THE MONTREAL GAZETTE
ast April 3rd, it was exactly 40th years ago that Manfred B. Lee passed away. Although he and his cousin worked for decades on "the project Ellery Queen" it was but late that the inquiring public tried to find out exactly who did what within this extraordinary partnership. The fierce discussions between the two cousins, a supposed writers' block on Lee's part, concerning the ghostwriting of some later Queen works,... all led to the belief by some that one or the cousins seemed to have had a lesser hand in the creation of the end result. This is actually unfair to both Lee and Dannay. It seems to me that more correctly we should judge the track record of the partnership itself: Lee and Dannay worked together as a team and produced a most remarkable output of books and radio scripts,.... all under the name of Ellery Queen, a feat this site will attest to! And we know that the final Queen novel, The Tragedy of Errors, never progressed beyond outline form because of Lee's death forty years ago.
Reproduced here is a small article from the The Montreal Gazette, published on October 4. 1973, some two years after Lee's passing. It gives a viewpoint on the partnership by Christopher Rebecca Lee Tate, Manny's daughter.
"Ellery Queen" was no smoothie
GAINESVILLE. Fla. - (AP) -
Christopher Rebecca Lee, a 30-year-old university freshman, says her father,
detective story writer Ellery Queen, was "not as urbane as
his books would indicate."
Miss Lee one of eight Lee children,
said that 'my fifth grade English teacher was such an Ellery Queen
fan and had this image of my father as this gorgeous "WASP (white Anglo-Saxon
Miss Lee said, "Ellery Queen's appeal has basically been that most of his detective work was done through his brain. He wasn't a James Bond, a knock-'em-up, shoot-'em-down. He wasn't a Mickey Spillane. My father felt very strongly that there was something special about writing. He often said writing was a torture. He had this big thing for suffering, the Jewish disease."
(From The Montreal Gazette Oct 4. 1973)