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 2022: 17 better and 70 new covers. The latter corresponding with the red numbers in this list. Latest additions made on August 21. 2022:

 
Дьявол заплатит - cover Russian compilation, contains three Ellery Queen stories, "The Devil to Pay" (Дьявол заплатит), "The House of Brass" (Бронзовый дом), "The Last Woman in His Life" (Последняя женщина в его жизни), Publisher Canon (Kahoh), 1994.Еще один шанс - cover Russian compilation, contains Ed McBain's "Killer's Payoff" (Плата убийцы), Ellery Queen's "The Murderer is a Fox" (Загадка дигиталиса) & David Ely's "Seconds" (Еще один шанс), publisher A.C.K. Kiev, 1993.Трагедия «Y» - cover Russian compilation, contains 5 stories, Earl Derr Biggers "" (Дом без ключа), Ellery Queen's "The Tragedy of Y" (Трагедия «Y»),  Octavus Roy Cohen's "The Mystery of the Missing Wash"(Тайна исчезнувшего белья), Ellery Queen's shortstory "The Mad tea Party" (Приключения на безумном чаепитии) & F. Tennyson Jesse's "Treasure Trove"(Сокровище) Publisher Sanan (Санан), Elista, 1992.Suikeroompje R.I.P. - cover Dutch edition, (Large print) Grote Letter Bibliotheek, Grootdruk uitgeverij Eindhoven, 1979.Il Paese Del Maleficio - cover Italian edition Il Giallo Mondadori classici, July 7. 2020Uno studio in Nero - cover Italian edition, Il Giallo Mondadori Classici, May 2021L'origine del male - cover Italian edition Il Giallo Mondadori Classici, July 2018Hollywood in subbuglio - cover Italian edition Il Giallo Mondadori Classici, July. 6 2017

Past additions to the site:
April 2021 - April 2022: 284 better and 324 new covers
April 2020 - April 2021: 132 better and 33 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...
September 25. 2022 - April 18. 1999 

Production men would have been the term at the time. It is true that there were almost no women in production.
Actresses abound, but so not as many production women as opposed to production men. This was especially true in radio and early TV productions. Composers, announcers, directors, producers, writers ... . Filling in the biographies of some of these individuals is often even more difficult than it was for actors. While from actors often small or large parts of information can be found, this is almost non-existent for them. For others, fairly complete biographies exist online with little to add.

As previously announced, these were also given their own page in which profiles will also be added.

George J. ZacharyWe start with the profile of George Zachary a prolific radio and TV director producer who originated in 1939 the radio series of Ellery Queen, he would later made the transition to TV work. He was married for a while to Nikki Porter actress Marion Shockley ...

Click here to read more...

September 7. 2022

The biographies on this site offer a nice glimpse into some lives in the 20th century. It is true that these are more or less public figures, but nevertheless several important evolutions in the American media, politics and everyday life are documented from the viewpoint of the people who lived in that era.

Whenever official or unofficial biographies are published, it is always an enrichment to compare them with the concise descriptions we offer.

William Gargan -- CLICK FOR MORE -- ...The biography of William Gargan has been available for some time. He played Ellery Queen in three Columbia films released in 1942.We went through it again and the page on this courageous actor was updated.

Click here to read more...

 

Virginia Gregg -- CLICK FOR MORE -- ...Virginia Gregg played opposite Larry Dobkin in The Adventures of Ellery Queen (CBS). We had limited access to her biography Uncredited: The Life and Career of Virginia Gregg by Lona Bailey (June 30. 2022). Some details were added to her biography...

Click here to read more...


We also announce that we will set up a page where we will also compile biographies of various production people. A bit more challenging because they often lived in the shadows... Watch this space!

August 12. 2022

We're very proud and honored to announce a new (ninth!) member to the West 87th Street Irregulars!

The West 87th Street Irregulars are a band of established EQ experts and fans who collectively have committed themselves to the preservation and revival of Ellery Queen. As such, each inductee has an established interest in the works of Ellery Queen and a recognized contribution to the Queen canon. Collectively the Irregulars share the goal of making Ellery Queen once again a vibrant and recognized name in detective fiction, especially in the United States.

