Tuesday, October 20, 2015

10/20/1905 Half of Ellery Queen is born

October 20, 1905.  Daniel Nathan was born on this day in Brooklyn, New York.  Writing under the name Frederick Dannay, with his cousin Manfred Lee, they created the author Ellery Queen, who wrote about the character Ellery Queen.  Complicated names, huh?  And I didn't even mention that Lee's real name was Emanuel Lepofsky.

They wrote more than thirty books, sometimes bringing in a ghost writer to do part of the work.  Ellery Queen, the author, loved complicated fair play plots in the early days, with Challenges To The Reader:  You know what Ellery knows.  Can you solve the puzzle?  Their style changed over the decades, as they were willing to experiment  more than many of their era.

The character went onto movies, radio, and television, not to mention comic books.  But the half of Queen whose birth we celebrate today was also the main force behind Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, which he edited for forty years.  Now in its seventies, EQMM is one of the oldest surviving magazines in the U.S., and has been a steering force in mystery fiction,e specially the short story. 

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