L. Breen best stories are loving recreations of Van Dine and Ellery
Queen. Breen is remarkably good at conveying the "feel" of
these authors - although it is a parody, "The Lithuanian Eraser
Mystery" (EQMM March 1969 and EQ's Eyes of Mystery,
1971) recaptures all of the excitement of reading the stories
themselves. During the theater season of 1968 E. Larry Cune returns to
New York's Greek Theater, scene of the prior triumph when he solved the
murder of the asthmatic Mr.Anagopolous -- a case known as "The Greek
Coughin' Mystery" E.Larry's companion is Nora Redcap, and we are also
introduced to Inspector Cune and Sergeant Healey.
Breen did this once over in "C.I.A. Cune's Investigatory Archives. PLAGARISM DEPARTEMENT: The Idea Man" (The Queen Canon Bibliophile Volume 1 Nr.4 1969) and twice in EQMM "The Swedish Boot Mystery"(EQMM November 1973) and "The Adventure of the Disorientated Detective" (EQMM September 1976) all with variations on the 'dying message'.
"Open Letter to Survivors" by Francis M.Nevins (EQMM, N°342, May 1972) starts off with a line from "Ten Days' Wonder" (Chapter 10) : "... There was the case of Adelina Monquieux, his remarkable solution of which cannot be revealed before 1972 by agreement with that curious lady's executors..." Nevins takes it from here in this 1972 story about a unnamed "big whodunit writer who's cleaned up umpteen cases for the New York force" who came to Adelina Monquieux's home. Adelina's will stipulates that her three identical looking sons Xavier, Yves & Zachary will get half a million dollars plus the income from another half a million in a trust. Her niece Marie get a few hundred thousands. The remaining twenty millions will go to charity and of course Adelina gets murdered! The name of the sleuth is never mentioned but is obvious.
Nils Hardin publisher and editor of the fanzine
"Xenophile" published a special Ellery Queen-edition in
June 1975. In it he tried his hand at a mystery story "The Ghana
Word Mystery" by L.Ray Quaine, sadly due to some printing
problem, aside from the title and two unreadable lines,
two blank pages appeared...
Marty Pasko wrote the script for a 12 page Batman-comic story called "A Clue Before Dying" (Detective Comics N°. 459 - May 1976) Batman tries to find the man who killed mystery writer Elliot Quinn, and who may be the same man who killed an architect in Quinn's home years ago. Not only an homage to Queen but in the story also "a" Lt. Dannay appeared!
Again we sidestep into the realm of
pop music. A little
more known than our previous examples is the 1977 Tavares hit single Whodunit
written by K.St.Louis and F.Perren:
She went dancin' in the dark, somebody stole her heart
Ellery Queen if you're so keen
Won't you help me find my sweet thing (Yeah, yeah)
What would happen if
Maigret, Ellery Queen
and Hercule Poirot met in Tokyo?
Their rich host certainly seems to know. Solely for his
pleasure to see his favorite detectives at work. One other old Japanese
detective is present: Kogoro Akechi, the hero in
the books of Edogawa Rampo.
When researching his 1981 'The Great Detectives' the late Julian Symons not only had the privilege of meeting Fred in Larchmont. He was able to put forward an interesting theory that there were in fact two Ellery's -- the earlier one with the pince-nez and the later one post "Halfway House" He even constructed a theory that the earlier Ellery was, in fact, Ellery's younger brother "Dan". Fred thought the theory was 'inventive' but stated that Julian underestimated the way people change and even went as far as saying the theory was unconvincing. Julian included a pastiche 'Dan and the Fair Sabrina' a story about a missing statuette called 'Sabrina'.
