The Tuesday Night Bloggers: Rex Stout, Week 1

12435871_10206617807136697_1571551562_nA group of related bloggers who work in the general area of Golden Age Mysteries has decided to collaborate and publish a blog post every Tuesday as the Tuesday Night Bloggers. We began in the spirit of celebrating Agatha Christie’s 125th birthday anniversary. We’re now going to continue with a different Golden Age mystery writer; Tuesdays in January will be devoted to Rex Stout.

Here they are, alphabetically:

Kate Jackson, crossexaminingcrimeNero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin: A Blending of Genres

Tracy K., Bitter Tea and MysteryToo Many Cooks: Rex Stout

Jeffrey Marks, The Corpse Steps OutI Can’t Read 55

Moira Redmond, Clothes in Books: Rex Stout and Christmas

Noah Stewart, Noah’s ArchivesBook scouting Rex Stout

Helen Szamuely, Your Freedom and Ours: Was Rex Stout Right About Watson?

And we’re off, with a wide range of interests and backgrounds represented!  Again, I’ll repeat my suggestion that if you have a blog and wish to join us, just get in touch.  And if you DON’T have a blog and wish to participate, let me know and I’ll find you a blog to which you can post as a guest.  Anything on the topic of Rex Stout this month will be welcome!

 

The Tuesday Night Bloggers: Ellery Queen, Week 4

The Tuesday Club QueenA group of related bloggers who work in the general area of Golden Age Mysteries has decided to collaborate and publish a blog post every Tuesday as the Tuesday Night Bloggers. We began in the spirit of celebrating Agatha Christie’s 125th birthday anniversary. We’re now going to continue with a different Golden Age mystery writer; Tuesdays in November have been devoted to Ellery Queen and Tuesdays in December will be devoted to Ngaio Marsh.

Here they are, alphabetically:

Brad Friedman, ahsweetmysteryblogChallenge to the Listener: Ellery Queen on the Radio

Bev Hankins, My Reader’s Block: Queenly Collections

Kate Jackson, crossexaminingcrime: Typing Ellery Queen

Jeffrey Marks, The Corpse Steps Out: Favorite Five EQ Novels

Moira Redmond, Clothes in BooksEllery Queen & a late entry

Noah Stewart, Noah’s ArchivesMy five most/least favourite Ellery Queen novels

If I’ve missed any posts, or if I become aware of later entries, I’ll add them to this post.

It’s American Thanksgiving and some of our contributors have celebrations to undertake; I’m sure they’ll return.  Hope you have enjoyed this month’s worth of essays; Moira Redmond will be making next month’s announcements.

 

 

The Tuesday Night Bloggers: My five most/least favourite Ellery Queen novels

The Tuesday Club Queen

A group of related bloggers who work in the general area of Golden Age Mysteries has decided to collaborate and publish a blog post every Tuesday as the Tuesday Night Bloggers. We began in the spirit of celebrating Agatha Christie’s 125th birthday anniversary. We’ve now going to continue with a different Golden Age mystery writer every month; Tuesdays in November will be devoted to Ellery Queen.

A note: henceforth when I refer to “Ellery Queen” I mean the literary character. Any reference to “EQ” will refer to the two real-life cousins who wrote together and signed their work as Ellery Queen.

My five most and least favourite Ellery Queen novels

It’s always difficult to pick just a few titles from a lifetime of writing, but rather than simply present you with my “five best/five worst” list, I thought it would be worthwhile to give you an example of the factors that bounded my decision. I trust that will make it easier for you to decide if you agree for yourself or not, because it’s usually the case that there are as many opinions about such things as there are devoted readers of any author. What I think is most important is not whether you agree with me, but if you get to spend an enjoyable moment thinking, “Why, that nitwit, it’s perfectly clear that the best/worst one is X because what *I* like most about the work is …”. So have fun deciding exactly where I went wrong!

It seems to me as though for many mystery writers there is something that they’re trying to say, or a theme they’re trying to express, that you can find repeating throughout their work. One underlying theme is “Police work is demanding and difficult, but somehow rewarding.” Another is, “I wrote this so that you could have fun figuring it out, but I’m not really serious.” (Freeman Wills Crofts and Phoebe Atwood Taylor, respectively.) Sometimes an author will have two modalities: Robert Barnard, for instance, was as wacky as Taylor half the time and  wrote dark and complex literary mysteries the rest of the time.

