The Queens are intrigued when a grisly murder mars a small
It’s Christmas in Chicago, and Detective Richard Queen is
enjoying a busman’s holiday at a conference on gangland violence—but his son,
amateur sleuth Ellery, is bored silly. Until, that is, Ellery reads of an
unusual killing in rural Arroyo, West Virginia. A schoolmaster has been found
beheaded and crucified. Ellery hustles his father into his roadster and heads
east, since there is nothing he’d like better for Christmas than a juicy,
When the Queens arrive in Arroyo, they learn that the victim
was an eccentric atheist, but not the sort to make enemies. What initially
looks to be the work of a sadistic cult turns out to be something far more sinister.
In the months ahead, more victims will turn up all over the world—all killed in
the same horrifying manner. It will take several bodies before Ellery divines
the clue that unlocks the mystery of the Christmas crucifixion.
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