Queen's Bureau of Investigation: the Casebook

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1967-1999   ELLERY QUEEN    To list

The House of Brass (1968)

The House of Brass - Q.B.I.Why did the last survivor of a wealthy family bring together six people whom he didn't know and had never seen? Why did he decide to make these perfect strangers his heirs? And where was old Hendrik's fortune hidden? Ellery's latest adventure is a satirical murder-comedy of the turned-on sixties which combines hilarity with the deadly macabre, and, of course, the full Queen-quota of fair-and-square deduction and endless surprise.

A direct sequel to "IQ's Own Case." Not that much plot, but there's a neat double twist and EQ has to come up with the real answer. Dad ties the knot with Jessie Sherwood. Written together with Theodore Sturgeon.

Queen's Experiments in Detection (1968)

Q.E.D. - Q.B.I.For something light and piquant, we recommend No Parking, with its bewitching heroine and her three desperate suitors. For a main course you can really sink your teeth into, there's Mum Is the Word, in which the "dying message" offers the ultimate in hidden clues. And for an unforgettable piece de resistance, we have Abraham Lincoln's Clue, a classic that Anthony Boucher called "perhaps the greatest of all Queen mysteries."

EQ's short stories are hard not to like, and there are some good ones here. The Abraham Lincoln story is the best of this collection but hardly the "greatest of all EQ mysteries."

The Last Woman in his life (1970)

The Last Woman in his Life - Q.B.I.John Lovering Benedict had more than most men, most of all more women--including 3 ex-wives with little in common but their extraordinary physiques. For Ellery the question was which one of them had bashed in Benedict's skull with a hunk of iron statuary? The clues were many, but puzzling. All had been planted at the scene of the crime, but by whom, and for what purpose? And who was the last woman in John Benedict's life?

Another dying clue, another plot that seems stretched out for its length, with the final solution not quite as surprising as it should be. Too much penny-ante psychology, not enough story. Wrightsville revisited.

A Fine and Private Place (1971)

A Fine and Private Place - Q.B.I.The 9-word clue was one of 9 cryptic notes that had been sent to taunt Inspector Queen and Ellery 9 days after the murder. Nino Importuna had been obsessed with the number. He had lived by it. Now the killer who brought a trio of gory deaths to Nino's 9th-floor penthouse at No. 99 East was camouflaging his identity in a jungle of 9s. And daring Ellery to find him. The case was destined to be a dazzling contest of wits--to the 9th degree!

The last EQ novel is OK but not too much more. EQ's first solution is so patently wrong as to be worthless as a red herring, and the "right" solution is not that hard to figure out either.

The Tragedy of Errors:
      the Lost Stories of Ellery Queen (1999)

The Tragedy of Errors - Q.B.I.A lengthy and detailed outline for the final, but never published EQ novel, containing all the hallmarks of the greatest Queen stories - the dying message, the succession of false solutions before the astonishing truth is revealed, and scrupulous fairplay to the reader.  And the theme is one that Queen had been developing for years: the manipulation of events in a world going mad by someone who aspires to the power of gods.

Contains the six hitherto uncollected Ellery Queen short stories, and a section of essays, tributes, and reminisces of Ellery Queen, written by family members, friends, and some of the finest mystery writers.

The Adventure of the Murdered Moths
                             and Other Radio Mysteries (2005)

The Adventure of the Murdered Moths - Q.B.I. ...The best stories from the classic radio show featuring EQ as detective. Contains: The Last Man Club, Napoleon's Razor, The Bad Boy, The March of Death, The Haunted Cave, The Lost Child, The Black Secret, The Dying Scarecrow (1 hour version), Woman in Black, Forgotten Men, The Man Who Could Double the Size of Diamonds, The Dark Cloud, Mr. Short and Mr. Long, The Murdered Moths.

The limited collector's edition will have an additional script in a separate chapbook -- one of the mini (10-minute) scripts EQ did for the Kate Smith Hour. 

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