Each inductee is asked to (re)write something on Ellery Queen, the article will get its place here on the site and he or she is there from known as a genuine West 87th Street Irregular!

Steve Steinbock  -- CLICK FOR MORE -- ...Steve Steinbock has written articles, interviews, and mystery reviews for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, The Armchair Detective, ... The Strand, and Mystery Scene. He wrote several non-fiction articles (and one short story) for EQMM, and since 2011, he has reviewed crime fiction for EQMM's "Jury Box" column. He has translated numerous Japanese mystery stories into English (click on the picture for his article "Japanese Scholarship: Logic, Formalism, and Ellery Queen")

Click here to read more...
    

July 8. 2022

In Memoriam: Douglas Dannay, 07/3/1933 – 06/17/2022

"On June 17, 2022, Douglas Dannay died in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Born July 3, 1933, Doug was the eldest son of Frederic Dannay, who, together with his cousin Manfred B. Lee, wrote the Ellery Queen novels and stories and founded EQMM. I did not know Doug at all well, as he lived, until his retirement, in Merrick, Long Island, not in New York City where the magazine was based, and he was often unable to attend EQMM events. However, the limited contact I had with Doug left me with two strong impressions: that he was very intelligent and that he was extremely modest. ... "

Click here to read on at the EQMM blog .

I've met Douglas on April 28th 2005 at the Ellery Queen Centenary Symposium in New York. I remember being nervous as to how people, especially family members, would react to a fan from the EQ website flying all the way from Belgium for the New York City event. Accompanied by a new-found friend, Dale C. AndrewsWest 87th Irregular (who I previously knew only through email correspondence), I made my way to the symposium comprised of Ellery Queen devotees...

I brought along my copy of "The Tragedy of Errors," the centennial collection by Ellery Queen published by Crippen & Landru, hoping to collect some autographs from the authors of the various essays contained in the anthology. One of the first to graciously agree to sign the book was Douglas. He immediately put me at ease with his kind words. When he signed my copy he wrote "Thank you for coming all that distance & for keeping the memory alive - Douglas Dannay".

It was only later that I found out Douglas actually was a gifted teacher. No surprise to me, he was the sort of teacher we all remember as making a difference in our lives.

The signed EQ book has a prominent place in my book case. After all those years it still has a permanent bookmarker marking the page of Douglas’s inscription.

My sincere condolences to family and friends.
                 


Above: Douglas Dannay (L) and Ted Hertel (R) signing copies of Ellery Queen's "The Tragedy of Errors"
Below: The signed EQ book has a prominent place in my book case. After all those years it still holds a "permanent" bookmarker to find the page.
 
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
June 26. 2022 

Throughout the years fans of the Ellery Queen novels and short stories have had a recurring mystery to ponder: What, exactly, did Ellery Queen look like? Frederic Dannay and Manfred Lee provided only the skimpiest of clues. In the early novels we knew that Ellery wore pince nez glasses, and he has always been described as tall and slender with silver grey eyes. But that was about it. For many fans of the 1975 NBC series Ellery may always be Jim Hutton, but way back, at the very beginning, there was a time when Ellery Queen -- the author(s) -- were also imagined as Ellery Queen, the detective.

Of course, there was one problem. Or maybe we should say “two.” How do you get one detective from two authors? Perhaps not quite as hard as it may sound.

The two cousins not only worked together but at early on they also looked very similar. Melding the two of them into one character presented an opportunity that the magazine Popular Photography couldn't pass up. The cousins had already used relied on their physical resemblance in order to take turns giving lectures (always masked) as "Ellery Queen".

Popular Photography decided to take on the task of actually combining the two authors into one detective. This would have been pretty easy in the present day with Photoshop and other editing programs. But all the magazine had to work with, as the story, linked below, attests, was good old fashioned craftsmanship...

Click here to read more...

May 6. 2022 

The Spanish Cape Mystery - cover Otto Penzler presents American Mystery Classics, November 2022A new edition to Otto Penzler presents series of American Mystery Classics comes out in November 2022: The Spanish Cape Mystery.

A house party turns a millionaire’s hacienda hideaway into a crime scene in this classic whodunnit from an Edgar Award–winning Grand Master.

