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  #16  
Old April 3rd, 2009, 01:37 PM
Dale Andrews Dale Andrews is offline
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Re: New Ellery Queen Story!

Hi Harry -- I remember the kind words you posted on the first story. For whatever reason they disappeared from the thread. I had feared that you had second thoughts! :-) -- Dale (also in Washington, D.C.)
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  #17  
Old April 3rd, 2009, 03:57 PM
Harry J Harry J is offline
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Re: New Ellery Queen Story!

No second thoughts. Sometimes when I review my posts in black and white, I am not satisfied with the tone (somewhat pompous?). I should learn how to edit them. Your first story was exceptional, and the plot for the Mad Hatter sounds especially clever.
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  #18  
Old April 4th, 2009, 05:25 AM
Dale Andrews Dale Andrews is offline
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Re: New Ellery Queen Story!

Well, I hope the plot of the next one is clever. It's all in the eyes of the beholder.

The Book Case was sort of a companion piece to the Queen novel Face to Face -- since it was there that Ellery first met Harry Burke. In some respects the plot also parallels that work. The Mad Hatter's Riddle, by contrast, is a companion piece to The Four of Hearts, and brings back some of the characters from that "Hollywood era" Queen mystery.

The Book Case came in number 2 in the EQMM readers survey in 2007 and was one of 7 short stories nominated for the Barry award as best story of the year at last year's Bouchercon convention. I mention this not out of vanity - I am convinced that the reason the story was well received is that there are a lot of readers out there who truly miss Mr. Queen. And this says a lot, considering the books are basically not even in print anymore.
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  #19  
Old April 4th, 2009, 10:15 AM
Harry J Harry J is offline
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Re: New Ellery Queen Story!

Although I have re-read a number of EQ novels in the past couple of years (after about 40 years more or less), neither Face to Face nor the Four of Hearts has been on the list (obviously having been limited by the used books I could find).

Unfortunately, I have no memory of the plot of Four of Hearts, but for some reason, still remember the dying message clue from Face to Face. Is that the plot parallel you are referring to? It would also seem that the Scarlet Letters has a clue that is somewhat related to that of The Book Case. I will have to re-double my effotrs to find these two books.
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  #20  
Old April 4th, 2009, 02:10 PM
Dale Andrews Dale Andrews is offline
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Re: New Ellery Queen Story!

I hate to give spoilers since some may not have read The Book Case yet, but the parallel has to do with Harry Burke's attachment to one of the characters in The Book Case. A similar situation befalls Harry in Face to Face.

Incidentally, Face to Face has a dying message that I have always thought was a stretch and not Queen at his (their!) best. Similarly there are some contrivances in Four of Hearts that are not top flight Queen in my estimation. The bridge from those two books to the two pastiches is mostly the recurrence of certain characters.
I think my favorite Queen book is The Finishing Stroke. I wrote an essay centering on it last January that appeared in Criminal Brief, the on-line mystery short story writers' blog. It's still available at the following site for anyone who is interested:

http://criminalbrief.com/?p=4791#comments

You will find that, like Queen stories, it ends with a twist!
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  #21  
Old April 6th, 2009, 04:25 PM
Harry J Harry J is offline
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Re: New Ellery Queen Story!

What an interesting article. I guess that I like many others have tended to give greater credit to Dannay for the EQ books than Lee. I assume this was reinforced in my own mind when I finally learned that a number of the later books were ghost-written by other authors based on Dannay's outlines.

I re-read The Finishing Stroke this past year and enjoyed it more than when I first read it (around 1960?). I thought the first section was terrific, one of the best narratives in all of the EQ books. However, I thought the middle section began to drag during the endless series of presents. And in the final section, the explanation of a motive for the first murder seemed very thin. So all in all, it is not one of my all time favorites. Elsewhere in this site, I have identified The Tragedy of X as having that distinction However, I do count among my favorites some of his later books, as well as some of the early ones.

