Queen's Bureau of Investigation: the Casebook

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1940-1949   ELLERY QUEEN    To list

These are the years where Ellery Queen went Hollywood! The great detective is confronted with romance just because the critics said he needed that little bit of spice. It's fair to admit that Nikki Porter brought some charm to the series. And it's fair to say that the 'Hollywood novels' made a pleasant read, but nothing more. Tinseltown didn't treat Dannay and Lee very well. They felt their talent was wasted on small pictures. Burdened by the lack of success they let their feelings get through in the novels. Without those they could have been better books. Years later in 1950, EQ returned to Hollywood for a third novel, The Origin of Evil.  It was a common practice to revamp moviescripts into novelizations which were commercialized in the slipstream of the movies. So indeed a few scripts of the Columbia B-films were published. Neither Dannay nor Lee did any work on them. But they were adaptations of the movies or radioplots in which they did have a hand. So they are included here but are not considered 'pur sang'.

T_s_letter.gif (993 bytes)he New Adventures of Ellery Queen (1940)

The Lamp of God - Q.B.I.The first thing to vanish is a worthless doorstop. Then, in the twinkling if an eye, goes its rich and elderly owner. And, for the grand finale, both reappear--each as dead as the other. Then the piece de resistance. This time it's an entire house, a real house, a solid house which Ellery had been in only the day before...vanished from the face of the earth. And in its place, one of the most incredible conundrums ever to face the master crime solver.

The vanishing house bit seems spectacular, but is easily thought through, and not entirely logical as done here. Several Hollywood stories keep EQ romancing Paula Paris from "The Four of Hearts."

Ellery Queen Master Detective
                 aka   Vanishing Corpse (1941)

Ellery Queen Master Detective - Q.B.I.Halfway across the room, Nikki stopped abruptly. From behind the desk portruded a leg. Then she saw it all - the hand, the blood. The police believed Nikki Porter had murdered John Braun, but Ellery set out to prove that she was innocent. Working alone, he matched his wits against a brilliantly clever criminal who twice stole the body of the murdered man from under the very nose of the police.

Loosely based on 'The Door Between', later re-issued as 'the Vanishing Corpse'. An Ellery Queen story but no real Queen, it featured the character of Nikki Porter.

The Penthouse Mystery (1941)

The Penthouse Mystery - Q.B.I.The body in the trunk, the vanishing jade necklace, the ventriloquist,the magician & the cardsharp. A fast-paced puzzler. Sheila Cobb turned to Ellery Queen in desperation when her father disappeared. And within half an hour, Ellery found Gordon Cobb... but the solution didn't get him very far. For Gordon Cobb was dead, his body concealed in his own wardrobe trunk in a luxurious penthouse.

Again an Ellery Queen story but no real Queen recycled from a B-movie which was based on a radioplot The Three (Four) Scratches (12-17-39) by the Queens.

The Adventure of the Murdered Millionaire (1941)

The Murdered Millionaire - Q.B.I.
Nobody had any reason to want Peter Jordan dead. Yet the ailing millionaire sent Ellery a desperate call for help...and Ellery and Nikki found him murdered! No motive... no clues... For once Ellery Queen was bogged down- until he found a very important wad of chewing gum!

Another non-Queen story with Ellery 'sleuthing' around. Based on a radioplay by EQ. Published in 1942;  "Better Little Book" (1472) Published by "Pyramid books" together with 'The Last Man Club'

The Last Man Club (1941)

The Last Man Club - Q.B.I.
$ 100 000,payable to the final survivor of the strange Last Man Club. It was a wonder they didn't start killing each other off..and then they did. Plunging Ellery Queen and Nikki Porter
into a challenging chase after an invulnerable killer!

Again based on a radioplay by Ellery Queen. But aside the leading role no real Queen.  First appeared as "Better Little Books" (1406) in 1941. Published by "Pyramid books" together with 'The Adventure of the Murdered Millionaire'

The Perfect Crime (1942)

The Perfect Crime - Q.B.I.With $250,000--of somebody else's money--in his pocket, Ellery had the time of his life buying in the famous Garten book collection as it was auctioned off. But the fun didn't last long, for before evening John Mathews, who had been responsible for Garten's ruin, was found murdered. And neither the book collector, nor the dead man's nephew, Walter, who was engaged to Garten's daughter, had any kink of an alibi

Non-Queen based on the movie 'Ellery Queen and the Perfect Crime' so again the plot of  'the Devil to Pay' was used. Nikki Porter reappeared. Also appeared as "Better Little Books" in 1942.

 

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