Ellery Queen

Master Detective

Ellery Queen was one of two brainchildren of the team of cousins, Fred Dannay and Manfred B. Lee.
Dannay and Lee entered a writing contest, envisioning a stuffed-shirt author called Ellery Queen who solved mysteries and then wrote about them. Queen relied on his keen powers of observation and deduction, being a Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson rolled into one. But just as Holmes needed his Watson -- a character with whom the average reader could identify -- the character Ellery Queen had his father, Inspector Richard Queen, who not only served in that function but also gave Ellery the access he needed to poke his nose into police business.

Dannay and Lee chose the pseudonym of Ellery Queen as their (first) writing moniker, for it was only natural -- since the character Ellery was writing mysteries -- that their mysteries should be the ones that Ellery Queen wrote. They placed first in the contest, and their first novel was accepted and published by Frederick Stokes. Stokes would go on to release over a dozen "Ellery Queen" publications.

At the beginning, "Ellery Queen" the author was marketed as a secret identity. Ellery Queen (actually one of the cousins, usually Dannay) would appear in public masked, as though he were protecting his identity. The buying public ate it up, and so the cousins did it again. By 1932 they had created "Barnaby Ross," whose existence had been foreshadowed by two comments in Queen novels. Barnaby Ross composed four novels about aging actor Drury Lane. After it was revealed that "Barnaby Ross is really Ellery Queen," the novels were reissued bearing the Queen name. Even after the cousins' identities were disclosed, their novels continued to be published under their now-famous pseudonym.

What follows is a listing of all EQ releases, hardback and paperback. They are listed here in order of release and are color coded by series:

  • "Official" releases, featuring Ellery Queen and his father, are colored red. In some cases, these include novels that were partly written by other authors.
  • Collections of short stories (which had been previously published elsewhere) are colored white.
  • Drury Lane novels, originally created under "Barnaby Ross," are colored blue.
  • Books in the Tim Corrigan Series, written between 1966 and 1968 by Talmage Powell and Richard Deming (as EQ), are colored yellow.
  • Titles in the McCall "Troubleshooter" Series, written by other authors (as EQ) between 1969 and 1972 are colored medium green.
  • All other paperback originals, (partially) ghost-written by various authors as Ellery Queen or Barnaby Ross, are displayed in light blue print. Additionally, film adapations are shown in this color.

There is one web page for each type of listing. Uncollected stories and scripts are included with short stories. There is also an additional page for peripheral things, such as comic books. The peripherals are not shown on the chronlogical list, since their exact time of writing (or degree of "officialness") may be in doubt.

