A wonderful play on the MW
theme was the following part of the tetralogy. A
Fine And Private Place, is a quotation from Andrew Marvell,with an
Grave is a Fine And Private Place...". Too which George Whalley, with a W!, two centuries
later, added "...the womb also". I remind you that the novel tells the story of criminal plan conceived during the first amorous
rendezvous between P. Ennis and Virgin, on December 9. 1966, that came to completion 9 months later on
September 9. 1967. The context of the original citation relates to the futility of virginity, which when left to
can profit from an honest penis:
Thy beauty shall no more be found;
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song: then worms shall try
That long-preserved virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust.
The grave's a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.
From Andrew Marvell's To His Coy
In my preceding column I pronounced the plots of
the tetralogy to be feeble when seen in comparison to the wonderful recurrences of the more
successful Queens. But
re-reading the four novels I am more indulgent,
since the whole of the works represent an
extraordinary coherence, where the irregular details all find a meaning in their
proper immediate context.
As an example, the Wednesdays of the murders in Women, that do not correspond to the years in Triangle and Face, are Wednesday, with a W, day of Odin.
remark: Odin AKA Wodan
The turning point for identical situations in Woman and Place,
is a Monday, with a
M, the day of the moon.
And the murders of the men also took place on the
same day, a Sunday. Since the autopsy report showed Nino dead after midnight
and not at 9:09 Saturday evening,
he died on Sunday, the
day of the sun, or the Lord (according to what country you live in).
Furthermore multiple echoes from inside the tetralogy, or even the last Queen period,
leave the suspicion of a connection to earlier periods. The two first
novels of '63 en '64 are
already linked, suggesting an even more dazzling complexity. I'll give you but one example,
which I have known for some time but still cannot interpret.
In Face, on "a mid February Sunday"
the weapon is discovered in a hatbox, which leads to the immediate arrest and subsequent
trial of Lorette.
Knowing that December 30 was a Wednesday, it's easy to establish that this Sunday was February 14. How better to describe this day than mid-February?
February 14 is Valentine's Day, and this cannot leave a passionate Queen
addict indifferent, since the Queen "main course" Calamity Town
(1942) is given metre by holidays. On New Year's Eve 1941 a woman is poisoned, in the place of Nora so it seems. On Valentine's Day they discover in a hatbox several
clues which lead to the immediate arrest and trial of the suspect,
the man of Nora, who
die on Easter while giving birth.
I've already noted that the outline of the first
Wrightsville investigation is exactly copied in the third,
Ten Day's Wonder, with the inversion of sex: X take revenge on his unfaithful spouse Y by
murdering the rival in
such a way that this murder will be seen as a failed attempt from Y against X...
I now recognize these to be a foreshadowing of the
inversions of sexes in the tetralogy.
We now need to reference Queenian numerology, opening even more unfathomable depths.
Place, Ellery notes that Nino, baptized Tullio, has chosen this new
Christian name for it's resemblance
and because the numerology of the name,
according to the Book of Numbers of Cheiro
N+I+N+O = 5+1+5+7 = 18, which reduces to 9.
From my own examination of the Book of Numbers, I've
learned that John
Lennon also was Cheiro adept, and that he shared with Nino a nine mania (JOHN = 1+7+5+5 = 18...), to the point that nothing was decided by him without first performing many numerical
calculations. Cheiro was born William John Warner, in 1866
(also the year the Ku-Klux-Klan
was founded, one of the books Nino turned over to obtain 9981), and died aged 69 years, just as Nino
If Nino couldn't have listened to The Fab Four's White Album
of '68 including Revolution 9,
inspired by Lennon's beliefs, then Dannay could have done so many
times, when he had
enough of If 6 was 9.
According to Cheiro's system, MWMW = 4+6+4+6 = 20, the number I've already interpreted as Dannay's signature.
Nino's murder in September is preceded by that
of his brother Julio in May, after which a button marked with the initials MI
was found. This seemed to accuse the other brother, Marco. But,
according to Cheiro, MI
is also a 4+1 motive. Cheiro used numbers derived from corresponding Hebraistic
letters, MI or
mem-yod, meaning in
Hebrew the pronoun "who ?". The principal red herring for the murder of the brothers Importuna is the mysterious ME, or 4+5 (as
DN the initials for Daniel Nathan), or mem-he
(ME), meaning in
Hebrew the pronoun "what?".
