17 February 2013

The Reappearance of Ellery Queen

by Leigh Lundin

Today we bring you announcements. Two fine writers are joining SleuthSayers: Terence Faherty and Brian Thornton. You'll be learning more about them in the coming weeks, but they are taking center stage as Deborah Elliott-Upton and David Dean take sabbaticals.

David has asked for time off to write another novel. If his first is a clue, it's going to be terrific. As you probably know, David stepped down as a Jersey Shore police chief to join our fabulously highly paid staff of authors. We've all benefitted from his experience and his kind and gentle professional manner.

Deborah has been with John, Rob, and me since the beginning, the early years of Criminal Brief. She's finally taking time off for classes, but rumor has it she's been seen around town driving a fancy sports car. We've enjoyed the lessons she's shared with us as a teacher, as a writer, and as a friend. We're going to miss Deborah and David, but expect them to return from time to time.

Ellery Queen

I've always preferred fair play mysteries. To me, all mysteries should be fair play. This brings me to Emma Pulitzer of Open Road IntegratedMedia who sent me a gracious note asking SleuthSayers to mention they are republishing Ellery Queen novels in eBook form. Says Emma:
According to Otto Penzler of the Mysterious Press, “Ellery Queen clearly is, after Edgar Allen Poe, the most important American in mystery fiction.”

The master of the “fair play” mystery, Ellery Queen’s classic whodunits, starring the mystery author/sleuth of the same name, made the character the most famous fictional detective of the 1930s and 1940s.

Written by two Brooklyn-born cousins, Frederic Dannay and Manfred Bennington Lee, the stories were an instant hit and adapted into radio, television, film, comics, and games.

Open Road Media and MysteriousPress.com are pleased to announce the release of twelve of these important titles, including The Chinese Orange Mystery (1934), The American Gun Mystery (1933), and The Adventures of Ellery Queen (1940).

We have created an original mini-documentary about the crime-writing duo, featuring Dannay and Lee’s sons and Otto Penzler. The video can be viewed here and on YouTube. We hope you enjoy it!

Ellery Queen is the pen name of two cousins, Frederic Dannay and Manfred Lee, as well as the name of their famous fictional detective. Legendary editor Otto Penzler of Mysterious Press believes, "After Poe, I think it's true that Ellery Queen was the most significant and important writer of mystery fiction in America." In this video, Penzler and the authors' sons, Richard Dannay and Rand Lee, speak about the lasting influence of the Ellery Queen "fair play" mysteries.
Ellery Queen novels republished thus far include:
  • The Chinese Orange Mystery
  • The American Gun Mystery
  • The Dutch Shoe Mystery
  • The Egyptian Cross Mystery
  • The Siamese Twin Mystery
  • The French Power Mystery
  • The Greek Coffin Mystery
  • The Spanish Cape Mystery
  • Cat of Many Tails
  • Ten Days’ Wonder
  • And on the Eighth Day
  • The Adventures of Ellery Queen
Bear in mind one of the advantage of digital books is that most are searchable. If you're preparing an article, dissertation or term paper on the subject, these eBooks are the way to go.


I like Ellery Queen but my friend, colleague, and Dannay/Lee expert Dale Andrews loves Ellery Queen. If you spot him whilst visiting the eBookstore, I recommend clearing a path. Happy reading!


  1. Best of luck to David with his new novel and to Deborah with her classes. I hope they will make return appearances soon.
    Welcome to Terence and Brian!

  2. As I read this my heart was warmed by the remembrance of so many American crime writers who have given me and millions of colleagues so much pleasure for so many years! I hope the current stage of writers will do the same! Thelma Straw in Manhattan

  3. Kurt Sercu's website "Ellery Queen -- A Website of Deduction" added a short article yesterday on the new Queen re-issues. It's available at http://queen.spaceports.com/New.html

    I think that ebooks work very nicely for fair play whodunnits. The search feature, which Leigh references, allows the reader to search back to where a name or phrase was first used in the volume -- a valuable tool in keeping track of clues. Also helpful is the ability to leave bookmarks and notations at crucial points in the story.