Ellery Queen, though, showed us FOUR different themes during different time periods. Period 1 is generally acknowledged to be the “nationalities” mysteries, where the focus is on pure logic. Let’s call the short Period 2 “trying to get Hollywood’s attention”; plot-heavy, snappy dialogue, simple caricatured characters. Then Period 3, “Wrightsville”, where EQ mixed crimes and small-town American values. Period 4 was “solve the imposed pattern” mysteries, where Ellery met a situation where there was some sort of structured pattern of events that didn’t make sense unless you knew the hidden theme. Next, Period 5 was when Ellery Queen became a house name, and the theme was “here’s an exciting, shallow, and straightforward story about a crime”. I think instead of defining a Period 6 it’s easier to say that Period 4 resumed after Period 5 had run its course; the quality declined at the end of this long oeuvre but the theme of the imposed pattern remained the same.

I differentiate here between my idea of a theme, and something that many people have noticed about Ellery Queen stories — they’re frequently structured like “first the false solution, then the true one”. Yes, I agree, this is frequently the case — but it’s not thematic, it’s a way of telling that thematic story. That’s why it cuts across all the EQ periods in the same way as their standby short story structure (which is, “X is dead, A, B, C are the suspects; they all look equally guilty but two are disqualified because of Z”).

I’ve gone into this in a little detail because I think it’s important for you to know that I enjoy Periods 1 and 3 the most, and that’s likely to colour my ideas of which novels are my most and least favourite, and why. I don’t really think Period 4 is the equivalent of Period 1 … your mileage may vary simply because you prefer one theme to the other. In the same vein, I’ve deliberately called these my “most and least” favourites — not “best” and “worst”; and I’ve excluded volumes of short stories.

My five most favourite Ellery Queen novels

And, as you will soon note, in reverse numerical order. My favourite EQ novel is at the end of this list.

5. The Siamese Twin Mystery (1933)

siamese-twin-cover-pocketbookThere’s not much to the puzzle issues in this book; the clues are slight and well-hidden. There’s a tiny bit more coincidence in a few of the plot twists here than I ordinarily prefer (the initials of one character, for instance, are a stretch). But the situation that underlies this book is perhaps the most exciting thing EQ ever wrote; all the characters are stranded at the top of a mountain and, chapter by chapter, the fire is creeping up the mountain towards them. As Thelma Ritter observes in All About Eve, “Everything except the bloodhounds snapping at her behind.” This book is beautifully put together to increase the tension in a long slow slope. By the time the fire reaches the mountaintop your nerves are pitched at the point where you want to scream and hide your head, but you absolutely must know what happens next. It’s a wonderful experience and masterfully written.

4. Calamity Town (1942)

d90baa33c135fd52b915c8f508884828This book is so excellent in so many ways … It’s from Period 3 and is really the volume where Wrightsville comes into full flower. Halfway House seems to have given the EQ cousins their first taste of making small-town America a character in their book, or an ongoing landscape against which morality plays were displayed. In Calamity Town they have a sure-handed mix of the detective plot and the small-town America setting, and a story that links them both together. This is one of the two novels in which EQ demonstrated their understanding of how a media frenzy works; the other one is my next entry, Cat of Many Tails. I really think this is what Dorothy L. Sayers was talking about when she wanted detective fiction to become “a literature with bowels”; this is a strong family drama about horrible things happening to nice people. Ellery, as the outsider, is the perfect narrator and begins his process of worming his way into the heart of Wrightsville.

3. Cat of Many Tails (1949)

cat-of-many-tails-2An absolutely crucial step in the development of the serial killer novel, this beautifully written book is a look at the investigation of a Manhattan-based serial killer who is strangling victims with pink and blue cords: pink for girls, blue for boys. It’s told in a recomplicated style that introduces dozens of characters and follows them for varying lengths of time; a few close relatives of the first victims form a small group of amateur investigators helping Ellery solve the case. The tension builds and builds and this novel is a classic in EQ’s best story-telling modality; the false solution, then the true. Brilliantly written in a whirlpool of action and tension.

