stockbroker was a close friend to the Queens and although he had only
recently moved to Italy he had met the
Queens several times in totally different circumstances. How long ago it now seems since El asked him to write the foreword for his first 'opi'. JJMcC has been forgotten by most of the Queen followers. In several translations he was totally discarded as just another writer who wrote a 'upbeat' intro to a detective story. At first his labored articulation as oracle to the Ellery Queen novels discouraged neither Ellery's publisher nor the omnipotent gentleman himself. Thanks to JJMcC Ellery's fictionalized memoirs were published! He carried the burden of keeping the Queen's secret with some difficulty. Queen père and fils were major cogs in the wheel of N.Y.City's police machinery during the 20s and 30s. The secret of their real names was one secret they demanded to be kept. A secret never revealed... .
|t is a well known
fact that Ellery together with his wife and
his father lived in a small Italian villa in the mountains. Some of the adventures of Ellery Queen were written in their Italian recluse. "The Roman Hat Mystery" being the first, followed by "The French Powder Mystery", "The Dutch Shoe Mystery "... "The Egyptian Cross Mystery" fictionalized one of Ellery's last cases. As did the "Chinese Orange Mystery" consist of some of the later notes Ellery remodeled into fiction.
When retired, after 32 years of intense police work, his father enjoyed
writing monographs on 'American Crime and Methods of Detection' for a German magazine.
Which is not that surprising since he once studied in Germany (Heidelberg).
Some stories were never written down as a book. Whilst JJ was reading "the Adventure of Ellery Queen", the great detective found himself hunting down a serial killer in Minnesota, who cut off his victims left finger. And even JJ himself admitted while meeting Ellery and their mutual friend judge Macklin in a Russian place on the East side, Ellery himself said to be extremely upset for not succeeding to solve 'the Tyrolean Case' last summer. J.J.Fallacy, as Ellery sometimes called him, never knew those stories to be published. But Ellery did write some stories under his own name before "the Roman Hat Mystery' was published. Since this was a real case it was published under an alias... Ellery Queen.
In the foreword to the Halfway House Ellery points out to JJMcC that the book might have been called 'The Swedish Match Mystery' but it was not. It did however keep the subtitle of its predecessors ' a problem in deduction'. After 10 books JJMcC was no longer asked to write the foreword to the Queen' books. Ellery may have had a quarrel with the publishing company whom though it better to drop JJMcC. The publicity concerning a certain Barnaby Ross did not do much for the identity of JJ and he contemplated changing to a other business. After careful consideration, and some kind words by the Queens themselves he did just that... Leaving his true identity as mysterious as Ellery Queen's. Many tried to seek out the identity of the humble man.
JJ lived in Rye, N.Y. for a
while where he had an office. He owned a motorboat, was a backstroke-swimming champion at
college and he rowed stroke-oar. He occasionally took the plane to