“The Roman Hat Mystery” (1929) introduced Ellery Queen as the son of Inspector Richard Queen of the New York police department. Together, they formed a formidable crime-solving team. Inspector Queen, in his role as a policeman, collected all the clues connected with the crime in question. His son Ellery, an intellectual and writer of detective novels, would then collect and analyze the clues, ultimately solving the crime.
This duo proved so popular that Lee and Dannay wrote 33 novels and numerous short stories starring the famous father and son team.
In 1932, Lee and Dannay created another character under the pseudonym Barnaby Ross. Drury Lane, a retired Shakespearean actor who also solved crimes, was featured in four novels, but was never as popular as Ellery Queen.
The concept of Ellery Queen expanded to include not only the written work, but a popular radio series, as well as several film and television projects.
In 1941, the two cousins started the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. Still published today, EQMM continues to showcase the best of current detective fiction.
Ellery Queen has received many awards, and has left an indelible, uniquely American mark on the crime fiction genre.
On radio, The Adventures of Ellery Queen was heard on all three networks from 1939 to 1948. During the 1970s, syndicated radio fillers, Ellery Queen’s Minute Mysteries, began with an announcer saying, “This is Ellery Queen…” and contained a short one-minute case. The radio station encouraged callers to solve the mystery and win a sponsor’s prize. Once a winner was found, the solution was broadcast as confirmation.
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