Ellery Queen

The Roman Hat Mystery - Ellery Queen

Franklin Library Ellery Queen books

The Roman Hat Mystery - Library of Mystery Masterpieces - 1989


About Ellery Queen

Ellery Queen is the pseudonym under which two American cousins, Frederick Dannay (born Daniel Nathan) and Manfred Lee (born Manford Lepofsky), wrote a series of detective novels and short stories. The duo created one of the most enduring and influential characters in mystery fiction.

The Ellery Queen character, a detective and amateur sleuth, made his first appearance in The Roman Hat Mystery, published in 1929. From there, Dannay and Lee went on to write more than 30 novels featuring Ellery Queen, along with numerous short stories. The character of Ellery Queen was known for his keen intellect, deductive reasoning, and innovative approach to solving crimes. He often collaborated with his father, Inspector Richard Queen of the New York City Police Department, to unravel perplexing mysteries. What set the Ellery Queen stories apart from other detective fiction of the time was the intricate plots, cleverly constructed puzzles, and emphasis on fair play. Dannay and Lee took pride in presenting readers with all the clues necessary to solve the mystery themselves, challenging them to match wits with Ellery Queen.

In addition to their contributions to mystery fiction, Dannay and Lee also made significant contributions to the genre as editors and anthologists. They founded Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine in 1941, a seminal publication that showcased the work of both established and emerging mystery writers. The magazine played a crucial role in popularizing mystery fiction and fostering a community of writers and readers.

The Ellery Queen novels and stories enjoyed widespread popularity and critical acclaim, earning Dannay and Lee a dedicated following of fans. The character of Ellery Queen became a cultural icon, inspiring radio and television adaptations, as well as movies and comic books. Although the true identities of Ellery Queen's creators were not revealed until later in their careers, their impact on the mystery genre was undeniable. Through their collaboration as Ellery Queen, Frederick Dannay and Manfred Lee left an indelible mark on detective fiction, influencing generations of writers and captivating readers with their ingenious mysteries.

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