The Footprints on the Ceiling by Clayton Rawson

The Footprints on the Ceiling by Clayton Rawson

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Investigating a haunted house, Merlini finds a fresh murder

“Wanted To Rent: Haunted House, preferably in rundown condition. Must be adequately supplied with interesting ghost.”

Ross Harte knows that only the Great Merlini could be behind such a strange classified ad. A magician, salesman, and occasional sleuth, Merlini is producing radio investigations of paranormal activity, and he needs ghosts to put on-air. His first target is Skelton Island, an eerie speck of land just a few hundred feet off the coast of Manhattan, but seemingly out of another time.

On a late-night trip to the island, Merlini and Harte find the house perfectly rundown and well-stocked with ghosts, including one fresh one. Linda Skelton, granddaughter of the famous Scourge of Wall Street, has been poisoned with cyanide. Unless Merlini works quickly, he and Ross will join her among the ranks of Skelton Island’s famous spirits.


“The year’s best.” —Cleveland Plain Dealer

“There are not so many practitioners of the arts of illusion in this story as there were in Death from a Top Hat, but there is sufficient hocus-pocus.” —New York Times Book Review

“[A] wonderful wizard of crime.” — Eleanor Sullivan, editor, Ellery Queen Mystery

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