The Garden Murder Case (A Philo Vance Detective Story)

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Floyd, the son of Professor Garden, invites his socialite friends to the rooftop garden of his father’s New York penthouse to listen to the outcome of horse races. Detective Philo Vance receives an anonymous telephone message inviting him to one of Floyd’s gatherings. On that particular night, Floyd’s best friend has placed an enormous bet on a horse named Equanimity. Once it is announced that Equanimity has lost the race, a gunshot is heard and Floyd’s friend is found dead of a gunshot wound. Though initially thought to be a suicide, Detective Vance deems the death a murder. The night proves to be even more eventful, due to the attempted poisoning of Floyd’s mother’s nurse and the subsequent murder of his mother.

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This early work by S. S. Van Dine was originally published in 1935 and we are now republishing it with a brand new introduction. ‘The Garden Murder Case’ is one of Van Dine’s novels of crime and mystery. S. S. Van Dine was born Willard Huntington Wright in Charlottesville, Virginia in 1888. He attended St. Vincent College, Pomona College and Harvard University, but failed to graduate, leaving to cultivate contacts he had made in the literary world. At the age of twenty-one, Wright began his professional writing career as literary editor of the Los Angeles Times. In 1926, Wright published his first S. S. Van Dine novel, The Benson Murder Case. Wright went on to write eleven more mysteries. The first few books about his upper-class amateur sleuth, Philo Vance, were so popular that Wright became wealthy for the first time in his life. His later books declined in popularity as the reading public’s tastes in mystery fiction changed, but during the late twenties and early thirties his work was very successful.

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