The third story in The Misadventures of Ellery Queen, edited by Josh Pachter and Dale C. Andrews, pastiche section:
Jon L. Breen’s “The Gilbert and Sullivan Clue” first appeared in a double-issue of EQMM (Sep/Oct) in 1999. After a wildly successful comedy duo splits, Ozzie Foyle’s career as a solo takes off, while his old partner Joey Dugan’s tanks. A murder takes place on the cruise ship where Foyle is headlining and Ellery Queen is onboard courtesy of Foyle’s agent. The mystery requires nearly a dozen characters, which in turn requires four pages to introduce and clarify their relationships. Even with Breen’s efficient prose, the story ramps slowly. Fortunately, once the setup’s complete, the pace quickens and the plot thickens quite nicely.
EQMM base image from Galactic Central.
More to come . . .
The second story in The Misadventures of Ellery Queen, edited by Josh Pachter and Dale C. Andrews, pastiche section:
First published in the July 1966 edition of EQMM, Leyne Requel’s “Dying Message” is a playful romp. A murder sprawls its victim in a lakeside hunting lodge, while the victim scrawls a clue to his murderer’s identity in his final message. Things look dire for the obvious suspect as the clues mount in his direction. Fortunately, there is a simple, but crafty key that clears the innocent and reveals the real killer by the story’s end. In this case, the “challenge to the reader” caps the finale.
EQMM cover image from Galactic Central.
More to come . . .
The opening story in The Misadventures of Ellery Queen, edited by Josh Pachter and Dale C. Andrews, pastiche section:
Thomas Narcejac is credited with writing the first Queen pastiche in 1947. However, it was written in French, and appears for the first time in English here, thanks to Rebecca K. Jones’ translation. “The Mystery of the Red Balloons” is a classic Ellery Queen whodunit and gives the collection a pitch-perfect start. A series of murders plague New York City, with no discernible connection between the crimes, save the presence of a single red balloon tied outside each victim’s environs. When Queen ascertains the solution he broaches the third wall and issues a “challenge to the reader” to solve the mystery before he reveals its solution.
More to come . . .
Introduction for The Misadventures of Ellery Queen edited by Josh Pachter and Dale C. Andrews
Make room. Wildside’s new anthology is both an instant classic, and an instant pleasure to peruse. There is mystery history here. In 1929, writing cousins Frederic Dannay (1905–1982) and Manfred Lee (1905–1971) created Ellery Queen as both character and author. In 1944, Ellery Queen (the writer) edited and published a collection called The Misadventures of Sherlock Holmes. Apparently, Arthur Conan Doyle was not amused with other writers’ emulations of his famous detective, and the volume soon made itself scarce. Mystery fans, however, enjoy reading both a pastiche or a parody based on their favorite series, and the first of many such stories inspired by Ellery Queen (the character) began to appear as early as 1947.
Not long after Manfred Lee’s death, Josh Pachter suggested to Frederic Dannay it might be time for a collection of such stories, fittingly titled The Misadventures of Ellery Queen. Dannay agreed, but the concept languished for reasons lost to history. That is, until 2015, when Pachter met co-editor Dale C. Andrews, and together they brought the idea to life in a collection of 16 stories. After the Pachter/Andrews’ introduction, and two others by Richard Dannay (Frederic’s son) and Rand Lee (Manfred’s son); the volume is divided into three sections: pastiches (6), parodies (3), and potpourri (7), which are basically stories inspired by Queen but not featuring him.
To be continued . . .