Soemone makes the murder of wealthy George Sherman look like a ritualistic killing, hanging his corpse from a Cersis tree (aka a Judas tree, after the one Judas Iscariot supposedly hanged himself from) and adorning it with branches. When George is found to be far less wealthy than thought (he had given everything away except a huge life insurance policy), suspicion turns to his wife Paulette, who already has a boyfriend on the side. Written by
Did You Know?
The title references the Judas Tree or Cercis siliquastrum, a flowering deciduous tree. See more
Father Devlin, a Catholic priest, admits to Ellery and Inspector Queen that Sherman did not make a formal confession, and Inspector Queen mentions that Sherman was not a Catholic. Therefore, under New York State law in the 1940s (and today), nothing said between the two would be covered by confessional privilege, but neither Queen mentions this. See more
Now I know who killed George Sherman-the one person who had something to gain from it. You're probably way ahead of me; you've got all the clues: the inkstains on George's hand, the alibis, the motive. Put them all together and what have you got? Well, Dr. Tony Bender? The not-so-grieving widow, Paulette Sherman? Oh, and don't forget Stephen Yang, or the phony Father Devlin. Or maybe it was somebody else. Maybe somebody you haven't considered. Let's find out.