2. The Greek Coffin Mystery (1932)

the-greek-coffin-mystery-1960-illus-james-meese-1I’ve written extensively about this novel before and how and why I like it so much.  (The previous piece is here.) Simply put, I think it’s the best pure puzzle mystery from Period 1 and one of the best puzzle mysteries EVER. It’s a long and complicated puzzle with lots of clues and some interesting characters. The narrative leads you in many directions but if you understand the tiny clues correctly, you can only come up with one very, very surprising killer. This is also the novel that contains the reason why Ellery never talks about his inferences and possible solutions until the end of each case, because he gets so badly burned here by speaking in advance. I can remember distinctly thinking I’d finally solved this one, in my teenage years, only to realize I’d been beautifully led down the garden path by a typewriter key.

1. The Murderer is a Fox (1945)

25b_FoxThis is my favourite Queen, and I suspect I may well be alone in this. It’s a Wrightsville novel from Period Three and most people automatically accept the consensus that Calamity Town is the best Wrightsville novel of all. That novel is certainly fine. But this novel has all the good points of Calamity Town, plus it has a wonderful familial intimacy that the other novel only hints at. These are real people who are suffering greatly, and trying to reconstruct the actions of a fateful day years ago. And the writing is just so beautiful … you can
tragedyofy-avonsee tiny dust motes dancing in the air of the attic, you can see the lines on Davy Fox’s face that shouldn’t be there but for the war. There is not a lot of evil intent here, but there is great and powerful sadness. It’s also one of the few endings where Ellery cheats justice in a good cause; ultimately this novel is about how we should treat war veterans and rarely do.

And two explanatory notes. I have deliberately drawn my terms to exclude the four Barnaby Ross novels but if I hadn’t, I would have had to find
ARoomToDieIna way to wedge The Tragedy of Y (1932) into this list. And if you want to know what my favourite ghost-written Ellery Queen novel is, it’s A Room to Die In (1965), written by science-fiction writer Jack Vance.

My five least favourite Ellery Queen novels

Again, in reverse numerical order.

5. The Glass Village (1954)

ggpb0776I don’t care for this novel for a number of reasons. One is that it pretty shamelessly takes off the real-life Grandma Moses, which is a bit lazy. What really bothers me, though, is that this novel is like a Wrightsville novel, if Wrightsville had been populated by inbred cretinous bigots. Wrightsville has the advantage of being balanced and realistic in other novels; this is the Dark Side, and it’s very unpleasant. The book as much as admits to the reader at one point that the plot depends on nobody having access to a long-distance telephone, which is unlikely, and to me the central plot point that identifies the murderer was clear and obvious. Yes, I get that this is about McCarthyism and the mob mentality. But it’s just unpleasant and unhappy and discouraging.

4. The American Gun Mystery (1933)

dell0004This one is on my list as one of two Queenian adventures here where I just flat-out cannot believe the solution. In this case, without getting into details, I cannot accept where the gun was said to be hidden; it’s not built up enough to be remotely possible. All the foofaraw with closing the circle and searching 80,000 people in the audience was just so much fluff. The suspects all seem phoney and there is one character whom we never get to meet for long enough to see something that would have been nice to have a chance of assessing; a bit of a cheat. And the way in which Ellery attains the solution is, when all else fails, pull something ridiculous out of your ass because it’s the only thing left. Rex Stout did it much more elegantly and much more tersely in a 1960 novella, The Rodeo Murder (found in Three at Wolfe’s Door). 

3.The Origin of Evil (1951)

UnknownUnpleasant people doing unpleasant things against a backdrop of Atomic-Age paranoia makes for a very unpleasant book. And in this one, just as the outset of And on the Eighth Day, EQ makes fun of Period 2 — they mock the reader for ever thinking that Ellery could have been a screenwriter. The common theme that underlies this Period 4 novel is so far-fetched that it’s impossible to figure out even if you had more useful clues than being required to know that worthless stocks are called “cats and dogs”. And there’s something in this book that is so unpleasant to read … the misogyny and sheer hatred that EQ express for the “poisonous orchid” woman at the heart of this mystery through the lips of Ellery himself. It’s almost as though there was someone in the lives of one or both of the authors against whom they were taking revenge with this vicious portrait of a woman who is married to an impotent cripple and still has the nerve to want to be sexual.

