EDITORIAL

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What we don't know and you just might...      Audiofragments,... could you help out?      Missing articles, magazines,...      Missing books...      Unknown pictures...

Q.B.I.Covers added since April 2021: 222 better and 267 new covers. The latter corresponding with the red numbers in this list. Latest additions made on January 27. 2022:

Queens Bureau of Investigation - hardcover Little, Brown edition, Book Club edition, 1955Inspector Queen's Own Case - hardcover Simon and Schuster edition, An Inner Sanctum Mystery, New York, 1956 The Finishing Stroke - dust cover edition Victor Gollancz Ltd. London, 1976 reissueThe Player On the Other Side - hardcover edition, Random House, 1963And On the Eighth Day - dust cover Gollancz edition, London, 1977The Fourth Side of the Triangle - cover pocket book edition, Pocket Book N° 50508, April 1968 (2nd).The American Gun Mystery - hardcover Thorndike Large Print edition, February 23. 2022Face to Face - hardcover New American Library (NAL), 1967.

Past additions to the site:
April 2020 - April 2021: 132 better and 33 new covers
April 2019 - April 2020: 16 better and 14 new covers
...
The Further Misadventures of Ellery Queen edited by two West 87th Irregulars Josh Pachter &‎ Dale C. Andrews. Order at Wildside Press by clicking here...
January 13. 2022 - April 18. 1999

My attention was caught last month by a post from the hand of Matthew J. Elliott, by his own admission, an award-winning screenwriter, author, voice-over artist, presenter, editor and contributor for RiffTrax from Lancashire, England. His 2008 miniseries The New Adventures of Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer starring Stacy Keach was nominated for an Audie Award.

 "I became a mystery writer because of Ellery Queen. Hilary Caine wouldn't exist were it not for Ellery."

The "tongue in cheek" Hilary Caine mysteries are set in "The Golden Age" of 1930s British mysteries. Hilary Caine is a young woman with a unique gift for solving crimes. She is employed by the English tabloid Tittle Tattle Magazine as their private investigator. She solves the crime, they write the story.  

First published in 2008, there are already 25 Hilary stories to listen to... and they provide the first glimpse of what a new female Ellery Queen might sound like.

You can listen to a full story here. If you want to read more on Ellery Queen pastiches and tributes click here ...
November 29. 2021

Incendo and BlackBox Multimedia have entered into a series co-development & co-production partnership for a modernized take on classic mystery tales by Ellery Queen.

The production companies announced today they have optioned the TV adaption rights to the Ellery Queen collection of novels and short stories. They will co-develop and co-produce a high-end scripted series together. Hooray so far! But the announcement goes on to state that the proposed TV series will feature a reimagined female lead.

Richard Dannay and Rand B. Lee, offsprings of Ellery Queen authors Frederic Dannay and Manfred Lee have, in any event, approved the project. “When our fathers first sat down to begin the collaboration that would become Ellery Queen, they never would have dreamed that they would then embark on a forty-year journey together, or imagined the remarkable success that Ellery Queen would attain. All of us in the Lee and Dannay families are thrilled to be working with BBMM and Incendo, which have both been so respectful and admiring of the rich Ellery Queen tradition, in crafting a new chapter on the screen for our shared legacy.

The first reactions are mixed, and many might have preferred a more recognizable adaptation. Here is where I am: It really depends on how this will all be done. If the statement by Richard and Rand is true, the project could end up respectful to the original Queen stories. But care needs to be taken -- changing the gender of Ellery, and perhaps other characters, might feel too much like a spoof.

In any event I hope that this project learns from the success of the 1975 Jim Hutton NBC series, the only TV adaptation that successfully conveyed a version of Ellery consistent with the original Queen mysteries. As that series demonstrated, a portrayal of Ellery can be witty while still remaining true to the stories in the Queen universe. Additions made by the NBC series, such as radio host Simon Brimmer, played by an unforgettable John Hillerman, worked because they were consistent with the underlying stories. As my friend and 87th Street Irregular member Dale Andrews has said, the rule in portraying an existing character such as Ellery in a new genre should be the same as the guiding principle in medicine: First, do no harm.

If this project comes into fruition and brings a new Ellery Queen into the present... success will depend on the stories and the attention to detail. If a modernized approach worked for the popularity of Maurice Leblanc's Lupin why not for EQ?

