A whodunit that “presents a good puzzle, and that, according to Mr. Vance and his tens of thousands of readers, is what murder mystery books are for” (The New York Times).
No question, The Dragon Murder Case showcases Our Philo at his most supremely irritating. The book is set at a Manhattan mansion complete with picturesque pool. Into that pool dives Sanford Montague, never to be seen again. Fools rush to blame the supernatural, noting that the “Dragon Pool,” is supposedly home to a monster known to the Lenape Indians. Philo’s not so sure: He is (of course) an expert on both dragons and the Lenape Indians, with a sort of sideline expertise in pools and fish.
It is tempting to agree with Ogden Nash that “Philo Vance needs a kick in the pance”: and by the time you reach the end of Dragon, you will almost certainly want to point your boot at his posterior. But you will have had a swell time getting there, and we’ve got a crisp greenback that says you’ll be chuckling too hard to aim.
Praise for the Philo Vance series
“With his highbrow manner and his parade of encyclopedic learning, Philo Vance is not only a detective; he is a god out of the machine.” —The New York Times
“The Philo Vance novels were well-crafted puzzlers that captivated readers . . . the works of S.S. Van Dine serve to transport the reader back to a long-gone era of society and style of writing.” —Mystery Scene
“Outrageous cleverness . . . among the finest fruits of the Golden Age.” —Bloody Murder