New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1932. First Edition. First Printing. Octavo (19cm); red cloth covered boards, titled in black on the cover and spine; map endpapers; 334pp. Dampstain to rear joints; rear hinge has minor glue repair; front hinge lightly pulled only; former owner's name inside front cover/endpaper; small tear to corner of endpaper; Very Good.
"Ellery and his father, NYPD Detective Richard Queen, happen to be passing close enough to the scene of the first crime: the beheading of schoolmaster Andrew Van, who’s been celebrating Christmas morning by getting nailed to a T-shaped cross in a small West Virginia village....He is found headless, crucified on a kind of totem, at a crossroads...Ellery is unable to find enough evidence to name a culprit, though the appearance of a strange old man who leads some kind of cult that mixes Egyptology and nudism adds spice to the investigation." (from Kirkus reviews); BARZUN & TAYLOR, 1776.