                       More on the Hutton TV series you can read
here ...
November 7. 2021

In 1931 English professor Mark Van Doren, himself a mystery writer, invited "Ellery Queen" to the Columbia University's School of Journalism (The Writers Club of Columbia) for a lecture on the technique of mystery writing. Dannay and Lee declined the invitation, since they didn't want to reveal their identity. Because the books had been presented as the work of one man, the publisher and the dual authors wanted to keep things on that basis, at least temporarily. Barbara Frost, who at that time was working with his publisher, had the inspiration of using a mask. The mask appealed to Dannay and Lee. Still not too thrilled at the prospect of attending the occasion they flipped a coin and Lee lost. He gave the requested lecture wearing a black mask, a gimmick he continued to use for autographing sessions, … .

Now imagine you could go back in time to take pictures of certain events. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a picture of Manny getting out of a cab in front of the Columbia University back in November 1931?

                     

We can’t go back in time, but the feeling when unearthing that very picture is the next best thing.

 
                                                       Continue to read here ...
October 17. 2021

After years of researching Ellery Queen (begun, in fact, long before this website existed!) I still occasionally stumble upon items that don't fall into one of the many categories provided here. Perhaps we need a new section for matters that sometimes are only indirectly connected to Ellery Queen. While tangential to our primary purpose here, such matters still might be interesting to Ellery Queen fans.

Such a story popped up on August 2. 2012 in Florida...




Photo of Verna Jane Janie Browning, center, with two school friends, believed to be taken in the mid-1940s. Gloria Blackburn, 62, purchased a copy of The Devil to Pay, a mystery by Ellery Queen at the Amish Country Store in Largo on July 24. When she opened it, Blackburn found her 85-year-old mother's signature, dated 1941. She sent a photo of the signature to her sister, who lives with her mom. The mom confirmed it was hers and that the book once belonged to her when she was 14. Although she has never traveled to Florida, the book somehow made its way to Florida and into the hands of her daughter -- 71 years later.

 
TIP: Interested readers should know that the icons/covers of books, used throughout the website have extra descriptions/information not included in the text on the same page. Pointing your cursor at the icon/cover used to reveal this extra information. To achieve the same effect Firefox users can install an add-on called 'Popup ALT Attribute'.
When installed pointing your cursor at an icon/cover results in showing you the details or additional information.
Unusual Suspects by Joseph Goodrich, ... click to buy at Amazon
October 1. 2021

With the help of Dale C. Andrews, the page on the "writer" of the forewords for the first EQ novels has been extensively revised.

J.J. McC.
Identified only by initials he appears in the early mysteries and then disappears for decades, only to re-appear in one of the last Queen books. And like Ellery the biography of J.J. McC is full of contradictions. And it was J.J. himself who contributed some of the early (and eventually contradictory) biographical “facts” concerning Ellery and the Inspector.

Early on we are told that J.J. McC., was a stockbroker and a close friend to the Queens. We are also told that although he had only eventually 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 (and sometimes an afterword) for his first books. In The Roman Hat Mystery, J.J. McC even penned the "Challenge to the Reader".

Despite all of this, J.J. McC. has been largely forgotten by many Queen followers. In several translations his introductions were discarded as those of just another writer who wrote an “upbeat” intro to a detective story. At first his efforts as oracle to the Ellery...

                                                         Continue to read here ...
September 3. 2021

The reviews that Nick Fuller brings on his blog "The Grandest Game in the World" come highly recommended. His reading session of the Ellery Queen stories is ongoing and he sometimes brings a refreshing view of the stories. His Tintin avatar caused some confusion but Nick does live in Canberra, but went to school in Brussels ... The links to his reviews will be added to the detailed book pages in the QBI section as they come online.
Specifically, I wanted to highlight his comment about Thomas Hardy's possible influence.

The novelist and poet Thomas Hardy (June 2. 1840 – January 11. 1928) is considered a determinist, mainly because his protagonists are controlled by the nature of things or by superior forces. In other words, the independence of the human will in Hardy's fiction is difficult to affirm, because man's struggle against the "will" only leads to his future failures. (Fazel Asadi Amjad, Esmaeil Najar Daronkolae - Thomas Hardy and Urbanization: The Role of Determinism in Tess of the D’Urbervilles).

Focusing specifically on the Wrightsville stories, Nick Fuller made a bold statement "Was Ellery Queen a Thomas Hardy fan?" He goes on to make some clear references in both….

Continue to read here...

