippi Bubble burst, even people who were not stockholders devoured the Los Angeles dispatches, and overnight "Ohippi" became as familiar a catchword as "quintuplets" and "the nine old men."

This is not to belittle the event itself. In collapsing Ohippi paradoxically stood on its own feet as a major calamity. And while the issue was not fought in the courts, owing to little Attorney Anatole Ruhig's foresight, a veritable battle-royal raged in print and on the streets. A wonderfully martial time it was, with Solly Spaeth's lanky son firing long-range bursts from the editorial offices of the Los Angeles Independent and unhappy stockholders alternately howling and scowling at the iron gate of Sans Souci, behind which Solly sat imperturbably counting up his millions.



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The Devil to Pay by Ellery Queen PB Paperback 1971 Vintage Mystery Cri – Monster Books and Items

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