The original appearance of “The Reindeer Clue,” (the fifth story in The Misadventures of Ellery Queen, edited by Josh Pachter and Dale C. Andrews, pastiche section) was in 1975, in The National Enquirer. Who knew they ran fiction? The story, attributed to Ellery Queen, could not be a pastiche—unless it was actually written by someone else—and it was: Edward D. Hoch, an EQ pseudonym surrogate.

Casey Sturgess, ex-journalist suspected of using his investigatory skills to dig up dirt for blackmail is found dead in the reindeer pen of a children’s zoo. No pressure, but the holidays are here, and a herd of children are due for a visit with Rudolph any minute. Fortunately, Ellery Queen, who arrived earlier, quickly identifies three prime suspects. Readers receive their challenge, their reindeer clue, and their chance to best the legendary detective. Good luck! “The Reindeer Clue” is a light-hearted holiday-themed treat.

More to come . . .

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