August 13. 2021

Dale C. Andrews is a longtime, devoted Ellery Queen fan and he’s written several Ellery Queen pastiches for EQMM. Here he is reading “Four Words,” from the September/October 2020 issue of EQMM. (Click on the icon) ....West 87th Street Irregular Dale C. Andrews not only has a way with Ellery Queen pastiches he's also has got a knack for reading them to you!
"Four Words," his fourth Ellery Queen pastiche appeared in the September/October 2020 EQMM issue and is presented here as EQMM podcast.

                               

Last month Otto Penzler's The Mysterious Bookshop announced the following: "Current view of the recently acquired Ellery Queen books that will soon be showing up on rare lists in our Weekly Update"

Soon after Otto published two YouTube videos describing the collection. In doing so he immediately provided the answer to the observation that the dust jackets for The French Powder Mystery seem to be available... (above left in the picture above). A unique opportunity to hear a true collector on first editions in action...



To order any of the items shown, call (212) 587-1011 or email info@mysteriousbookshop.com

Below: Among the guests at the Mysterious Press presentation was Richard Dannay (front row)...

July 4. 2021

Mord i Hollywood - cover Swedish edition Deckarhyllan, May 19. 2021Let's start with a recommendation for our Swedish visitors. Håkan Andersson informed us that Deckarhyllan published a second Ellery Queen volume. After The King is Dead  in 2015 they now published Mord I Hollywood a translation of The Devil to Pay with the added bonus of a the short-story "Long Shot" (1939) aka "Högoddsaren". 

                                

On the subject of radio plays. "We heard all about the American radio plays... but is there anything in the Dutch language?" I hear my fellow countrymen think...

Although I found evidence (see below) short wave radio brought at least some of the early hour-long radio episodes to European listener (W2XE from New York)
, it's safe to say it's doubtful all episodes were broadcasted as such and ever more doubtful the program was popular in Europe.

            


Radio plays were, before television came along, very much an important part of the programming on radio. Such was the case in Belgium and the Netherlands. We could find examples of Dutch radio plays based on Ellery Queen's stories. Somewhat different that the American radio plays they were often adaptations of fully fledges books or sometime short stories. The adaptation of the novels were spread over several episodes. They even tried to incorporate "A Challenge to the Reader" by challenging their listeners to guess the culprit and enter a competition.

  Continue to read here... (be sure to click the list of titles)

A challenge to the reader: if you think you could add additional information (even corrections) please do so... What we don't know and you just might...You can reach us by clicking the "Uncle Sam" icon (right). We've always appreciate corrections and additional information, however small the detail may be...
 
June 9. 2021

Several important additions to the site!

We'd like to focus on just one page in particular. In 2011 we purchased information from the NFSA Canberra, Australia which led to an update of the page on the Australian restaged radio plays. This page has now been refreshed with several descriptions of the radio plays added and it now even includes some pictures of the Australian Armchair detectives.

The Major Broadcasting Network announced the beginning of "The Adventures of Ellery Queen" as a National broadcast. It was to be heard from 2UE, 4BK-AK and 2KO, 2GZ, and 2NZ beginning Friday, July 16 1954 at 7:30 p.m. In each production a distinguished visitor is invited by Ellery Queen to anticipate the solution when all clues have been collected.  

Above right: Charles Tingwell who plays Ellery

Continue to read here...

May 13. 2021

When Norman and Irving Pincus first brought The Adventures of Ellery Queen (1950-1951) to the little screen on the old Dumont network, Elliott was cast as Sergeant Velie.

Elliott Sullivan  -- CLICK FOR MORE -- ...Almost no records are found of this fact. Why? First Sergeant Velie didn't appear in that many episodes but also Elliott was going through hard times as an actor ... Sadly he was not the only actor suffering hardship back then. His biography can attest to these dark times in the entertainment industry...

Born in San Antonio, Texas on July 4. 1907 as Eli (Aleck) Solomon. His parents, married in Russia around 1884, were Rabbi Solomon Zalmanovich Solomon from Lithuania and Abigail aka Bessie Budowlia from Belarus. They had at least seven children.

Aleck/Eli went to the A&M College of Texas. He took an interest in acting and  ...

Continue to read here...

May 1. 2021

Come October the next installments in Otto Penzler's "American Mystery Classics" will include Ellery Queen's The American Gun Mystery. The wonderful series (not restricted to Ellery Queen works) has excellent artwork on its covers and could rapidly becoming a collector's item...

