The 11th book in the "Philo Vance" series.
"Philo Vance, curiously enough, always liked the Gracie Allen murder case more than any of the others in which he participated. The case was, perhaps, not as serious as some of the others--although, on second thought, I am not so sure that this is strictly true. Indeed, it was fraught with many ominous potentialities; and its basic elements (as I look back now) were, in fact, intensely dramatic and sinister, despite its almost constant leaven of humour.
I have often asked Vance why he felt so keen a fondness for this case, and he has always airily retorted with a brief explanation that it constituted his one patent failure as an investigator of the many crimes presented to him by District Attorney John F.--X. Markham.
"No--oh, no. Van; it was not my case at all, don't y' know," Vance drawled, as we sat before his grate fire one wintry evening, long after the events. "Really, y'know, I deserve none of the credit. I would have been utterly baffled and helpless had it not been for the charming Gracie Allen who always popped up at just the crucial moment to save me from disaster…"
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