2.The Four of Hearts (1938)

1543-1This is the most commercial novel the EQ partnership ever wrote, to my mind, and it’s meretriciously setting itself out to be a screenplay without caring that there’s nothing of any substance here. The movie-star characters seem as though they were created with specific actors in mind — fine, but if you expect them to be suspects in a murder mystery, don’t make them so darn perfect, because then the reader cannot help but solve the mystery by elimination. The plot line is flat and shallow and things happen for no really good reason, except that a change of location is needed to move the story along. The ending is both hard to understand and just plain silly. And perhaps it’s a very small thing, but I really prefer it it an author doesn’t treat me as sufficiently credulous to believe a “fact” that he just out-and-out makes up. Why anyone would accept that “in fortune telling, cards that are torn in half reverse their meaning” is beyond me; how many times have you accidentally torn a card in half? What they were getting at, of course, is that in a Tarot deck the meaning is reversed if the card is upside down. But apparently I cannot cope with the exotic knowledge that Tarot cards are one-side-up. Bah.

1. And on the Eighth Day (1964)

930-1I know I’m going to take a lot of flack for this — many people regard this as one of their favourite Ellery Queen novels. For me, this is a philosophical religious parable and not a detective story. You can tell that because the characters aren’t referred to as people, but as functions: Storekeeper and Teacher. And I find that kind of story intensely annoying, because to me it seems lazy. If you really wanted me to reach a philosophical and/or religious point, don’t take me by the nose and lead me through cardboard sets and silhouettes to illustrate that point — hide it from me and tease me with clues as to what it might be. (Some people say this book does that for them, I admit.) Put real people and realistic events into it and leave me a little ambiguity as to whether I’ve figured it out, but let me try to figure it out. The other part of why it annoys me is that it’s just so damn pompous. It’s as though the writer wants to tell you a story complete with a musical score filled with shrieking organs to let you know that this is a Really Important Story. It’s histrionic and overwrought and overwritten, and does everything except part the Red Sea to make the point. Oh, how I wish Manny Lee could have done the first draft of this instead of Avram Davidson; he would have been able to rein in Dannay’s plotting and make a real story out of this. And by the way, this book won the Grand Prix de Litérature Policière — it’s entirely probable that they know better than I do.

41sbh8qx8qL._SL500_I’ll note here that I’ve left out the final two Ellery Queen novels, The Last Woman in His Life (1970) and A Fine and Private Place (1971). Yes, folks, I believe these are pretty awful, and have said so here about A Fine and Private Place since it is #1 on my list of “mysteries you should die before you read”. But I’m willing to cut some slack to EQ on these two since they were written by elderly men who were at the end of a long and distinguished career. Both books are poorly executed, but they are at least trying to entertain; there is no point in reading them,
9780451071231but they have not gotten off on the wrong foot entirely like a couple of novels in this category.  Last Woman is impossible to discuss in any detail without giving it away in its entirety. But I think it would be fair to say that it couples an advanced and liberal view of a social issue with the most profound ignorance about its actuality; again, I can cut some slack here for elderly men who are trying to be progressive, but this book casually makes statements that are the equivalent to the modern ear of Agatha Christie using the n-word in the title of a book. For 1970, perhaps that might have been an advanced viewpoint; it’s pretty ugly today.

Let me pause at the end of this month of Tuesdays to tip my hat to Messrs. Dannay and Lee, who had a long and distinguished career in which they entered upon a path of untrodden snow and over the decades left the trail cleared and marked for everyone else to follow. They are one of the most important names in detective fiction and any criticism I have to offer is a small thing against their larger achievements.

Next month’s Tuesdays will be devoted to Ngaio Marsh. I hope you’re enjoying this guided tour and will continue to follow along! Your comments, as always, are welcome.

The Tuesday Night Bloggers: Ellery Queen, Week 3

The Tuesday Club QueenA group of related bloggers who work in the general area of Golden Age Mysteries has decided to collaborate and publish a blog post every Tuesday as the Tuesday Night Bloggers. We began in the spirit of celebrating Agatha Christie’s 125th birthday anniversary. We’re now going to continue with a different Golden Age mystery writer; Tuesdays in November will be devoted to Ellery Queen.

Here they are, alphabetically:

Brad Friedman, ahsweetmysteryblog: The First Bradley Awards! Christie vs. Queen

Kate Jackson, crossexaminingcrime: “The Adventure of the Dauphin’s Doll” (1948) by Ellery Queen

Moira Redmond, Clothes in BooksEllery Queen & the art of the short story

Noah Stewart, Noah’s ArchivesSome interesting Ellery Queen editions

If I’ve missed any posts, or if I become aware of later entries, I’ll add them to this post.