The Chinese Orange Mystery - cover Penzler Publishers 'American Mystery Classics', 2018 (released in both hardcover and trade paperback)The Siamese Twin Mystery - cover, Otto Penzler presents American Mystery Classics, February 2020The Egyptian Cross Mystery - cover, Otto Penzler presents American Mystery Classics, November 2020The Dutch Shoe Mystery - cover Penzler Publishers 'American Mystery Classics', March 4. 2019The American Gun Mystery - cover Penzler Publishers 'American Mystery Classics', Oct 5. 2021

To celebrate this announcement we've added some information to the in-depth page concerning the book, including a 1933 review that was originally published in Washington D.C.'s  Evening Star. The review noted: "Ellery Queen again offers a problem in deduction which might, so far as its personnel and its action is concerned, have propounded itself for a solution back in the pioneer days of Texas or Wyoming, but which actually projected itself into the present day in no less wild and woolly west a location than New York City.
Gathered in the great Colosseum of Tony Mars, promoter of various sorts of entertainment, twenty thousand people were yelling themselves hoarse in approval of the usual stunts which constitute a first-class rodeo performance. Included in that immense throng of humanity were Inspector Queen, his son Ellery and the faithful Djuna, to whose urgent pleas that they take him to see the rodeo they had succumbed.
Sitting in the box of the great Tony Mars were other guests besides the Queens and Djuna, among whom were Mara Gay, actress, of Hollywood, and Kit Home, adopted daughter of Buck Horne ..."

Continue to read here...

April 18. 2021

On our 22nd Anniversary online we offer some extra information on the French incarnations of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine:

Ellery Queen Mystère Magazine or Mystère Magazine for short was the title by which the magazine was sold in the French Language. Hence prices for France, Switzerland and Belgium were included on the covers. It published 343 issues between 1948 and Oct 1976 by Editions OPTA, Paris which also published Alfred Hitchcock magazine from 1961 until 1975.
Georges Rieben is best known as the founder, in 1972, of the "Le Prix Mystère de la critique", a prize awarded to this day to the best French and foreign detective story. In December 1969, Georges Rieben, together with three friends, was asked to take over from Maurice Renault who was then in charge of Ellery Queen Mystère Magazine. Renault had been seriously ill for several years and the magazine's sales suffered. The three friends were, Luc Geslin (film photographer), Jean-Claude Guilbert (writer, journalist), and Bernard Rapp (television and film). Soon only Luc Geslin was left, who took over as editor, his task mainly consisted of selecting the short stories and having them translated, if necessary. Under Rieben's impulse,  Mystère Magazine revived for a short time. After Daniel Domange, the director of the OPTA publishing house, died in a plane crash in 1971, the company came under poor management and was eventually liquidated in December 1981. By then Mystère Magazine already released its last issue in Oct 1976.
Together with Luc Geslin, Rieben tried to make a new start with Magazine du Mystère (Editions Trega, Toulouse). Without the collaboration of  EQMM, an attempt was made, at least visually, to give the impression that this magazine was a continuation of Mystère Magazine (see 2 pictures in the middle below). It turned out to be in vain, according to Rieben mainly due to a lack of professional distribution service, as this initiative ended after publication of its 12th issue (which were published between Nov/Dec 1976 and 1978).
In December 1981 the first issue of what was to become the second series of Mystère Magazine Ellery Queen (Editions D'Iéna, Paris) was published with Luc Geslin as editor-in-chief and Marc Bourgès-Maunoury as director. George Rieben was part of the editorial team. It is the only known issue of this series...
 

Ellery Queen Mystère Magazine, Dec 1957"Mystère Magazine" released it's last issue in Oct 1976Together with Luc Geslin, Rieben tried to make a new start with Magazine du Mystère (Editions Trega, Toulouse). This time without the collaboration of  EQMM, an attempt was made, at least visually, to give the impression that this magazine was a continuation of "Mystère Magazine"In December 1981 the first issue of what was to become the second series of Mystère Magazine Ellery Queen (Editions D'Iéna, Paris) was published with Luc Geslin as editor-in-chief and Marc Bourgès-Maunoury as director. George Rieben was part of the editorial team.
Read more on other Foreign EQMM editions here...

The Zanzibar Shirt and others Stories. Since time began, authors have been told to write what they know. James Holding (1907-1997) took that advice to heart. After his retirement from advertising, Holding began writing full-time. One of his early ghostwriting gigs was continuing the Ellery Queen Jr novels, which had first appeared in the 1940s. Fred Dannay and Manfred Lee, hired Holding to jumpstart the series after a lengthy hiatus.

The Further Misadventures of Ellery Queen edited by two West 87th Irregulars Josh Pachter &‎ Dale C. Andrews. Order at Wildside Press by clicking here...

 Recommended

Visit Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine's website...


 
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