Date of First Publication
The Roman Hat Mystery June, 1929
The French Powder Mystery June, 1930
The Dutch Shoe Mystery August, 1931
The Tragedy of X January, 1932
The Greek Coffin Mystery 1932
The Tragedy of Y 1932
The Egyptian Cross Mystery September, 1932
The Tragedy of Z 1933
The American Gun Mystery 1933
Drury Lane's Last Case 1933
The Siamese Twin Mystery October, 1933
The Chinese Orange Mystery April, 1934
The Adventures of Ellery Queen November 1, 1934
The Spanish Cape Mystery 1935
The Lamp of God 1935
Halfway House 1936
The Door Between 1936-7
The Devil to Pay 1937-8
The Four of Hearts August, 1938
The Dragon's Teeth August, 1939
The New Adventures of Ellery Queen November, 1939
Adventure of the Last Man Club 1940
Ellery Queen, Master Detective 1941
The Penthouse Mystery 1941
Adventure of the Murdered Millionaire 1942
Calamity Town April, 1942
The Perfect Crime 1942
The Four of Hearts Mystery (novelization) 1942
There Was an Old Woman March, 1943
The Murderer is a Fox May, 1945
The Casebook of Ellery Queen 1945
Ten Days' Wonder October, 1948
Cat of Many Tails September, 1949
Double, Double June, 1950
The Origin of Evil April, 1951
Calendar of Crime January, 1952
The King is Dead May, 1952
The Golden Summer March, 1953
The Scarlet Letters May, 1953
The Glass Village August, 1954
Q.B.I. January, 1955
Inspector Queen's Own Case 1956
The Finishing Stroke 1958
Dead Man's Tale October, 1961
Quintin Chivas (by Barnaby Ross) 1961?
Death Spins the Platter June, 1962
The Scrolls of Lysis (by Barnaby Ross) 1962
Murder With a Past February, 1963
Kill as Directed August, 1963
The Player on the Other Side September, 1963
Wife or Death September, 1963
(Who Killed) The Golden Goose February, 1964
And on the Eighth Day March, 1964
The Duke of Chaos (by Barnaby Ross) April, 1964
The Four Johns 1964
Blow Hot, Blow Cold June, 1964
International Casebook 1964
The Last Score November, 1964
Beware the Young Stranger May, 1965
The Copper Frame June, 1965
The Cree From Minatree (by Barnaby Ross) 1965
A Room to Die In Fall, 1965
Strange Kinship (by Barnaby Ross) September, 1965
The Killer Touch October, 1965
The Fourth Side of the Triangle October, 1965
Where is Bianca? 1966
Queen's Full 1966
Who Spies, Who Kills? 1966
A Study in Terror (w/Sherlock Holmes) 1966
The Devil's Cook April, 1966
Losers, Weepers July, 1966
The Madman Theory August, 1966
Why So Dead? 1966
Shoot the Scene 1966
The Passionate Queen (by Barnaby Ross) Fall, 1966
Face to Face 1967
How Goes the Murder? 1967
Which Way to Die? 1967
Q.E.D. -- Queen's Experiments in Detection 1968
Cop Out 1968
What's in the Dark? 1968
Guess Who's Coming to Kill You? 1968
The House of Brass 1968
The Last Woman in His Life 1969
The Campus Murders 1969
Kiss and Kill April, 1969
The Black Hearts Murder 1970
A Fine and Private Place 1971
The Blue Movie Murders 1972
The Tragedy of Errors and Others 1999 (1971)
The Adventure of the Murdered Moths and Other Radio Mysteries 2005

The dust jacket notes for The Last Woman in His Life describe the popularity of Ellery Queen as follows:

Frederic Dannay and Manfred B. Lee are Ellery Queen, whose total sales in various editions published throughout the world are estimated at more than 100,000,000 copies. 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 five annual Edgars (the national Mystery Writers of America Awards, similar to Hollywood's Oscars), including the Grand Master award in 1960, and both the silver and gold Gertrudes awarded by Pocket Books, Inc.

Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, which began in Fall, 1941, has been one of the most successful magazines devoted to the genre. "EQMM," as it is called, has been responsible for introducing the world to a large number of famous and soon-to-be-famous mystery authors.

For the record, Ellery Queen received his most recent Edgar nomination in 1964 for The Player on the Other Side in the "Best Novel" category. The full list of Edgars is:
Year Reason/Title Category
1946 Ellery Queen (CBS) Best Radio Drama
1948 for editing anthologies and EQMM Best Short Story
1950 for 10 years of EQMM Best Short Story
1969 40th anniv. of The Roman Hat Mystery Special

I do not know which Edgar is counted as "fifth".
Publications edited by EQ also received Edgars, as did the onetime publisher of EQMM, Lawrence Spivak. Since 1983, the MWA has also issued "Ellery Queen Awards," for outstanding writing teams and editors. The MWA was established in 1945, excluding most of Ellery's classic novels from award consideration. If you would like to learn more about the Mystery Writers of America, select this link.

The Adventures of Ellery Queen radio show ran from 1939 to 1948, and over 500 "Ellery Queen Minute Mysteries" from the mid-to-late 1960's also survive on reel to reel tape. Also read about Ellery Queen in comic books by selecting the link in this sentence.

Contents of this site © 2007, 2012 Frank Daniels