A corpse in a department store window offers a gruesome puzzle for Ellery Queen.
The windows of French's department store are one of New York's great attractions. Year-round, their displays show off the finest in fashion, art, and home décor, and tourists and locals alike make a point of stopping to see what's on offer. One afternoon, as the board debates a merger upstairs, a salesgirl begins a demonstration in one of the windows, showing off French's new Murphy bed. A crowd gathers to watch the bed lower from the wall after a single touch of a button. But as the bed opens, people run screaming. Out tumbles a woman — crumpled, bloody, and dead.
The victim was Mrs. French, wife of the company president, and finding her killer will turn this esteemed store upside down. Only one detective has the soft touch necessary — debonair intellectual Ellery Queen. As Queen and his police inspector father dig into French's secrets, they find their killer is more serious than any window shopper.