Ellery Queen. The Four Johns (1964) 164 pp. [pbo]
This annoyingly implausible yet also annoyingly predictable yarn finds University of California, Berkeley, Ph.D. candidate and wanna-be assistant professor Mervyn Gray trying to discover the murderer of a co-ed whose body he has found in the trunk of his car. He does not notify the police for fear of not being considered for a teaching position. Suspects include four men named “John”: an accountant, a university librarian, a fashion photographer from San Francisco, and a “beatnik” poet. Locales include the U.C. Berkeley campus, the Claremont Hotel, Telegraph and Ashby Avenues, houses in the Berkeley hills, suburban Concord, and San Francisco’s Telegraph Hill; Gray also makes a quick trip to Madera in the San Joaquin Valley. Written by science-fiction author Jack Vance under the “Ellery Queen” pseudonym.
Setting: Berkeley (University of California); Concord; San Francisco (Telegraph Hill); Madera
Currey p. 498