Experiments in Detection (1968)
For something light
and piquant, we recommend No Parking, with its bewitching heroine and her three
For a mouth-watering quick snack, you can try Half a Clue, in which Ellery nabs the
murderer almost before the victim has stopped breathing.
For a main course you can really sink your teeth into, there's Mum Is the Word, in which
the "dying message" offers the ultimate in hidden clues.
And for an unforgettable pièce de résistance, we have Abraham Lincoln's Clue,
a classic that Anthony Boucher called "perhaps the greatest of all Queen
These are but four of sixteen great tales designed to please the most sophisticated palate
-- all prepared and elegantly served by the master chef of mystery, the one and only
Let Ellery Queen clue you in his special brand of
high tension, brain-teasing mystery!
- DYING MESSAGE NOVELETTE:
- "Mum is the Word" (EQMM, 4/66)
- CONTEMPORARY PROBLEMS IN DEDUCTION
- "Object Lesson"
09/10/55, as "The Blackboard Gangsters"
and reprinted: EQMM, 4/58)
- "No Parking" (This Week,
3/18/56, as "Terror in a Penthouse" and
reprinted: EQMM, 2/58)
- "No Place to Live" (This Week,
6/10/56, as "The Man They All Hated"
and reprinted: EQMM, 3/58)
- "Miracles Do Happen" (EQMM,
- Q.B.I.: QUEEN'S BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
- GAMBLING DEPT. -- "The Lonely Bride" (This Week,
12/04/49, as "The
Lady Couldn't Explain", The Sunday
Herald 7/9/50 as "The Case Of the Lonely Bride")
SPY DEPT. -- "Mystery at the Library of Congress"
(Argosy, 6/60 as "Enter
Ellery Queen" reprinted:
- SPY DEPT. -- "Dead Ringer" ( (?): Diners' Club, 3/65 and reprinted in EQMM,
- KIDNAPPING DEPT. -- "The Broken T" (This
Week, 7/28/63 as "Mystery in Neon Red" and reprinted
in EQMM, 5/66)
- MURDER DEPT. -- "Half a Clue"
8/25/63 as "Half a Clue to Murder "reprinted: EQMM,
- ANONYMOUS LETTERS DEPT. -- "Eve of the Wedding"
(EQMM, 8/55, as
"Bride in Danger")
- PROBATE DEPT. -- "Last Man to Die"
Week, 11/3/63 reprinted: Variety
(Australian), 1964; EQMM, 1/67)
- CRIME SYNDICATE DEPT. -- "Payoff"
8/64 as "Crime Syndicate Payoff" reprinted: EQMM
- THE PUZZLE CLUB
- "The Little Spy" (Cavalier, 1/65
reprinted: EQMM, 9/66)
- "The President Regrets"
9/65 reprinted: EQMM, 7/67)
- HISTORICAL DETECTIVE STORY
- "Abraham Lincoln's Clue" (MD,
6/65 reprinted: EQMM, 3/67)
All stories originally published in This Week, Argosy, Cavalier, Signature,
MD, and EQMM between 1949 and 1966.
A historical story similar to "The
President's Half Disme" (1946), is about another US President, "Abraham
Lincoln's Clue" (1965). In this story Howard Haycraft is paid a
charming tribute. The collectors who show up in these stories remind one of those
in "The One Penny Black"
and "The Glass-Domed Clock".
Although W.W.II is not mentioned in the story, it reflects the atmosphere of wartime
patriotism prevalent then. Arnold Schoenberg would pay a similar tribute to George
Washington in his Ode to Napoleon Bonaparte. The tale is set in a lonely farmhouse in
Pennsylvania. The solution of the puzzle involves mathematics, as did such earlier EQ
tales as "The Glass-Domed
Clock" (1933) ,"The Hollow
Dragon" (1936) and "The Gamblers' Club"
(1951). The use of mathematics seems related to EQ's deep commitment to logic and
reasoning. (Michael E.Grost)
The concept of the puzzle club
seems completely in tune with Queen's universe of strange individuals.
Membership can only be earned by solving a puzzle the others prepared
earlier. It seems totally unusual that someone would want to be part of a
club that has a sole purpose of trying to baffle the other members, but
perhaps not so unusual in the world of Queen. Nowadays analogous clubs are
quiet common, although often they don't actually “meet” . . .since they do
so only in the virtual sense. Several internet fora or sites (such as those
catering to mathematical riddles) are based on the same concept. The two
Ellery Queen puzzle stories involve a club that has 6
members. They are:
oil baron and of course millionaire), founder of the Club
and also Chairman
rumored to be up for a chair in The Supreme Court)
(biochemist who won the Nobel Prize)
of the US (no name is mentioned) was unable to attend ... so
as such not (yet) a member...
They meet in an apartment on
Park Avenue, there is an English butler and a cook named Charlot.
Three other "Puzzle Club" stories were published in other magazines and
later collected in The Tragedy of
Errors ("The Three Students", "The Odd Man" and "The
This series was, perhaps, cut short by the death of Manfred Lee. One wonders
where Dannay and Lee would have gone with the series if they had been
allowed to continue it.