The Godfrey family is vacationing among the picturesque rocky cliffs of the North Atlantic seaboard, expecting peace, quiet, and, perhaps, a bit of golf or tennis. But one dusky evening in an isolated spot on the grounds of Spanish Cape, Rosa and her uncle David get into an argument about her secretive romance with one of their guests, the roguish John Marco, a handsome cad with a yellow roadster and no visible source of income. That’s when a towering one-eyed man with a .38 revolver emerges from the twilight.

When renowned sleuth Ellery Queen arrives the next day from New York City, looking forward to a summer getaway on the coast, he realizes his trip will be no walk on the beach. Rescuing Rosa, he discovers her captor mistook David for John and struck the former down instead. But Ellery has more work to do when Rosa’s shady sweetheart is found stone dead and stark naked . . . aside from a black fedora and a theatrical-looking opera cloak. There are plenty of guests and members of the household who might have wanted John dead, but who did it—and what in the world happened to the victim’s clothes?

In this iconic series inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and praised by none other than Agatha Christie, carefully planted clues, logical deduction, and an atmospheric 1930s setting combine for an irresistibly enjoyable read for anyone who loves a murderous puzzle.

Read more on the book here...

Margaret Lindsay -- CLICK FOR MORE -- ...A pigtailed tomboy climbing pear trees... going to England to master upper-class speech patterns and ending up in the supposedly all-English cast of the 1933 Oscar-winning Cavalcade ... a fairly normal start to a wonderful career. She played Nikki Porter opposite two Ellery Queens: Ralph Bellamy and William Gargan.

Margaret was relatively open about her lesbian sexuality within the Hollywood community. Although she was romantically linked to several male stars her close companion was actress Mary McCarty.

Actresses who had romantic involvements with both men and women were advised to continue to pursue relationships with men due to the old adage "You just haven't met the right man." This was a common angle in therapy back in the 1940s and 50s' (also used with gay male actors). Essentially the theory was that a lesbian could purge herself of same-sex desire by having sex with men (and vice versa for gay males). Needless to say, it did not go well for most. Margaret Lindsay thought it quackery and lived her live accordingly.

It's even suggested that, despite her exceptional beauty, Margaret Lindsay could not get parts in big-time movies because she refused "to play the game".

If ever an actress' career deserved its own website...this is the one!
To read all about Margaret Lindsay click here ...        
 
Marion Shockley -- CLICK FOR MORE -- ...Marion, on the other hand, didn't have a "usual" start to her career. She claimed to be the only ingenue in Hollywood's history to walk into a movie studio with a pass on a sight-seeing tour and come out with a signed contract. After that she left the East Coast and the film business, (claiming she didn't like it) for theater and radio on the West Coast. Described as an almost immediate success on the radio, she appeared as Nikki Porter in the first Ellery Queen radio series.
Marion never had children of her own but ended up raising three kids.
To read all about Marion Shockley click here ...            
April 14. 2022

Richard Hart -- CLICK FOR MORE -- ...Chances are that you have never heard of an actor who both played Ellery Queen and, in his youth, actually saw Adolf Hitler at work in Munich. And, this actor’s career was extremely short: he died of a heart attack during a broadcast rehearsal at the age of 36. The actor had a handful of theater appearances and as many films to his credit. As far as TV was concerned, he had only just gotten off to what might have been a good start when disaster struck. Still, his biography is worth reading and full of interesting details. Many we have just added, and they enrich the understanding of the actor's life in his era. Richard Hart (the actor whom we have been talking about) also had a relationship with actress Felicia Montealegre at the end of his life. She later married Leonard Bernstein, and thus will likely earn a spot in the yet-to-be-released Netflix biopic about Bernstein’s life.

               To read all about Richard Hart click here ...

Hugh Marlowe -- CLICK FOR MORE -- ...Many of these details we have collected on this site come from newspaper clippings found in archives over the years. When these disparate facts are put together it is like solving a puzzle -- we end up with more insight into the careers of the actors in question. It is frustrating that some blogs or "reputable" sites set forth their information without any identification of the original source, this will not keep us from adding new details that we find. (And whenever we can, we attribute the original source of our information.) So soon you will find out more about who the fourth (actually his first) wife of Hugh Marlowe was.... Check it out. Up until now all sites list only three wives. Hugh, of course, was the actor who early on gave voice and form to Ellery Queen on both radio and TV.

