|Title:||The Winter Murder Case (Philo Vance #12)|
|Author:||Wright, Willard Huntington Writing under the pseudonym: Van Dine, S. S.|
|Publisher:||Charles Scribner's Sons|
|Tags:||fiction, mystery, New York City, Philo Vance (Fictitious character)|
|Description:||Carrington Rexton is a bit nervous. His son Richard has just returned from medical studies in Europe and there's a house party going on to hail the conquering hero...so to speak. So, what's making Papa Rexton nervous? Well...he doesn't quite get these young folks and there's a fellow that Richard has brought back with him who seems a bit suspicious. And...oh yeah...Rexton has a bunch of sparkly emeralds and a rare necklace that aren't exactly as secure as they ought to be.
Rexton arranges (through District Attorney Markham) to have his old friend Philo Vance on the premises to look everything (and everybody) over and see if his fears are groundless. Vance meets the guests and inhabitants of the Rexton manor--from son of the house and the invalid daughter Joan to Ella Gunther, companion to Joan and a secret ice skating star; from Carlotta Naesmith, society girl and Richard's intended--at least intended by Papa Rexton--to Stanley Sydes, man about town and avid treasure-hunter. [Suggest a different description.]
|Comments:||aka Van Dine, S. S.; Philo Vance story #12|
Author Bio for Wright, Willard Huntington
S. S. Van Dine is the pseudonym used by American art critic Willard Huntington Wright (October 15, 1888 – April 11, 1939) when he wrote detective novels. Wright was an important figure in avant-garde cultural circles in pre-WWI New York, and under the pseudonym (which he originally used to conceal his identity) he created the once immensely popular fictional detective Philo Vance, a sleuth and aesthete who first appeared in books in the 1920s, then in movies and on the radio.
Wright never wanted to publish under his own name. He took his pseudonym from the abbreviation of "steamship" and from Van Dine, which he claimed was an old family name. According to Loughery, however, "there are no Van Dines evident in the family tree". He went on to write twelve mysteries in total, though their author's identity was unmasked by 1928. The first few books about the distinctive Philo Vance (who shared with his creator a love of art and a disdain for the common touch) were so popular that Wright became wealthy for the first time in his life. His readership was diverse and worldwide. David Shavit's study of WWII POW reading habits revealed that Vance was one of the favorite detectives among officer POWs.
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