|The Dragon Murder Case (Philo Vance #7)
|Charles Scribner's Sons
|fiction, mystery, New York City, Philo Vance (Fictional character), U.S.A., film/TV adaptation
Even in 1933 New York, the Stamm mansion was an anomaly--an estate in Inwood surrounded by woods. One hot night, members of a house party go for a swim. A young man dives into the pool--and disappears. Old Mrs. Stamm is mentally disturbed, but her repeated claims that a dragon lives in the pool and is responsible for the young man's death resonates sharply with the others in the house. Even the usually stolid police are disturbed by the atmosphere. Only Philo Vance, for all his talk about dragons, is able to cut through to the heart of the mystery. [Suggest a different description.]
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.--Wikipedia.
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