               To read all about Hugh Marlowe click here ...

March 28. 2022

Every once in a while we subject this website to a little maintenance. This was the case over the past two months.

All the detail pages for the books and films were fine tuned a bit. The content was, where possible, re-ordered to show reviews in chronological order from the time of first appearance. In this way, the reader can see the initial impact each work had on the public. Hopefully this approach will prove less biased in that each review can stand on its own, without being influenced by later critiques or the by the ravages of time. Some Ellery Queen works certainly show their age and in some respects could be viewed as dated. By rearranging critiques and reviews chronologically our hope is that these commentaries can be read with more of an appreciation of the times that they, as well as the work at issue, were written.

So all the detail pages for each work have been adjusted. And at the same time, the covers of the first editions have been re-examined in detail and the differences between first editions and later editions (same covers by other publishers) have been noted.

Also, the manner in which the books are divided into sections has been changed. All of the Dannay/Lee works are now in the full 'opus', and are separated from the paperback originals. The latter have also been organized somewhat more according to publisher and year.

Finally, I would also like to mention that navigating between the different detail pages has been made easier with a button (revolver to the right) and a button (revolver to the left) for toggling to the next or to the previous detail page.

The "Q.B.I." section has all the works published under the Ellery Queen name. Click here to read more ...

The "Kill as Directed" section contains all the other media (radio, TV, film, comics, games,...). The pages on the movies start on page 5 of that section. Click here to read more ...

Enjoy!"

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...
 
March 6. 2022

The American Gun Mystery - hardcover Thorndike Large Print edition, February 23. 2022Thorndike Press (From Gale, a Cengage Company) publishes large print editions.  Earlier they published two other Ellery Queen works. With The Dutch Shoe Mystery (December 2020) and The Chinese Orange Mystery  (January 2019), they provided a reader-friendly format readers of all ages could enjoy. Both titles had the same covers we know from the Otto Penzler's series American Mystery Classics. Last February they again came up with Queen title only this time with it's own distinctive hardcover: The American Gun Mystery!

"When a circus rodeo actor is shot dead in the midst of his performance, it seems obvious that someone would have seen the perpetrator - or at least recovered the gun. When the investigation fails to turn up any evidence, the net of suspicion widens across the troupe of performers and the circus staff. Unluckily for the murderer, Ellery Queen is among the thousands that witnessed the crime, and he won't be satisfied until he discovers the truth. By the time he uncovers the necessary clues, Queen will expose both the killer and the hiding place of the weapon - the titular American Gun that fired the fatal bullet."

Buy it here. Click on the cover to read more on that book...

February 20. 2022

Something for the trivia section or perhaps even the pastiche section this next unusual contribution. Frank Stewart contributed the following Ellery Queen problem in the daily bridge section of many a newspaper in 2004:

Ellery Queen surveyed the lifeless body of West, sprawled under the table where he's played in a high-stakes game. He'd been conked with a pair of fire tongs.
"We're holding the other three birds," Inspector Queen said.
"North's prints are on the murder weapon, but he won't confess. He says he'd stoked the fire."

"What happened on their last deal, Dad?" Ellery asked.
"According to North," said the Inspector, "South played at five clubs. West led the ace and another heart, and South ruffed, forced out the ace of trumps and took six trumps, four diamonds and a spade. What does it matter?"

"I think if you put the heat on East, he'll confess," said Ellery.
"West defeats the contract with a diamond shift at Trick Two. When East takes the ace of trumps, he leads a second diamond, and South can't use the diamonds and loses a spade."

"I did it," howled East. "My partner wouldn't kill the dummy so I killed him."
"Take him away, Velie," sighed the Inspector.

I don't play bridge. So let this be a challenge to our readers. How well is this put together? Are there references in the solution that, at first glance, are not apparent? Click if you think you can help out...!You can reach me by clicking on "Uncle Sam"...

If you want to read more on Ellery Queen pastiches and tributes click here ...
January 13. 2022

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 AndrewsWest 87th Irregular 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 ...
 

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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