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Season 1 (1/3)

  The Adventures of Ellery Queen

   CBS sustained Sundays 8:00 - 9:00 pm 1939 - 1940 (1-13)
                                                  10:00 - 11.00 pm (14-36)
   Producer/Director: George Zachary
   Announcer: Ken Roberts
   Scripts: Frederic Dannay, Manfred B. Lee
   Music: Bernard Hermann (Theme, music first 5/10 weeks),
                Leith Stevens,  Lyn Murray

Hugh Marlowe (Ellery), Santos Ortega (Inspector Queen),
             Howard Smith (Velie) replaced by Ted de Corsia as of episode 23,
Marion Shockley (Nikki Porter), Robert Strauss (Doc Prouty).


'Rogues' Gallery photos of Hugh Marlowe & Marion Shockley.
Above: "Rogues" Gallery photos of Hugh Marlowe & Marion Shockley.
1* "The Gum-chewing Millionaire"  (1)
06-18-39 :60:00*
Printed as authorized (not by Queen) book The Murdered
Millionaire (Whitman Better Little Books, 1941)
"Written and produced by George Zachary "(1)
Guest Armchair Detectives: Peter Arno (cartoonist), Ruth  McKenney (playwright), Lee T.Smith and Frederick Chase Taylor (radio's 'Colonel Stoopnagle').
Repeated condensed as "The Great Chewing Gum Mystery"
on 05-25-44 and 05-27-44  (Episode 179)

Ellery receives a friendly letter from a stranger asking for a  recommendation on choosing a nurse. Before he knows it he's  involved in the murder of a gum-loving, will-changing old tyrant.
2* "The Last Man Club" Script of this story included in "The Adventure of the Murdered Moths" ...
06-25-39 :60:00*
The Last Man Club - authorized not by Queen published Better Little Book, 1940Printed as authorized (not by Queen) book The Last Man Club (Whitman Better Little Books, 1941)
With: Arthur Allen, Don Costello, Kenneth Delmar, Hester Sondergaard, Ruth Yorke, Averill Harris, James Van Dyke.
Guest Armchair Detectives: Gelett Burgess (writer, author illustrator), Ed Gardner (radio star from Duffy's Tavern), Princess Alexandra Kropotkin (Russian refugee, linguist-writer), Deems Taylor (music critic, composer)
Music: Bernard Herrmann
Repeated 02-18-40 (Episode 36)
Repeated condensed as "The Disaster Club" on 01-06-44 and  01-08-44 (Episode 159)

When Ellery and Nikki witness a hit-and-run, the victim's dying words lead them into the affairs of a survivor-takes-all-group to which the dead man belonged.

New whodunit sustainer' series Sunday nights over CBS is a twist on Mutual's 'Author, Author' stanza, which also features Ellery Queen and weekly guest fiction 'writers. In this version the mystery author' (actually he's two guests, Manfred B. Lee and Frederic Dannay) is portrayed on the show and has an active part in the drama. He's presented as a sort of super-Philo Vance with a precocious secretary heart-throb, Nikki Porter. They stroll hand-in-hand into baffling murder cases and proceed to out-sleuth the professional coppers.
Just as all the facts are virtually in the bag, Queen steps out of character and asks the assembled guests to guess who did what why and how. After some minutes of floundering and attempted wit, the pinch hitters retire to the bench, while Queen and his sweetie unravel the final clues. ...
Attempt is being made to build Queen into a radio character, so the identity of the players who portray the author and Nikki Porter are supposed to be a deep, dark secret however, Hugh Marlowe plays Queen and Marian Shockley is the secretary-love interest. Former was vividly lifelike on the stanza caught but fluffed several lines. Miss Shockley was expressive and animated, but the script over-emphasized the coyness in the part. Others were pretty much standard. Lee-Dannay scripted the show, George Zachary directs and Bernard Herman is composer-conductor.
(Variety, Wednesday June 28, 1939)
3* "The Fallen Angel"
07-02-39 :60:00*
Adapted as "The Fallen Angel" and published in EQMM, 7/51 and in The Calendar of Crime (1952) 
Guest Armchair Detectives: William H.Barton Jr.(Executive curator, Hayden planetarium), Christopher W. Coates (Aquarist, New York Aquarium)
, Francesca La Monte (Associate curator of ichthyology at the American Museum of Natural History), Pauline Simmons (Assistant curator of far eastern art, Metropolitan Museum of Art)
Music: Bernard Herrmann
Adaptation available on the internet...Repeated condensed as "The Adventure of the Fallen Angel" for NBC's Molle Mystery Theater 06-14-46
Nikki's girl friend, recently got married a aging laxative tycoon and  moved into the monstrous family mansion. There she gets involved into a sexual relationship with her husbands' artistic younger brother. Then murder steps in ...and so does Ellery.
4* "Napoleon's Razor"  Script of this story included in "The Adventure of the Murdered Moths" ...
07-09-39 :60:00*
Guest Armchair Detectives: Lillian Hellman (playwright), Herman Shumlin (Broadway producer), Craig Earl (host of radio's Professor Quiz) and Betty Garde (singer)
Music: Bernard Herrmann
Repeated condensed as "The Corpse in Lower Five" 06-22-44 and 06-24-44 (Episode 183)

