An Introduction to Ellery Queen (Updated 16/12/2020 22:42)

1Ellery Queen novels have long been a pending topic in my readings and I’ve decided to fill this gap next year. This post is intended to keep track of my reading progress. Stay tuned. See my previous post here.

Queen’s career is often divided into four distinct periods: 1929-1935, 1936-1941, 1942-1958, and 1963-1970.

Period One (1929 – 1935). Includes all novels from The Roman Hat Mystery to The Spanish Cape Mystery, and all short stories from The Adventures of Ellery Queen and two of the stories from The New Adventures of Ellery Queen (“The Adventure of the House of Darkness” and “The Lamp of God”).

Period Two (1936 – 1941). Includes all novels from Halfway House to The Dragon’s Teeth and the remaining short stories from The New Adventures of Ellery Queen.

Period Three (1942 – 1958). Includes all novels from Calamity Town to The Finishing Stroke, and all short stories from Calendar of Crime and Q.B.I., three stories from Queen’s Full (“Diamond’s in Paradise”, “The Wrightsville Heirs” and “The Case Against Carroll”) as well as some stray short stories published in QED and Tragedy of Errors (“The Lonely Bride”, “Eve of the Wedding”, “Object Lesson”, “No Parking”, “No Place to Live”, “Terror Town”, “Miracles Do Happen”).

In Calamity Town (1942) the New England town of Wrightsville is introduced, the place where many of Ellery’s novel-length and short story adventures of the next three decades take place. Besides Calamity Town the Wrightsville Murders” novels are: The Murderer Is a Fox (1945); Ten Day’s Wonder (1948); Double, Double (1950); The King is Dead one chapter (1952) and The Last Woman in His Life (1970).  The short stories and novelettes set in Wrightsville are: “The Robber of Wrightsville” (1953) short story in Today’s Family 2/53 and as “The Accused” in EQMM 12/54; “GI Story” (1954) short story in EQMM 8/54; “Eve of the Wedding” (1955) short story, as “Bride in Danger” in EQMM 8/55; “The Wrightsville Heirs” (1956) novelette, Better Living 1/56 reprinted in EQMM 11/57; “The Death of Don Juan” (1962) novelette, Argosy 5/62 reprinted in EQMM 8/64; “Mum is the Word” (1966) novelette, EQMM 4/66; and “Wedding Anniversary” (1967) short story, EQMM 9/67. (Following the suggestion of Dale Andrews)

Period Four (1963 – 1971) Includes all novels from The Player on the Other Side to A Fine and Private Place, as well as the outline Tragedy of Errors and all the remaining short stories from Queen’s Full, QED, Best of Ellery Queen and Tragedy of Errors. (To be absolutely correct, it actually leaves out three short stories which were published between 1958 and 1963… )

Your comments are welcome.

My plan includes the following titles:

  1. The Roman Hat Mystery (1929)
  2. The French Powder Mystery (1930)
  3. The Dutch Shoe Mystery (1931)
  4. The Greek Coffin Mystery (1932)
  5. The Egyptian Cross Mystery (1932)
  6. The American Gun Mystery (1933)
  7. The Siamese Twin Mystery (1933)
  8. The Chinese Orange Mystery (1934)
  9. The Spanish Cape Mystery (1935)
  10. The Adventures of Ellery Queen (1935)
  11. The Door Between (1937)
  12. The Four of Hearts (1938)
  13. The Dragon’s Teeth (1939) aka The Virgin Heiresses
  14. The New Adventures of Ellery Queen (1940)
  15. Calamity Town (1942)
  16. The Murderer is a Fox (1945)
  17. Ten Days’ Wonder (1948)
  18. Cat of Many Tails (1949)
  19. Double, Double (1950)
  20. The Origin of Evil (1951)
  21. The King is Dead (1952)
  22. The Player on The Other Side (1963)
  23. Face to Face (1967)
  24. The Last Woman in His Life (1970) 
  25. A Fine and Private Place (1971)

And as Barnaby Ross:

  1. The Tragedy of X (1932)
  2. The Tragedy of Y (1932)
  3. The Tragedy of Z (1933)