The Mandarin Mystery (1936)

Director
Ralph Staub; Philip Ford

Main cast
Eddie Quillan; Charlotte Henry; Rita La Roy; Wade Boteler; Franklin Pangborn

Genres
Mystery, Thriller

Description
Ellery Queen sets out to solve a mystery involving a valuable stamp.


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Detective Ellery Queen's vacation is interrupted when murder strikes next door to his oceanside cabin.
Mort Rainey, a writer just emerging from a painful divorce with his ex-wife, is stalked at his remote lake house by a psychotic stranger and would-be scribe who claims Rainey swiped his best story idea. But as Rainey endeavors to prove his innocence, he begins to question his own sanity.
Two mysterious seamen come from Alan Rogers' past to blackmail him as he seeks to locate his missing daughters. Ellery Queen is called in by Stewart Cole, Rogers' secretary. Queen goes to the estate and finds one daughter already there and the second one expected. When she arrives, it is Ellery's secretary Nikki Porter posing as the daughter as Ellery had her intercept the real heiress after learning of a plot to swindle Rogers. The blackmailing seamen are killed at a waterfront café after getting the blackmail money, Rogers is suspected and Inspector Queen arrives to arrest him, but he is also found dead.
Like the first entry in Columbia's "Ellery Queen" series, Ellery Queen's Penthouse Mystery depicts its amateur-criminologist hero as an oafish ignoramus. This time around, Chinese ventriloquist Gordon Cobb (Noel Madison), is murdered by a gang of jewel thieves. Baffled by the contradictory clues, Inspector Queen (Charles Grapewin) asks his son Ellery (Ralph Bellamy) to help out.
Ralph Bellamy makes the third of four appearances as "master detective" Ellery Queen in Columbia's Ellery Queen and the Perfect Crime. The principal villain is crooked stockbroker John Mathews (Douglass Dumbrille), whose Wall Street manipulations render Ray Jarden (H. B. Warner) penniless. Mathews' chicanery seems particularly coldblooded, inasmuch as his daughter Marian (Linda Hayes) is engaged to Jarden's son Walter (John Beal). When the latter disappears, Mathews asks Ellery Queen to locate the young man.
Ralph Bellamy made his fourth and final appearance as literary sleuth Ellery Queen in Columbia's Ellery Queen and the Murder Ring. On this occasion, Ellery and his police-inspector father (Charley Grapewin) are summoned to a private hospital by its owner, philanthropist Mrs. Stack (Blanche Yurka). There've been some very weird goings-on at the hospital as of late, and Mrs. Stack wants to get to the bottom of things.
The mysteriously ill John Braun makes a new will, leaving out his daughter Barbara, over the protests of his wife. The trouble began when the daughter wanted to marry Mr. Braun's doctor, James Rogers. Mrs. Braun asks Inspector Queen to help find the long-missing Barbara. The inspector's son, Ellery, works on the case. He goes to a home frequently visited by Dr. Rogers where the bell is answered by Nikki Porter who Ellery mistakes for Barbara and insists she return to the Braun home. Nikki does, to protect Barbara, and a short time later finds herself alone in a room outside Braun's bedroom. She finds him dead - his throat cut. No weapons are found and the door to the room where Nikki had been is locked, and she is suspected. Ellery hides Nikki in his apartment. Braun's body, sent for an autopsy, disappears and in its place is a life-sized statue of the dead man.
A man is framed for embezzlement and runs off to San Francisco. His wife hires Queen to try and track him down before the police get to him.

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