The Roman Hat Mystery

Ellery Queen Detective #1

Ellery Queen

fiction crime mystery
mysterious slow-paced

239 pages | first published 1929

A fine silk custom top-hat is missing from a crooked lawyer who was poisoned by lead alcohol in the Roman theater at the close of the second act, 9:55 pm. Inspector Richard Q, sneezing snuff; a thin, multi-faced, small "Old Man"; and the Inspector's large writer son Ellery, puffing cigarettes, investigate. They start with maps of theater, the victim's bedroom, and a list of names appended with flavorful commentary: the finder of the body is "cranially a brachycephalic", and Dolly "a lady of reputation". The flavor of 1929 costume and culture, with evening attire de rigeur, and hip flasks full of bootleg liquor.

What the community thinks

summary of 16 ratings (see reviews)


mysterious 100%


slow 100%

Average rating