Mi and Me, "who?" and
"what?", forming an essential couple masculin-feminin in Jewish
mysticism. Me has an alibi for the murder of Nino, he was in Israél...
investigating the Julio murder found that the button-with-the-initials-of-the-murderer
was out of fashion since Conan
Doyle. Seemingly oblivious to the fact that Ellery was caught into a trap set by 'The Teacher'. 'The Teacher' had left one of his buttons, marked
with a N, at the crime scene in Quenan. The N being a Holy letter for the
for its value of 50 (relating
the belief of the Essenians
with regards to the letter
Editorial remark: The Essenes or Essenians
are members of a small Jewish religious order, originating in the 2nd
century B.C. 7 was believed to be the perfect number and 9 rules all life
and electrical energy
significance of the number nine).
In the beginning of 2000 I
wrote a booklet Quelle Queenerie La Vie, of which a copy can be found at the Bilipo
des Littératures Policiéres)
in Paris. Since I can't
access more information today, which could confirm my choices,
I refrain from commenting on the three false "real Queens" of 1966-1968-1969 (A
Study in Terror, The House of Brass and Cop Out),
since I don't recognize the
hand of Dannay in them.
Cop out apparently was written by Lee.
I've seen a Queenian structure in this hard-boiled
novel (a gangster story in the style of Burnett) which takes place in one week
and 7 chapters, and I
can remark that the initials of it's hero Wes Malone
Lee must have known the depths of the complexity
his cousin seemed to enjoy, and perhaps spoofed them with a WM in a novel that had nothing intellectual.
Above right: The German edition explicitly states
Cop Out to be the celebration of 40 years of Ellery Queen
detectives ((As did the original publication).
If in 2000 I hadn't
discovered the quaternity that I am aware of today, with the symmetrical woman-man themes. I did remark then as to common themes in the three first parts, and found all the numerical similarities, such as the 3-9 between the murders of John
in Woman and Nino in Place.
I concluded the booklet with a remarkable
discovery - the relation
that unified the 4 titles,
the 77 letters
in the titles of the original version. 77 is also the numerical value of ELLERY according to the
"normal" alphabet, (from A=1 until Z=26).
The novels have structures closely related to each theme, in, respectively,
4-4-3-9 parts, or in total 20 parts. '20' is associated to the birth of Dannay (and to MWMW according to Cheiro).
One particular novel Face, has it's parts subdivided into 46 numbered sections. If we take these subdivisions into account, the tetralogy splits up in 4-46-3-9 sections, giving a
grand total of 62. In our normal alphabet where 77 = ELLERY (and 77 = the total of the
letters in the titles), QUEEN also results in 17+21+5+5+14 = 62 (and 62 = the total of
sections in the 4 novels).
Footnote 29/10 : When re-working all considerations of this
piece in my head,
something has struck me as not being a coincidence :
Fine And Private Place, a delirium of nines, was originally published in 1971, a multiple of 9;
- It's the 9th "real Queen" of the final Queen period, which had produced a hard cover edition each year from 1963 until 1971;
- Dannay and Lee, like Ellery
himself, were born in 1905, celebrated in 1971 their 66th Birthday, which Nino would have reversed into 99.
Perhaps there could have been a real complicity
between the cousins for this last period. Perhaps what I call the false "real Queen" could have been necessary substitutes demarcating the tetralogy which began in
1965, the 60th Birthday of Dannay and Lee.
Lee would have had the more immediate privilege to
write the title marking the 40th Birthday since Queen began, in 1929, and the collaboration with Dannay
was signed by the initials of the new heroes, WM in 1969.
If one suspects that the tetralogy was written
with the intention, from the start, to let them end in a deluge of nines in 1971, it is no longer absurd to calculate the values for each
of the 4 titles according to Cheiro, being :
The Fourth Side of the Triangle = 112
Face to Face
The Last Woman in his Life
A Fine and Private Place = 77
Which can be divided in
112+ 45 = 157 and
80 + 77 = 157 for each MW part... This is curious since 314 brings to mind the circle,
the symbol of totality,
already present in Ellery's 4th investigation from
1932, The Greek Coffin Mystery, partially
focusing on coming and goings in Room 314 of the Benedict Hotel.
We better leave it at that.
Footnote 29/10 evening: I noticed I already talked about the WM palindrome
ambigram in 69 in my piece dated 5/10 :
The name Newman, for me, is associated with the
palindrome logo, which
reads identically when turned 180 degrees.
New Man, designed by
Raymond Loewy in '69 (again
a palindrome), then
struck me profoundly at the time.