By the way, returning to the subject of Manfred B. Lee, I have read somewhere that he was able to overcome his writer's block and write the final EQ book, A Fine and Private Place. Do you know if this is true or not? In re-reading this book recently, although I find the overall plot somewhat slight, the writing itself seems just fine. I think that one of the characteristics of the EQ books is that there is not as dramatic a drop-off in quality in the later novels, such as you find with Christiie, Carr, Mitchell, and a number of others. This may have been due to the use of ghost writers, but may also have had much to do with Dannay and Lee trying new ideas and continuing to make the books fresh and modern.
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  #22  
Old April 7th, 2009, 12:36 PM
Dale Andrews Dale Andrews is offline
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Re: New Ellery Queen Story!

My understanding is that the final EQ books were, indeed, written by Lee, who overcame his writers block. These should include Face to Face, The Last Woman in his Life, and A Fine and Private Place. I have heard debate as to whether House of Brass was ghost written. Also, Cop Out, a novel in which Ellery is not a character, was apparently written by Lee and was, I believe, the last book he wrote. Tragedy of Errors was prepared as an outline by Dannay for Lee to write, but he died before doing so. The Crippin and Landru publication of the outline contains a note from Dannay to Lee forwarding him the outline.

Kurt should weigh in here -- he is the authority in this area! When he and I had to come up with a list of "true" Queen volumes for The Book Case -- the list, readers will recall, was instrumental to the story -- we debated somewhat which books to include. The list we eventually used were all books that had Ellery or his father as a character or that were written by Dannay and Lee -- so the list included The Glass Village and Cop Out, in which neither Queen appeared.

I, too, have some "problems" with The Finishing Stroke -- not the least of which is why all of those people would have been forced to stay in the mansion for all of those days! But I love the narrative and the portrayal of Ellery, to my eye, is one of the best. So I forgive the rest.

As discussed at some length in another thread on this board I also very much like And on the Eighth Day even though it really isn't much of a mystery.
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  #23  
Old April 10th, 2009, 07:25 AM
Harry J Harry J is offline
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Re: New Ellery Queen Story!

I enjoyed On the Eighth Day immensely when I read it as a teenager, too many years ago to count. The plot seemed to come out of left field, and I remember thinking how far the EQ books had come from the Roman Hat days to the Eighth Day. I do recall that the mystery aspect was not very significant, but that seemed somewhat unimportant in the scheme of things. Although the ghost writing may have had something to do with the "feel" of the book, I think it was primarily the plotting. I have not re-read Eighth Day in recent years, so have not included it in my list of favorites. This list generally only includes those that I have read from a more "mature" standpoint in order to verify adolescent impressions. But Eighth Day is certainly on the list of those that require re-reading.

However, the Glass Village is on my list of favorites. I was very impressed upon re-reading this book with the plot, writing, and general substance. There were some very unexpected surprises, and it kept my interest throughout. I don't think I have ever read Cop Out.

Last edited by Harry J; April 10th, 2009 at 06:39 PM.
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  #24  
Old April 11th, 2009, 07:03 AM
Dale Andrews Dale Andrews is offline
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Re: New Ellery Queen Story!

I must confess that I have yet to finish The Glass Village. As a lawyer some of the aspects of the trial are so preposterous that I keep putting down the book when I get to the middle of it.

If you have not discovered it already, check out the thread on this forum from 6 years ago concerning And on the Eighth Day. At the end of the thread you will find a pastiche that I wrote (it's an attachment) proposing an epilog to the book that would tie up some loose ends not otherwise resolved in the book. That was the first pastiche I ever wrote, and was also the beginning of Kurt and my friendship. You will find aspects of The Book Case reflected in that short pastiche. In fact, I think there are even some paragraphs from it that I lifted intact.

The internet is a wonderful tool for sharing ideas and meeting people -- 6 years after writing that pastiche I am enjoying writing mystery stories and Kurt and his family are planning a vacation with us here in Washington D.C. in August.
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  #25  
Old April 15th, 2009, 05:11 PM
Harry J Harry J is offline
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Re: New Ellery Queen Story!

What a wonderful On the Eighth Day pastiche. I had missed it before when I perused the thread. It very nicely foreshadows The Bookcase. However, I will have to find a copy of Eighth Day to re-read in order to understand all of the references.

