I submitted a paper to a journal X of maths which is one of the best journals in a field Y. After more than six months I sent the handling editor a polite reminder email, in which I requested to inform me about the review process. After six days I recived the following
Unfortunately, we cannot accept it for publication. Of the four quick opinions I requested, two have now arrived, and neither is sufficiently encouraging to warrant sending the paper out for full refereeing.
I am sorry to have held the paper so long without being about to do more than to pass on the following brief suggestion:
The suggestion was merely to mention some results from a reference that I cite in the paper in the introduction. Is it reasonable that "quick opinions" took six months? without even sending a report?