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All Hollywood producer Ben Sloane had wanted was to find Sol Dahlman, the mysterious film genius who had made The Wild Nymph and now Sloane was dead. The governor told Mike McCall to, 'Go up to Rockview and get me the killer!' But it wasn't quite that easy. The Mann Photo Service, long rumored to be a center of the blue movie industry, was torn by a strike, and nobody was talking to strangers not Xavier Mann, not Major Jordan, not beautiful April Evans, who refused even to tell who she was or why she, too, was investigating the murder. Then, just to make the job a little harder, Cynthia Rhodes and her Fem Lib Raiders hit town and a man named Carry Tanner decided McCall had lived too long.

The Blue Movie Murders - cover pocket book edition, Lancer Books N°  447 75-277-095, 1972 The Blue Movie Murders - dust cover Gollancz edition, London, 1973The Blue Movie Murders - hardcover Odhams edition MB (Man Books) N° 120, London, 1974 (Ellery Queen's 'The Blue Movie Murders', D. E. Mandeville's 'Hot Line:Capricorn' and Oliver Beeck's 'The Thief Who Painted Sunlight'. This book is part of a series of three-in-one omnibus volumes sold at a low price to members of the Odhams "book club".)
The Blue Movie Murders - cover pocket book edition, Penguin Books N°, Sep 25. 1975 (cover design by Peter Fluck)The Blue Movie Murders - cover audiobook Blackstone Audio, Inc., read by Mark Peckham, November 1. 2014 The Blue Movie Murders - cover Road, September 29, 2015

After Manny’s death Fred took over exclusive control of the Ellery Queen property. One of his first acts in that capacity was to terminate the ghosted paperbacks which he believed had debased the value of the identity he and Manny had created as young men. One more Troubleshooter novel, however, was still due under the contract with Lancer, and it was Fred’s obligation to deliver it.

Ghostwritten by
Edward D. Hoch
(1930-2008), who in an interview with us explained "My agreement was not with Dannay/Lee but with Scott Meredith, their literary agent at the time. I was not to reveal that I had written it, but after a few years that information started appearing to print, in fan publications and in Hubin's Crime Fiction, so I felt I was no longer under any obligation to remain silent. Fred never objected to the authors' identities being made known."

All of the previously ghostwritten books were edited and supervised by Lee, except for this one.  Ed attested to this fact "I remember that I spent an entire summer's afternoon there, going over the manuscript page by page. For me , it was a lesson in editing from a master. He preferred fewer commas than I usually used, and fewer words. He found a phrase like, 'He shrugged his shoulders," to be redundant. "You can't shrug anything but your shoulders", he told me, and of course he was right. To this day I remember that, every time I see the phrase in someone else's book. There were red editing marks on virtually every page of the manuscript..." (Old-Time Detection Issue 16, Autumn 2007)

Women’s Lib crusade against pornographic films coincides with the murder of a Hollywood mogul and leads the governor to send Mike McCall to the small city in his state that is reputed to be the Mecca of sex flick production, with the dual mission of placating the libbers and locating the killers.

The liberal speechifying in earlier McCall adventures is replaced this time with plot complications, and although a few peripheral matters don’t ring true, Hoch’s involuted, fairly and subtly clued, legitimately surprising story brings the long line of EQ paperbacks to a noble conclusion. (Nevins)

I'd like to remark that the Taiwanese edition from the section below (see cover detail above) has the name of Edward Hoch next to Ellery Queen. A first to my knowledge. 

De Wilde Nimf - cover Dutch/Flemish pocket book edition, Het Spectrum Prisma-Detectives , 19Mordfall saubere Leinwand - cover German edition Ullstein Krimi, 1972Vietato Essere Uomini - cover Italian edition, Mondadori, series Il Giallo Mondadori N°1283, September 2. 1979Assassinato na industria do sexo - cover Brazilian edition, Ediciones MM,1973
ΟΙ ΔΟΛΟΦΟΝΟΙ - Cover Greek edition, Viper, 1972The Blue Movie Murders - cover Japanese edition, Hara Shobo, Feb 2000The Blue Movie Murders - cover Chinese edition, New Star Press, November 2011The Blue Movie Murders - cover Taiwanese edition, Face Press, 2005

The Blue Movie Murders Translations

Brazilian:Assassinato na industria do sexo  
Dutch/Flemish: De wilde nimf  
German: Mordfall saubere Leinwand  
Italian: Vietato essere uomini  
Japanese: 青の殺人  

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Other articles on this book

(1) Tipping My Fedora Cavershamragu August 30. 2013
(2) Noirish Realthog March 17. 2019
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