rederic Dannay was not only
popular writer and an
fluential editor, he was also a great bibliophile. In 1938, Dannay edited Challenge to
the Reader, the first of numerous Queen-edited anthologies (70),
including 101 Years' Entertainment; Great Detective Stories,
Dannay updated and expanded Haycraft's list a number of times until it reached its final
form in 1952 and became known as the Haycraft-Queen Cornerstones list (or H-Q).
This list begins with Voltaire's Zadig in 1748 and continues through the early
Under their Queen pseudonym, Dannay and Lee published a number of books and essays
relating to the history of detective/mystery fiction that began to generate interest in
collecting. Dannay's critical writings in EQMM, are partly collected
in their major critical works on the detective short story. Among those books were The
Detective Short Story, which appeared in 1942 followed by In the Queen's Parlor,
and Other Leaves from the Editors' Notebook in 1957. Their most influential work was Queen's
Quorum, A History of the Detective/Crime Story which was published in a variety of
forms until its final appearance in 1969. Dannay was the principal author of this landmark
scholarly work which provided in-depth historical and bibliographical information
regarding the most important short-story volumes by single authors in the genre. The work
of many writers was discussed following a time line from 1845 with Poe's Tales
up through 1967 when Queen gave up adding to the "lustrum." Although wide
ranging, the book centers around the best books in each era or decade, and these volumes
are now know as "Queen's Quorum." This important work gave focus and
direction to a generation of new collectors and "Queen's Quorum," like
the "H-Q List" is used as a "shopping list" by many
arly in 1945, a group of mystery writers
met at a New York watering hole to discuss forming a
professional organization. Among those present were Ellery
Kendrick, and Erle Stanley Gardner. From this small meeting grew the Mystery Writers of
America, with membership in the thousands and nine chapters nationwide. The MWA holds
regional monthly meetings and an annual meeting in New York at which the Edgar Awards are
given. They excluded most of Ellery's classic novels from award
But Ellery Queen' did receive more awards than any other 'writer' in crime fiction history, and has left an
indelible, uniquely American mark on the crime genre.
For nine years The Adventures of Ellery Queen was a weekly
favorite on the radio; and in 1950 TV Guide gave the Ellery Queen
program its national award for the best mystery show on TV. Ellery Queen
has won an unprecedented five annual Edgars (the national Mystery Writers of America
Awards, similar to Hollywood's Oscars), not including the Grand Master award in
1961, three MWA scrolls and one Raven (Edgar) and both
the silver and gold Gertrudes awarded by Pocket Books, Inc.
(in 1946 for "The New Adventures of
Ellery Queen") Mystery writers
of Japan gave him their gold and onyx Edgar Allan Poe ring at that point
only awarded to only five non-Japanese authors. In 1968 Iona College honored
Queen with its Columbia Prize in Mystery.
Grand Prix de Littérature Policière
(International Category) went to Ellery Queen for
And on the Eighth Day.
Since 1983, the MWA has also issued "Ellery Queen Awards,"
given to the person who has best exemplified the spirit of Ellery
outstanding writing teams and editors.