Rebecca K. Jones


Thomas Narcejac’s Mystery of the Red Balloons

The Misadventures of Ellery Queen coverThe opening story in The Misadventures of Ellery Queen, edited by Josh Pachter and Dale C. Andrews, pastiche section:

Thomas Narcejac is credited with writing the first Queen pastiche in 1947. However, it was written in French, and appears for the first time in English here, thanks to Rebecca K. Jones’ translation. “The Mystery of the Red Balloons” is a classic Ellery Queen whodunit and gives the collection a pitch-perfect start. A series of murders plague New York City, with no discernible connection between the crimes, save the presence of a single red balloon tied outside each victim’s environs. When Queen ascertains the solution he broaches the third wall and issues a “challenge to the reader” to solve the mystery before he reveals its solution.

More to come . . .