A few folks have sent their regrets this week and I’m sure they’ll be back soon.  Just a note in advance that next Tuesday will be the final in our series on Ellery Queen and then we’ll be moving on, Tuesdays in December, to Ngaio Marsh.  Stay with us!

 

The Tuesday Night Bloggers: Some interesting Ellery Queen editions

The Tuesday Club Queen

A group of related bloggers who work in the general area of Golden Age Mysteries has decided to collaborate and publish a blog post every Tuesday as the Tuesday Night Bloggers. We began in the spirit of celebrating Agatha Christie’s 125th birthday anniversary. We’ve now going to continue with a different Golden Age mystery writer every month; Tuesdays in November will be devoted to Ellery Queen.

A note: henceforth when I refer to “Ellery Queen” I mean the literary character. Any reference to “EQ” will refer to the two real-life cousins who wrote together and signed their work as Ellery Queen.

Some interesting Ellery Queen editions

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Dell #4, front

dell0004back(1stprtg)

Dell #4, first state, first paperback edition, back cover

dell0004back

Dell #4, second state, back cover map by Ruth Belew

As I noted in my last Ellery Queen post, the EQ cousins did a wonderful job of extending the reach of the Ellery Queen brand into all kinds of different media channels, including the early days of paperbacks.
This leads to my first interesting piece, Dell mapback #4, The American Gun Mystery. (I will note here that I am indebted, as I frequently am, to bookscans.com, who have a complete front-and-back record of every Dell mapback on their site.) TAGM is the 4th paperback ever published by Dell, and it was published at the precise moment when Dell made the decision to put maps of the action of the story on the back of their paperbacks. This particular volume is unique; the first edition had an advertisement for the Dell line, and the second contained the very first map by Chicago artist Ruth Belew to grace the back of a paperback. Edition #5 and most thereafter until well past #550 had a map. Although it may not seem ground-breaking to modern tastes, this volume is also somewhat unusual typographically. It wasn’t common in book design at this time to mix Romans and italic type in the same word, as is done here in the words “Mystery” and “Ellery Queen”; this is not like either pulp magazine conventions or hardcover dust jacket conventions at the time. Graphic, isn’t it? A near-fine copy will today cost you US$35.

dell10cent23

Dell Ten-Cent Edition #23

Dell’s association with Ellery Queen continued with an entry in another unusual Dell series, Dell Ten-Cent Editions. This was a short-lived line of 64-page “booklets” that were the size of current paperbacks but sold for a dime, where other paperbacks were a quarter. The design carried the keyhole theme to link them to Dell’s existing paperbacks. They were always a hard sell to retailers, it seems, and the series was short-lived. Before its demise at #36, though, it printed The Lamp of God as its #23 — and thereby created an asterisk in the large and complex document that is the Ellery Queen bibliography. The Lamp of God here is presented for the first time as an independent “book”; it’s really more like a novella and not an especially long one that that. Its first edition was in another volume of collected Ellery Queen stories, so this is a first edition “as such”; today available from an antiquarian on-line for US$45 in near-fine condition. It’s not by any means the most expensive volume in this remarkable series, either. There are two books in this line that command a hefty price among booksellers, William Irish’s Marihuana (today, US$300 in fine condition) and Fredric Brown’s The Case of the Dancing Sandwiches (today, US$450 in fine condition). Quite an increase in value if you spent a few dimes back then!

1937_big_little_book_in_the_name_of_the_law007

Not the Ellery Queen volume; merely to show you what a Big Little book looked like.

15148781204   EQ were pioneers in the nascent field of brand diversification and so their participation in unusual publishing formats was wider than most of their competitors. My next offering is the Better Little Book called Adventure of the Murdered Millionaire — most people would know this as a “Big Little Book”. It’s Whitman #1472 from 1942
and the nicest copy I can find today will set you back US$250. The Big Little format has text on the left and an amateurish line drawing on the right with an appropriate caption; the type was large and the text was simple. Apparently designed for children. This one also has the flip-book format where, if you riffle the pages correctly, a little piece of stop-motion animation will execute in a corner of each page. Another interesting thing about this volume is that it’s a novelization of a radio script from The Adventures of Ellery Queen. This doesn’t seem unusual except that, as a Big Little Book, it put Ellery Queen in the category of other radio characters like The Shadow or cartoon characters like Dick Tracy. Ellery Queen was similar to Philo Vance at the beginning of his literary career, and at this point EQ were leading the way in diversification when S.S. Van Dine was falling behind.