I understand how a legal mind would find the Glass Village trial to be preposterous. I guess I have convinced myself that it was meant to be that way -- to make a point. In the same vein, I assume that many law enforcement professionals would be horrified at the way that policemen behave in many of the Golden Age novels. The EQ book, There Was An Old Woman, comes to mind.

Please let Kurt know how much I have enjoyed his EQ website over the years.
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  #26  
Old April 29th, 2009, 01:30 PM
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Kurt Sercu Kurt Sercu is offline
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Re: New Ellery Queen Story!

As moderator it seems something curious happened to the service which warns me if posts are made to the forum. I'll look into this.
So I'm more than glad that Dale took care of the thread.

Somewhat later than expected I can blushingly accept the praise for the site...
And I can certainly concur on the issue that Manfred actually got over his writers' block. I had the honour of being able to ask, the late, Ed Hoch about this some years ago...
http://neptune.spaceports.com/~queen...Side_Hoch.html

Prof. Nevins intended on re-writing the Dannay-Lee saga with more attention to the 'equal' parts they played in the success of the Ellery Queen product. I hope, for one, he actually finds the time and/or finds a publisher brave enough to publish it.
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  #27  
Old June 22nd, 2009, 10:40 AM
Dale Andrews Dale Andrews is offline
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Re: New Ellery Queen Story!

I received confirmation today from Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine that "The Mad Hatter's Riddle" will, indeed, be in the September/October double issue, which should be in the newstands mid to late July. (Don't know the precise date, but I understand that the August edition hits the newstands on June 23, so add a month.) EQMM also made my day when they informed me that the story will have an illustration.
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  #28  
Old June 23rd, 2009, 06:41 AM
Dale Andrews Dale Andrews is offline
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Re: New Ellery Queen Story!

The EQMM Web Page was updated on June 23 to reflect the August cover. If you visit the site,

http://www.themysteryplace.com/eqmm/

and scroll down to the bottom of the page you will see that "The Mad Hatter's Riddle" is referenced in "Next Month in EQMM"
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  #29  
Old July 13th, 2009, 01:19 PM
Dale Andrews Dale Andrews is offline
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Re: New Ellery Queen Story!

Just a note to let everyone know that subscription copies of the September/October double issue were delivered (at least in Washington D.C.) today, July 13. "The Mad Hatter's Riddle" is on page 82. I know I am biased, but I think the art work accompanying the story is pretty cool!
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  #30  
Old July 29th, 2009, 04:43 PM
Harry J Harry J is offline
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Re: New Ellery Queen Story!

Quote:
Just a note to let everyone know that subscription copies of the September/October double issue were delivered (at least in Washington D.C.) today, July 13. "The Mad Hatter's Riddle" is on page 82. I know I am biased, but I think the art work accompanying the story is pretty cool!
The new issue has not yet shown up at the local Barnes & Noble. Maybe this week. I am waiting with bated breath.

Quote:
If you have not discovered it already, check out the thread on this forum from 6 years ago concerning And on the Eighth Day. At the end of the thread you will find a pastiche that I wrote (it's an attachment) proposing an epilog to the book that would tie up some loose ends not otherwise resolved in the book. That was the first pastiche I ever wrote, and was also the beginning of Kurt and my friendship. You will find aspects of The Book Case reflected in that short pastiche. In fact, I think there are even some paragraphs from it that I lifted intact.
I have finally re-read And on the Eighth Day and actually found it to be better than I had remembered. The mystery aspect seemed more substantial. Your pastiche did a great job of explaining the Mk'n reference. Do you happen to know if this was the meaning that Mr. Queen had actually intended?

I also have now re-read The Fourth Side of the Triangle after many years. These two books are probably the best of the later Queens. The Triangle seemed to be written very much in the sophisticated style of the later Manfred B. Lee (with Eighth Day told in a much different style) and had a very involving plot. If Avram Davidson did the majority of the writing for both books, he must have been quite a stylist, who could alter his writing based on the subject matter.

And now on to the Mad Hatter's Riddle!

Last edited by Harry J; July 29th, 2009 at 05:26 PM.
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