Ellery Queen is about to leave for San Francisco, where his new book will be set, when he is visited by a woman who asks him to find out if her husband is alive or dead; supposedly he drowned in a boat accident a few years ago, but someone who looks a lot like him was recently seen in SF. Ellery takes Nikki Porter with him and has her impersonating the missing man’s wife, to bring him out into the open. The plan works, but a case of embezzlement and a murder bring Inspector Queen to SF as well, and guess who the chief suspect for both crimes is: the man Ellery was looking for! “A Desperate Chance For Ellery Queen” had the potential to be one of the best entries in the series, but it’s a little too messily put together to achieve that. Kudos, however, to Lilian Bond for her sexy femme fatale. I think it’s the first time in the series where another woman steals the show from Margaret Lindsay.