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New York versus Wrightsville, Ellery's two favorite places and a tale of two cities in more ways than one. His
stories take place in a New York populated with sophisticates and eccentrics. If  'Ellery Queen is the American detective story' in this century New York must have been the setting par excellence for his adventures. Large buildings with buzzing streets where crime lurks behind each corner and yet it keeps something sophisticating up his sleeve. Some trips to Hollywood aside in the 1940's he invented a small New England manufacturing town, Wrightsville and located several works here.

Map of Manhattan as found in Cat of Many Tails

Manhattan in particular was strongly featured in Cat of Many Tails
and served much in the same way as a game board would serve. Ellery lives in West 87th Street and apparently moves around New York without the aid of his Duesenberg which serves him well when visiting outside New York.
Queen often chose a site a block or two from a real life prototype for his fictional sites. E.g. The Longacre Theater gives away it's use by age, handsome terra cotta facade, and two stage doors on either side of the main marquee. It's make it one of the best substitutes for the new (1920s) Roman Theater in Ellery Queen's first mystery, which is supposed to be two blocks south, at West 47th Street. (Mystery Reader's Walking Guide: New York - Alzina Stone Dale) 

In "The American Gun Mystery" Buck Horne is shot in N.Y's new Colosseum on Broadway. The back cover of the Dell pocket book seems to indicate the World Trade Center as the venue for its location. The map is by Ruth Belew.

Backcover of the Dell pocket book, Dell Books 4 Published 1943, 2nd edition 1946 with mapback

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Introduction | Floor Plan | Q.B.I. | List of Suspects | Whodunit?  | Q.E.D. | Kill as directed | New | Copyright 

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