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The Mystery of the Merry Magician (1961)

Gulliver Queen, nephew of the famous detective, Ellery Queen, doesn't want to be a detective. But when Gully and his new friend, Fisty Jones investigate the strange underwater noises in the Hudson River, they suddenly find themselves deep in a mystery that Gully can't resist tackling. The menacing tattooed man, the weird one-eyed figure in the abandoned building, the strange but merry Magnus Merlin, magician extraordinaire - all add up to an exciting tale of danger and suspense on, and under the waterfront on New York. 

Gulliver Queen had looked forward to spending his vacation with his famous detective-uncle--but things were happening too fast for him now. When his uncle Ellery is unexpectedly called away, Gully is left in charge of gathering information. Suddenly Fisty Jones bursts into the apartment demanding help. Gully rushes off to investigate, and finds himself helpless in a muddle of confusion clues.... First there’s the trick dog. Then the wailing ghost...and a terrible tattooed man. And when Gully learns the strange secret of the space monster, he finds himself facing the worst danger of his young life....

The Mystery of the Merry Magician - cover, Golden Griffon, 1961The Mystery of the Merry Magician - Cover Golden Press, 1961 copyright by Pocket Books illustrated by Robert MagnsenThe Mystery of the Merry Magician - cover eBook publication, Open Road Media Teen & Tween, March 10, 2015The Mystery of the Merry Magician - cover audiobook Blackstone Audio, Inc., read by Traber Burns, October 1. 2015

Nine mysteries have Djuna as main character and can be called the Djuna-series. In the 60s a pause in the series occurred when James Holding was contracted to continue the series as  Ellery Queen, Jr. The first two of his EQ jr. book featured Gulliver Queen, described as the nephew of famous detective, in the leading role and were issued by Golden Press with their distinctive blue-diamond spine. But as it turns out, both of these mysteries were not in fact Holding's work. The son of Joseph Lawrence Greene (1914-1990) stated that his father, who also wrote the Dig Allen series (1959-1962) for Golden Press, was, in fact, the author of one of the Golden Press books (1961-1962) We did find a copyright entry for The Mystery of the Merry Magician by Joseph Greene and one for The Mystery of the Vanishing Victim by Paul Newman (More on the authorship can be read here...)

The French and (probably) Dutch translations have no original titles indicated but after obtaining copies we were able to concluded the true "origins" of the two "Gully" translations. After this given the cover of the Italian edition it's origin was no brainteaser... There is probably a German edition in existence.

Painted cover by Robert Magnusen.

 


Het geheim van Magnus Merlin - Dutch coverPoursuite en plein ciel - cover French edition, Ed Les Deux Coqs d'Or, Série rouge, 1966Il mago burlone - Italian edition Mondadori N°43, January 1. 1966 The Mystery of the Merry Magician - cover Chinese edition, Relay Press, Jieli Publishing House, August 1.2016

 The Mystery of the Merry Magician  Translations
Chinese: 码头魔术师谜案 
Dutch: Het geheim van Magnus Merlin 
French: Les Diamants sous la mer 
Italian: Il mago burlone 

 

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