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PASTICHES

Ellery Queen once described the difference between pastiche and
parody: 'A pastiche is a serious and sincere imitation in the exact manner of the original author. But writers of parodies, which are humorous or satirical take-offs, have no such reverent scruples. They usually strive for the weirdest possible distortions, and many ingenious travesties have been conceived.' In 1944 Ellery Queen edited an anthology of Holmesian pastiches and parodies entitled "The Misadventures of Sherlock Holmes". He used "this form of flattery" to pay tribute to the most famous character in mystery fiction. It is but fitting to consider those same sort of tributes that have been made to Ellery Queen
The first attempt at this was apparently was made by Queen himself. In 'The Devil to Pay' he masquerades as Hilary "Scoop" King,  newspaper reporter and in the same year (1938) Queen, the editor also provided an anthology "Challenge to the Reader" in which the identities of 24 famous sleuths are disguised in the stories in which they appeared. "The Adventure of the Hanging Acrobat" was refurnished with Hilary King, detective. However we have to agree simply replacing a name of the main character will not sufice to talk of a real pastiche.
  In listing the stories (pastiches, spoofs, tributes,...) we do have to bear in mind that our figure is not only a detective (1) but also writer (2) and editor of a magazine (3). Starting of with the detective...

In The Final Problem (1946) by Bliss Austin, a Baker Street
Irregular, one of its central characters is Christopher Morley. This tale uses Sherlock Holmes material to spoof EQMM's first Detective Short-Story Contest. The judges in that real life 1946 contest were Morley, Howard Haycraft and Ellery Queen, and Austin uses them as the detective protagonists of his story. Even Richard is included! The tale is a delightful little detective story, with a good deal of tongue in cheek humor, and a nice spoof of both Holmes and the Ellery Queen short stories.
(Mike Grost)
In February 1947 EQMM republished a story by Maurice Richardson called "The Last Detective Story in the World". This story tells of the last battle between Holmes and  Professor Moriarty who have enlisted the great detectives and criminals in fiction on their respective sides. Ellery Queen appears on Holmes' team, just long enough to be snapped at by Nero Wolfe's man-eating orchid.
Another Holmesian pastiche brought to us by Viola Brothers Shore
(EQMM, November 1948) was called  'A Case of Facsimile' It involved the solving of a crime by Shirley Holmes at the Edgar Allan Poe School with the aid of Samantha Spade, Regina Fortune, Nerissa Wolfe and Elsie Queen!
During the transitional periode in the late 40s - early 50s very few pastiches were published about anyone other than Holmes. EQ appearance continued to be basically Sherlockiana or Watsoniana. For example in "International Investigators, Inc."
(EQMM, February 1952) E.G. Ashton writes about an organization of the great fictional detectives who gather to discuss many things especially Holmes. Ellery is present and is described as 'quiet young American whose pince-nez protected pale silver eyes". Another prominent member feels that Queen " dressed more reasonable than most Americans, his manners excellent, his Duesenberg good." As Lord Peter points out, "a Lord must always be outranked by a Queen."
Another gathering of the First International Congress of Fictional Sleuths in W.Heidenfeld's "The Unpleasantness at the Stooges' Club"
(EQMM, February 1953) leaves their respective "Watsons" alone when a crime wave occurs. Nikki Porter is heard to wail "Oh, if only Ellery were here!"
R.G.G.Price's "Tec's Twilight" (EQMM, September 1953 originally published in 1951) tells the memoirs of an aging investigator who didn't use a side-kick, feeling that many of his rivals lost trade when clients met the people the associated with. This English' Tec admits he learned a lot about atmosfere from Americans such as Philo Vance and Ellery Queen, who "stand in the murder room for hours just sniffing up atmosphere."

Ellery was once even parodied as a penguin along with a host of other penguin detectives. This was the case in Stuart Palmer's article "Some of my Best Friends (are Penguins)"
(EQMM, June 1950) In it he discussed and showed of his collection illustrations from the Penguin statues and drawings. EQ is pictured "pondering first editions between precarious balancings on the high wire of logic".

Again he wasn't alone in "Murder in Pastiche Or Nine Detectives All at Sea"
by Marion Mainwaring (1954) Mallory King meets several thinly disguised fictional detectives  involved in solving a murder: Atlas Poireau (Hercule Poirot), Trajan Beare (Nero Wolfe), Spike Bludgeon (Mike Hammer), Sir John Nappleby (Sir John Appleby), Jerry Pason (Perry Mason), Lord Simon Quinsey (Lord Peter Wimsey), Miss Fan Sliver (Maud Silver) Broderick Tournier (Roderick Alleyn). 

Hardly a pastiche but surely a form of recognition albeith outside the field of mystery. In the Jerome Chodorov and Joseph Field' 1954 play "Anniversary Waltz", the leading character is subjected to a barrage of questions and responds by asking "Who are you, Ellery Queen?"   While we are on the subject of 'non-printed' tributes we can also add the doo-wop group 'The Olympics" who, in 1959 had a hit called "Private Eye" which had the lines:
'I wanna be a private eye
I'm gonna get real mean like Ellery Queen
'
Clearly written by someone who didn't read a lot of Queen novels...



Thomas Narcejac has written a book of pastiches of the great detectives called 'Usurpation d'identite' published in France in 1959. It hasn't been republished in English.

If Ellery Queen had ever been a supporting player in pastiches from the 60s onwards this wasn't the case. In the amusing "The English Village Mystery" by Arthur Porges (EQMM, December 1964) we find Mr.Celery Green solving a crime at Tottering-on-the-Brink, England. He is still in England when in the nearby community of Fretful Porcupine he made his next and last appearance In this "The Indian Diamond Mystery" (EQMM, June 1965) he is described as "brash, airy, sometimes flippant, and given to  hasty conclusions". These ares the first but not the last of pastiches who used Queen's early methode of naming mysteries.


Eve Titus is the author of twenty children's books, including those about the "Basil of Baker Street". One of those stories made it into an enjoyable Disney movie. Both in "Basil & The Lost Colony" (1964) and "Basil & The Pygmy Cats" (1971) there are several cameos by Tillary Quinn. 
 

Norma Schier wrote several stories in imitation of famous detective writers, she used anagrams for names of the sleuths and authors. She let Leyne Requel star in "Dying Message"
(EQMM, July 1966) a fine example of titular gambit where almost everybody and anything to do with EQ was reduced to anagrams.  These stories were collected in "The Anagram Detectives" (Otto Prenzler Mysterious Press, 1979)
"Elroy Quinn' Last Case" (EQMM, July 1967) is a poignant pastiche written by Dennis M.Dubin and involves an old and very infirm EQ who's called upon by Inspector Velie, Jr to solve a crime which threatens any chance for worldpeace. If the clues are guessable, they are also fun for reader of the Queen canon. An intermezzo of a different kind. Queen actually did return in a spoof, in a comic called "New Inferior 5" (Nr.7 March-April 1968) the five 'heroes' encounter "Allergy Queen" the sleuth for a criminal mastermind. Right before his great revelation Allergy is reduced to dust...

In "The Cataloging on the Wall" by David Peel (Wilson Library Bulletin, Apr 1971) contained a Challenge to the Reader and had librarian Quellery Een  find a replacement for his deceased cataloger Slinki Porter.

(continued here...)

 

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