Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Ellery Queen Revival

As part of a promotion for a series of Ellery Queen eBooks newly released the publicity people at Open Road Media and Mysterious Press have announced the following:
We have created an original mini-documentary about the crime-writing duo [of Ellery Queen], featuring Dannay and Lee’s sons and Otto Penzler. The video can be viewed on our site here and on YouTube here. We hope you enjoy it!
The "mini-documentary" should be more rightly called a micro-documentary as it is nothing more than a book promo that lasts less than two minutes. If you're interested in seeing it, click on one of the links above. The Open Road Media site is more pleasing to the eye and you won't have the irksome YouTube caption ads at the bottom of the video.

The Queen books now available in digital format are:
  • The Adventures of Ellery Queen
  • The Roman Hat Mystery
  • The Chinese Orange Mystery
  • The American Gun Mystery
  • The Dutch Shoe Mystery
  • The Egyptian Cross Mystery
  • The Siamese Twin Mystery
  • The French Powder Mystery
  • The Greek Coffin Mystery
  • The Spanish Cape Mystery
  • Cat of Many Tails
  • Calamity Town
  • Ten Days’ Wonder
  • And on the Eighth Day

I have read  most of the books listed above and can highly recommend The Chinese Orange Mystery (the famous backwards murder), The Egyptian Cross Mystery (bizarre and gruesome beheadings), The Greek Coffin Mystery (brilliant display of multiple solutions and logical wizardry), Cat of Many Tails (the landmark serial killer novel that inspired hundreds of rip off books) and the extremely unusual And on the Eighth Day.


  1. I've read three of your five recommended, John--and agree that they're all top-notch. Still have to get to The Egyptian Cross Mystery and And on the Eighth Day.

  2. If I'm going to finally try Queen, I'd probably have to start at the beginning. How does The Roman Hat Mystery, stack up against your favorites?

    1. It's always best to start at the beginning, Dave. Roman Hat is a good one and shows the promise of better things to come. I have a preference for The Greek Coffin Mystery for the dizzying scope of the plot and Queen's bravura performance. You might want to try that one second if you like Roman Hat.

  3. I got this promo too. I've always liked The Siamese Twin Mystery, one of my very favorites (had The Greek Coffin Mystery solution spoiled before I read it).

  4. GREEK COFFIN remains an early favourite though like Curt I love SIAMESE TWINS too, though it is a bit less intense in terms of plotting. The odd one out here perhaps is AND ON THE EIGHT DAY, a strange book anyway but which was plotted by Dannay but ghosted by Avram Davidson.

  5. I agree with most of the recommendations made in this post and in the following comments. Three EQ novels that are special favorites of mine are "Egyptian Cross," "Siamese Twin," and "Eighth Day." Not coincidentally, perhaps, all three of them take Ellery out of NYC for much or all of the action. Something about sending him out into the weird, wild American that lies beyond the Hudson must have stimulated the creative juices of those Brooklyn-born authors (or of Dannay alone, in the case of "Eighth Day").