6a00d8341d6d8d53ef0168e901e152970c

Pocket Books #259

Next is an interesting item from the early years of Pocket Books. Pocket did most of the early Ellery Queen titles and also the Barnaby Ross titles; many of the lower-numbered volumes were during a period of Pocket’s cover designs that I think of as “moody dark surrealism”. Pocket #259, from 1944, is quite a good example — this is Halfway House, the subject of my blog post from two weeks ago. The one you see here will set you back perhaps US$20 in very good to fine condition.

 

11d_Halfway

Pocket #259V, alternate binding state

But its companion volume, #259-V (V for variant) will set you back 172 Euros today (roughly US$185), although I’m not sure I would rely on the bookseller. Why so expensive? Well, Pocket was experimenting with a different format and wanted the assistance of the public. This particular edition was bound at the top — the spine of the book is just beyond the words “Complete and Unabridged” on the cover — and the text was in two columns in what we would think of as landscape format today. Hard to explain, unless you’ve ever seen and held an Armed Services Edition paperback. Soldiers in Europe were finding the two-column format to be easy to read and Pocket wanted to know if the American public at large would be interested. So they bound in a reply card asking for opinions — and never repeated the experiment, so I guess we know how it came out.

Finally, my friend and fellow mystery blogger Bev Hankins provided the image that links the Tuesday Night Bloggers’ efforts, for which thanks again, Bev! I immediately remembered the original, a charming later printing of Pocket #27, The Chinese Orange Mysterychinese

The Tuesday Night Bloggers: Ellery Queen, Week 2

The Tuesday Club QueenA group of related bloggers who work in the general area of Golden Age Mysteries has decided to collaborate and publish a blog post every Tuesday as the Tuesday Night Bloggers. We began in the spirit of celebrating Agatha Christie’s 125th birthday anniversary. We’re now going to continue with a different Golden Age mystery writer; Tuesdays in November will be devoted to Ellery Queen.

Here they are, alphabetically:

Curtis Evans, The Passing Tramp: The Player on the Other Side (1963) by Ellery Queen

Brad Friedman, ahsweetmysteryblogChristie vs. Queen: Malice Domestic takes on the God Complex

Bev Hankins, My Reader’s BlockThe Current Favourite

Kate Jackson, crossexaminingcrimeDid Ellery Queen Ever Escape the Golden Age of Detection?

Xavier Lechard, At the Villa RoseMe and Mr. Queen

Moira Redmond, Clothes in Books: Ellery Queen:Following the Recommendations

Noah Stewart, Noah’s ArchivesEllery Queen, Broad Brand, and Continuation Works

If I’ve missed any posts, or if I become aware of later entries, I’ll add them to this post.

I’m really excited by the level of scholarship we’re seeing in these works. It’s clear that there’s a great deal of familiarity with these works and large amounts of affection for them … these pieces are suitable for both people who are already fans of EQ or who have never heard of him. Well done everyone!

 

 

The Tuesday Night Bloggers: Ellery Queen, Week 1

The Tuesday Club QueenA group of related bloggers who work in the general area of Golden Age Mysteries has decided to collaborate and publish a blog post every Tuesday as the Tuesday Night Bloggers. We began in the spirit of celebrating Agatha Christie’s 125th birthday anniversary. We’re now going to continue with a different Golden Age mystery writer; Tuesdays in November will be devoted to Ellery Queen.

Here they are, alphabetically:

Brad Friedman, ahsweetmysteryblog; The Queens of Crime: Comparing EQ to AC

Bev Hankins, My Reader’s Block: My Introduction to Ellery Queen

Kate Jackson, crossexaminingcrime: Ellery Queen and The Secret to Writing a Bestseller Title

Xavier Lechard, At the Villa Rose: Ellery Queen in France

Moira Redmond, Clothes in Books:Ellery Queen 1

Noah Stewart, Noah’s Archives: Halfway House, by Ellery Queen (1936)

We welcome a new participant this week; Xavier Lechard is a well-known Golden Age blogger from France who brings us an international perspective. Curtis Evans and Jeffrey Marks have let me know they’re each taking a week off. I’ll continue to update this post if I receive notifications from any other interested party, including Helen Szamuely and anyone else who’s interested; just pass me a link in the comments below and welcome aboard.

I can already see there is a wide range of interests focused through the lens of the Ellery Queen novels so this should be a fun month!