New York: Grosset & Dunlap, c1932. Presumed First Edition, First printing thus. Hardcover. xv, , 325, , xvi, 316, x, 334 pages. Illustration. DJ has wear, tears, soiling and chips. Name of previous owner on the fep. Ellery Queen is a pseudonym created in 1929 by American crime fiction writers Frederic Dannay and Manfred Bennington Lee and the name of their main fictional character, a mystery writer in New York City who helps his police inspector father solve baffling murders. Dannay and Lee wrote most of the more than thirty novels and several short story collections in which Ellery Queen appeared as a character, and their books were among the most popular of American mysteries published between 1929 and 1971. In addition to the fiction featuring their eponymous brilliant amateur detective, the two men acted as editors: as Ellery Queen they edited more than thirty anthologies of crime fiction and true crime, and Dannay founded and for many decades edited Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, which has been published continuously from 1941 to the present. From 1961, Dannay and Lee also commissioned other authors to write crime thrillers using the Ellery Queen nom de plume, but not featuring Ellery Queen. The prolific duo wrote four mysteries under the pseudonym Barnaby Ross. Adding another dimension of complexity to their relations, the two men were cousins, each born in Brooklyn, New York, who created the nom de plume Ellery Queen using their professional names. Frederic Dannay was the professional name of Daniel Nathan (October 20, 1905 – September 3, 1982), and Manfred Bennington Lee that of Emanuel Benjamin Lepofsky (January 11, 1905 – April 3, 1971). The Roman Hat Mystery is a novel that was written in 1929 by Ellery Queen. It is the first of the Ellery Queen mysteries. The novel deals with the poisoning of a disreputable lawyer named Monte Field in the Roman Theater in New York City during a performance of a play called "Gunplay!" Although the play is a sold-out hit, the corpse is discovered seated surrounded by empty seats. A number of suspects whose pasts had made them potentially susceptible to blackmail are in the theater at the time, some connected with the Roman Theater and some audience members. The case is investigated by Inspector Richard Queen of the Homicide Squad with the assistance of his son Ellery, a bibliophile and author. The principal clue in the mystery is the disappearance of the victim's top hat, and it is suspected that the hat may have contained papers with which the victim was blackmailing the murderer. A number of suspects are considered, but nothing can be proved until Ellery performs an extended piece of logical deduction based on the missing hat and thus identifies the murderer. The French Powder Mystery is a novel that was written in 1930 by Ellery Queen. It is the second of the Ellery Queen mysteries. The story begins with a model in the ground-floor store window of French's Department Store in New York City who is demonstrating the features of a suite of ultra-modern furniture. When she pushes a button to reveal the folding bed, the bludgeoned corpse of the wife of the owner of the store tumbles to the floor. The murder case falls into the hands of Inspector Richard Queen of the Homicide Squad and his mystery-writing son Ellery. A set of onyx bookends in the private apartments on the top of the store reveal not only bloodstains but grains of fingerprint powder and an unusual assortment of books. Also, an ashtray full of half-smoked cigarettes is an important clue. The suspects include the wealthy victim's family and friends, some employees of the store, and possible members of a drug ring. At the finale of the novel, Ellery Queen performs an extended piece of deduction by creating a list of conditions that the murderer must meet (involving, among other things, the possession of keys). He clears all suspects except one, whose identity is revealed in the last line of the novel. The Egyptian Cross Mystery is a novel that was written in 1932 by Ellery Queen. It is the fifth of the Ellery Queen mysteries.
A schoolmaster in a tiny town in West Virginia is found on Christmas morning beheaded and crucified to a signpost in such a way that his body seems to form the letter "T". The letter "T" is scrawled in blood on the dead man's door. Ellery Queen is on the scene and notes that the letter "T" is also the shape of a "tau cross", or Egyptian cross; this seems to lead to a nearby bearded prophet whose invented religion mixes nudism and Egyptology. The prophet's business manager is missing and suspected of the murder. Ellery cannot solve the crime with the little information he has, but six months later in Long Island, New York, a neighbor of one of his university professors is found headless and crucified to a totem pole in the same way, in the new neighborhood of the Egyptian prophet and his followers. This corpse is clutching a red piece from a game of checkers. The third victim is a millionaire yachtsman, similarly crucified. Many events turn on the families of the victims and their interaction with the Egyptian nudists, the game of checkers and the smoking of unusually-carved pipes, but the key clue that leads Ellery to the solution is a bottle of iodine that enables him to go on a cross-country chase and hunt down the murderer. Condition: Good / Good.
Keywords: Frederic Dannay, Daniel Nathan, Manfred Bennington Lee, Emanuel Benjamin Lepofsky, Mystery Writers, Detective, Murder, Law Enforcement, Crime Solving, Richard Queen, Tau Cross, Egyptology, Nudist