  4. Sorry to hear that David and Deborah won't be joining us as regularly, but I'm happy that their reasons are both positive. Can't wait to read David's next novel, and I wish Deborah the success I'm sure she'll have in her classes! BTW, Leigh, a lady needs a sporty car to get her to and from classes. Keep in mind, David, that a sports car is also good transportation for book signings.

  5. I'll add my best wishes to old friend Deborah and (fairly) recent friend David. Good luck to you both in all your endeavors, writing and otherwise. Hope you'll still make an SS appearance now and then--and keep us posted.

    The only sports car I ever had is the one that drove my kids back and forth to their ballgames.

  6. John, the first car I ever bought in my own name was a beautiful creamy yellow Austin Healy. I also sometimes go to book signings in what we refer to as my Callielac, which is a Corvette. If Callie made better money, she'd drive some high-dollar sports car.

  7. Good luck David and Deborah. You'll be missed.

    Welcome Terence and Brian, looking forward to reading your posts.

  8. I agree with Thelma and like John, I'd say I'll miss my "old friend" Deborah except we know she's not old! It seems like I've read her blogs since the beginning of Criminalbrief. I'm also sorry to see David go. sniff!

    Like Louis and Janice, I look forward to the words of Brian and Terence.

  9. Well, I’ll really miss seeing Deborah and David around the office. They are two excellent writers, and were great fun to work alongside. They also provided GREAT creative input at times, for which I’ll be eternally grateful. I sure hope they stay in touch, and visit often. And, I wish them the best of fortune!

    On a related note, I need a new handkerchief, because I had to loan mine to our secretary, Velma, so she could dry her sniffles and…er, uh … I don’t really want that one back anymore.

    WELCOME ABOARD! to Terence Faherty and Brian Thornton. I believe I know who you are, and all I can say is: WOW! Your work is fantastic. Great to have you with us, and I can’t wait to read your posts.


  10. David and Deborah will return with guest columns from time to time.

    Welcome Brian and Terry!

    Credit to Rob for negotiating the fantastic pay incentives for Terry and Brian, managing to procure both corner offices in SleuthSayers International Headquarters. We're really glad to have them.


  11. Farewell Deb. and David! Hello to Terry and Brian! I love the Queen short-stories, and I'll paraphrase Oscar Levant: "You can bet on Dale on the 100 yard dash to the bookcase!"

  12. Farewell to Deborah and David. Good wishes on your new ventures. Please keep us posted with updates.
    Welcome to Brian and Terrance. Looking forward to making your acquaintance.

  13. PS
    My apologies:
    Terence, Terence, Terence

  14. My apologies to one and all for being so late in replying--I've been out of the loop for the past two days. Thanks so very much for your kind wishes and all the wonderful support that I've enjoyed during my tenure here.

    However, Leigh's report of my demise is somewhat premature, as I've two postings left in the chute. Sorry, but I'm not leaving till I'm done. Besides, I need your help and won't go unless I get it--you'll see what I'm ranting about in tomorrow's blog.

  15. Like David, I am not really gone...and I hope to return here and there in the future. Yes, I do own a candy-apple red sportscar I'm driving these days -- and don't weep for Velma, she and I have had quite the experiences driving around in that car...I could write a book about all that...and perhaps I will. Great new bloggers for SS!!! I think we're all in for a treat.

  16. So that's what Velma's up to! I haven't seen her around the office in weeks!


Welcome. Please feel free to comment.

Our corporate secretary is notoriously lax when it comes to comments trapped in the spam folder. It may take Velma a few days to notice, usually after digging in a bottom drawer for a packet of seamed hose, a .38, her flask, or a cigarette.

She’s also sarcastically flip-lipped, but where else can a P.I. find a gal who can wield a candlestick phone, a typewriter, and a gat all at the same time? So bear with us, we value your comment. Once she finishes her Fatima Long Gold.

You can format HTML codes of <b>bold</b>, <i>italics</i>, and links: <a href="https://about.me/SleuthSayers">SleuthSayers</a>