Ellery Queen Detective Books In Order

Publication Order of Ellery Queen Books

The Roman Hat Mystery (1929) Description  Book  eBook
The French Powder Mystery (1930) Description  Book  eBook
The Dutch Shoe Mystery (1931) Description  Book  eBook
The Egyptian Cross Mystery (1932) Description  Book  eBook
The Greek Coffin Mystery (1932) Description  Book  eBook
The American Gun Mystery (1933) Description  Book  eBook
The Siamese Twin Mystery (1933) Description  Book  eBook
The Chinese Orange Mystery (1934) Description  Book  eBook
The Lamp of God (1935) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Spanish Cape Mystery (1935) Description  Book  eBook
Halfway House (1936) Description  Book  eBook
The Door Between (1937) Description  Book  eBook
The Four of Hearts (1938) Description  Book  eBook
The Devil to Pay (1938) Description  Book  eBook
The Dragon's Teeth (1939) Description  Book  eBook
Calamity Town (1942) Description  Book  eBook
There Was An Old Woman (1943) Description  Book  eBook
The Murderer is a Fox (1945) Description  Book  eBook
Ten Days' Wonder (1948) Description  Book  eBook
Cat of Many Tails (1949) Description  Book  eBook
Double, Double (1950) Description  Book  eBook
The Origin of Evil (1951) Description  Book  eBook
The King is Dead (1952) Description  Book  eBook
The Scarlet Letters (1953) Description  Book  eBook
Inspector Queen's Own Case (1956) Description  Book  eBook
The Finishing Stroke (1958) Description  Book  eBook
The Player on the Other Side (1963) Description  Book  eBook
Murder with a Past (1963) Description  Book  eBook
And On the Eighth Day (1964) Description  Book  eBook
The Fourth Side of the Triangle (1965) Description  Book  eBook
The Devil's Cook (1966) Description  Book  eBook
Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper: A Study in Terror (1966) Description  Book  eBook
Face to Face (1967) Description  Book  eBook
The House of Brass (1968) Description  Book  eBook
The Last Woman in His Life (1970) Description  Book  eBook
A Fine and Private Place (1971) Description  Book  eBook

Ellery Queen is both a title character in a series of crime thrillers as well as the name of the author of the author of the series. Ellery Queen, as in the authors, is taken up as a pen name used by novelist cousins Daniel Nathan, alias Frederic Dannay and Manford (Emanuel) Lepofsky, alias Manfred Bennington Lee. Ellery Queen Detective enjoyed a successful run of over 42 years through a large number of highly popular novels.

An interesting incident in Frederic Dannay’s childhood incident shaped his and his cousin’s destiny. Little Frederic once fell sick at the age of 12 years. Since he had to miss school and was bored doing nothing at home, his mother got him one of Sherlock Holmes’ novels from the local library. This incident became the turning point in his life and the idea of detective thrillers germinated in Frederick’s fertile mind. His cousin Manford Lee, who was close to him since childhood also caught the detective thriller contagion. In fact, they have been so inspired by Sherlock Holmes that Ellery Queen Detective is often hailed as the “logical successor to Sherlock Holmes”! Hardly surprising, is it?

For cousins Frederic Dannay and Manford Lee, this fascination for detective crime continued through their growing years. It was only in their youth that an opportunity presented itself. A magazine organized a contest in which participants had to submit a book-sixed manuscript and the winning entry would be published. The cousins decided to try their hand at writing and submitted their manuscript. They won the contest. Unfortunately, the magazine could not make good on their commitment to publish their book, as it abruptly shut down its operations. However, it did not put a spanner in the works. They were destined to be successful novels and destiny shapes its own course! A book publisher came forward to publish their manuscript which came out as The Roman Hat Mystery. It was the first book featuring their star Ellery Queen Detective.

Using the pseudonym Ellery Queen as both the central character as well as their pen name was a smart idea by Frederic Dannay and Manford Lee. It made it easier for the readers to recollect the name as well as relate to it. As a further measure to help readers’ memory, they ensured that they used the name several times and at regular intervals throughout the book. Both these ideas worked very well to make their character, Ellery Queen Detective, a popular hero amongst the readers.

Another unique strategy adopted by the authors was to put a box with a challenge to the reader at the appropriate place in the book. The challenge was obviously customized for every book but in essence it assured the reader that all clues and information needed to solve the mystery are already laid out by that time and a challenge was thrown at the reader to see if they could solve the mystery. This simple but brilliant idea by the authors, and most of the readers actually paused to think, evaluate the clues in their minds and solve the mystery, before they proceeded to read the climax to check if they could correctly solve the mystery. This strategy gave an interactive feel to the books and contributed to the overall success of the Ellery Queen Detective series.

Ellery Queen Detective was an immensely popular fictional character, especially in the 1930s and 1940s. The character itself was gradually evolved and even altered during the course of 42 years of its literary existence. The initial Ellery Queen Detective books portray him as a Harvard-educated snob wearing prince-nez and solving cases for his own curiosity and creative satisfaction. He supposed emulates his mother’s qualities, who was the daughter of an affluent aristocratic family from New York. In the next phase, from 1938 onwards in the novels- The Four of Hearts and The Origin of Evil, Ellery works as a Hollywood screenwriter, during which he solves cases in a Hollywood setting. In this period, he is slick, suave and debonair, very much a part of the Hollywood crowd and very comfortable in his skin while intermingling with the rich and famous.

From 1942, in Calamity Town and its two sequels as well as some short stories, all set in Wrightsville, an imaginary town, you see a very different Ellery Queen Detective. He sheds his cynicism and becomes more of a sentimental person. He becomes so emotionally attached to the various people involved in the cases that at one point he even quits his profession as a sleuth! However, after these sojourns in Hollywood and Wrightsville, he is transported back to the place he originally hails from – New York City. This return of Ellery Queen Detective to NYC also marks the return of Ellery Queen Detective to his emotionally detached coldly logical persona. People often joked that there are two different Ellerys, probably two brothers!

The Greek Coffin Mystery, The Tragedy of Y, Ten Day’s Wonder, The Player on the Other Side and Face to Face are some of the most popular novels of Ellery Queen Detective. Movies like The Spanish Cape Mystery, The Mandarin Mystery, The Crime Nobody Saw, Ellery Queen, Master Detective, Ellery Queen’s Penthouse Mystery, Ellery Queen and the Perfect Crime, Ellery Queen and the Murder Ring are some of a number of movie adaptations based on Ellery Queen Detective. The TV adaptation of Ellery Queen Detective series which aired on NBC during television season of 1975-76 also riveted the views and went on to become immensely popular. Most of these adaptations were scripted by Frederic Dannay and Manford Lee themselves. In fact, they were hired to write the scripts and screenplays of several other Hollywood projects as well.

Most of Ellery Queen Detective series readers place him amongst the popular detectives list with the likes of Sherlock Holmes, Perry Mason, Hercule Poirot. etc. So, if you have not read any of Ellery Queen Detective books, grab one today! It is not to be forgotten that the series provided everything a reader would look out for in a book -an informative piece as well as an educational and entertaining one. It’s not something to miss.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Ellery Queen Detective