t's September 1982 when we see "The Adventure of the Logical Successor" by J.Randolph Cox appear in Volume 32, Number 3 of "The Baker Street Journal - An Irregular Quarterly of Sherlockiana". This edition of NY Baker Street Irregulars has Ellery Queen, in 1919 whilst studying at Harvard, visiting 'the Great Detective'. "On Opening the door I saw a young man dressed in tweeds and carrying a stout walking-stick. He was fully six feet in height, spare and square shouldered, and not unathletic. His eyes were those of a thinker, silver-grey in color. The one aspect of attire which seemed out of place was the pair of pince-nez eyeglasses, the lenses of which he was engaged in polishing. They were an incongruity on such an athletic figure. ...". It has Ellery stating: "... I've read your accounts of Mr. Holmes's cases since I was a boy. My aunt brought me a copy of your Adventures of Sherlock Holmes when I was sick" and "In fact, it was probably that book that made me want to become a writer." Which of course point more in Dannay's direction than Ellery as a whole. It isn't a mystery story but reveals some of Sherlock's thoughts on Ellery Queen's future ("...both of his chose careers).
Truly a pity that some of these stories are unobtainable... Jon Breen describes 'The Persian Fez Mystery or "The Tragedy of Q" by Joe R. Christopher (1983) as "one of the cleverest send-ups of the Queen style. Found in 30 copy(!) chapbook "Queen's Books Investigated" or "Queen is in the Accounting House" it reveals that Elroy Queep "..only in his novels solved the cases before the police, in real life his suggestions were always wrong..."
The admiration for the Ellery Queen works in Japan is unsurpassed. No small wonder several examples are found in this section. In Yuki Misshitsu Snow Locked Room, (1989) by Rintaro Norizuki, police superintendant Norizuki Sadao is invited by, as it turns out, a female blackmailer to her guesthouse in the middle of winter. She's found hanged in a separate building on the premises. Local police treat it as an apparent suicide since the snow is trackless and the only key is inside the building itself. Convinced of foul play Sadao calls in the help of his son Rintarou Norizuki (same name as author!). There also a Norizuki volume called The Adventures of Norizuki Rintarou.... More an homage than pastiche, but close enough. (Nigel Holmes, Snow Locked Room) As is the fact with Arisugawa Arisu (or Alice) since he doesn't actually includes Ellery in his stories but his work does include heroes with the same name as the writer and several EQ elements e.g. 'dying messages', 'challenge to the reader',... But his hero(ine) Arisugawa is more the narrator and also plays the Watson role. His books have titles clearly referring to the Queen opus. His first novel was called Moonlight Game, The Tragedy of Y '88, (1989) and the short stories with 'his' detective have Nation+ titles e.g. The Russian Tea Puzzle (1994). (Nigel Holmes, Death in Nara by the Sea) The Swedish Museum Mystery (1995), The Brazilian Butterfly Mystery (1996), The English Garden Mystery (1997), The Persian Cat Mystery (1999), The Swiss Watch Mystery (2004) The Morocco Crystal Mystery (2006) (Wikipedia)
The 70th anniversary edition of EQMM had two pastiches . Edward D.Hoch's "The Circle of Ink"(EQMM, September 1999) placed Ellery and his married father (Jesse Sherwood) in a University and Jon L.Breen's "The Gilbert and Sullivan Clue" lets Ellery deal with Y2K. Edward Hoch even got Ellery to revisit Wrightsville in "The Wrightsville Carnival" (EQMM September/October 2005). Whilst in the same issue Josh Pachter and Jon.L.Breen wrote "The German Cologne Mystery" subtitled an Ellery Queen parody it had Inspector Wretched Breen brake down the unlocked door of the fast-declining Hotel Madrid's room 521. In response to a phone call from his son, celebrated mystery writer and accomplished amateur detective Celery Breen.
Japanese Kazuo Miyamoto made his writing debut using the pen name Kaoru Kitamura. He is considered a pioneer of the "everyday mystery". Initially, because the unnamed first-person protagonist of his early works was a female college student, and the name Kaoru is gender ambiguous, it was widely speculated that Kitamura was female. This speculation persisted until he revealed his identity upon accepting the Mystery Writers of Japan Award in 1991. In itself a tribute to EQ. He didn't leave it at that... in 2005 he published a full fledged pastiche called "The Japanese Nickel Mystery". Ellery Queen visits Japan at the invitation of a publisher and mystery writer, and gets sidetracked by infant killing incidents in Tokyo. The story includes a man who could change a thousand-yen bill into twenty coins of fifty yen and has our detective pointing out a relationship with a previous case.