The Devil to Pay
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When Hollywood bigwig Solly Spaeth is murdered, thousands cheer. He is a most popular corpse, for Solly's stock manipulations have ruined many, including his partner. A cut-and-dried case - or so it appears. Enter master detective Ellery Queen, whose embarrassing questions uncover a maze of conflicting alibis and motives, and ultimately reveal a deadly face lurking beneath the glittering mask of Tinseltown.
done that?” “Oh, for God’s sake.” The Inspector looked annoyed. “He received several threatening letters right after Ohippi went busted and complained to the police and a district dick spotted the writer in thirty minutes—Spaeth’s own chauffeur, a Filipino named Quital. Spaeth was so scared he fired everybody working here and he hasn’t had a servant since.” “The wages of high finance,” murmured Ellery. “And where is Mr. Quital?” “In jail,” grinned Glücke, “where he’s been for a week. So what
time, wouldn’t Frank—on duty at the gate—have seen him and reported his visit to Inspector Glücke? Unless Frank… Val was so disappointed she flung the cards from her and glowered at them as they lay strewn about the kitchen floor. She could have wept for sheer chagrin. But she did nothing of the sort. She got down on her hands and knees and picked the cards up one by one, getting a run in one stocking in the process; and when she had them together again she rose and went into her bedroom and
endless array of tortillas. At the end of the street there was a forge, where a man sat pounding lumps of incandescent iron into cunning Mexican objects. Ellery was enchanted. Val indicated their destination, La Golondrina Café, with its quaint over-hanging balcony. “What are those scarlet and yellow dishes I see the señoritas carrying about?” They sat down at one of the sidewalk tables and Val ordered. She watched with a secret mischievousness as he bit innocently into an enchilada. “Muy
be there. Is he?” “So what?” rasped the detective’s voice. “Put him on. What’s your name?” “David Greenberg. Say, listen, pal, if—” “I’ll remember that, Dave. Put Walewski on.” He waited, saying meanwhile: “That’s the hell of these post-mortem investigations. If there was any clue in this room, the police have ruined it…. Walewski? I’m a reporter. You remember Monday a few minutes past six, when Mr. Ruhig drove up to the gate?” “Yes, sir, yes, sir,” came Walewski’s quavering voice. “Was he
don’t mind,” said Walter politely, “I think we’d rather talk somewhere else.” And he opened another door, looked in, nodded, and beckoned Val and her father. The Inspector’s ears flamed. Nevertheless he said amiably: “All right. It doesn’t make any difference.” Rhys Jardin crossed the room and the three of them entered the room Walter had selected. He shut the door very carefully. “Would you gentlemen mind waiting outside?” said the District Attorney suddenly. “Inspector Glücke and I—” “I get