A murder is committed on a transcontinental train from Santa Fe station in Los Angeles and cross the country, arriving at Grand Central terminal, New York.
Ellery gets involved with a traveling salesman,  a movie star, a professor and an old razor.

Queen expertly distinguishes his characters for a radio audience by their accents - the African-American porter, the southwestern sheriff, the professor from France. (2)
5* "The Impossible Crime"
07-16-39 :60:00*
Guest Armchair Detectives: Jane Franklin, Mrs. Mary E. Hamilton, Michael Krozier and John J.Martin
Music: Bernard Herrmann

A murder that couldn't have been committed—and yet was—would reasonably be expected to stump such fictional criminologists as Sherlock Holmes, Nick Carter, Philo Vance, Perry Mason and Hercule Poirot.
6* "George Spelvin, Murderer"
07-23-39 :60:00*
Guest Armchair Detectives: Katharine Albert (playwright), Dale Eunson (playwright), Constance Smith and John S.Young (radio announcer)

Ellery warns his colleagues that even though the killer's name is known, "the most redoubtable sleuth would have no cinch in summarizing this solution."
As ridiculous as it seems, everything is known about the murderer and nothing. (CBS publicity handout)

There is a possible connection with The Scarlet Letters (1953) where the name George Spelving (a traditional pseudonym for actors) pops up.
7* "The Bad Boy"  Script of this story included in "The Adventure of the Murdered Moths" ...
07-30-39 :60:00*
Guest Armchair Detectives: Daisy Armoury, Lewis E. Birdseye (General agent of St. Johns Guild Floating Hospital and Sea Side Hospital at New Dorp, Staten island)  Helen Leighty and Dr. Lloyd B.Sharp (Head of 
Life Camps). All 4 guests were New York child welfare officials.
Hugh Marlowe (EQ), Santos Ortega (IQ), Ted De Corsia (Velie), Charlotte Keane (Nikki), Brad Barker (boy Bobby Hayes
), Harold Dryanforth, John Gibson, Avril Harris, Jane Houston, Anne Seymour, Walter Vaughn, Guy Wallace. George Zachary (producer), George Falkner (continuity) Lyn Murray (composer - conductor), Howard Teichmann (editor).
Adaptation available on the internet...Repeat performance in NBC's Ford Theatre 1-4-48 had playwright-producer Howard Lindsay as host.
Adapted on television in the Dumont series "The Adventures of Ellery Queen" 10/19/50

Sarah Brink, who was poisoned by arsenic in a serving of  rabbit stew and found dead in her bed with several dozen live bunnies loose in the room. In the Washington Square brownstone we also  find a secret room, an old matriarch, a magician and a precocious young boy.

The latest in Sunday night radio socks
Is wallowing knee-deep in crime:
The killer's at large and as sly a a fox;
O, boy! What a wonderful time!
Away on the hunt the whole family goes;
The murder? By whom was it seen?
The corpus delicti won't tell what he knows
—Hurray! Here comes Ellery Queen

                  (39-07-29 Mason City Globe-Gazette)
8* "The Flying Needle"  (1)
08-06-39 :60:00*
Repeated condensed as "The Murder on the Air" 02-03-44 and 02-05-44 (Episode 163)
Guest Armchair Detectives: E.L. Bragdon (New York Sun radio editor)
, Leonard Carlton (New York Post radio editor), J. E. "Dinty" Doyle (New York Journal-American radio editor) and Jo/Joe Ranson (radio editor of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

Ted Weeks, Broadway columnist, is murdered during his broadcast in a mystifying  manner.

In line with his usual policy program-originator George Zachary reveals little beyond the fact that the approaching adventure occurs during a broadcast.
Kenneth Roberts, CBS announcer identified with all of Queen's air adventures, is to turn actor on the flying needle mystery and play Kenneth Roberts,  announcer.
                 (39-08-05 Mason City Globe-Gazette)

Involved the blowing of a poisoned needle through a soda straw. Which  was actually tested by Zachary hours before the show went on the air!
9* "The Wandering Corpse"  (1)
08-13-39 :60:00*
Guest Armchair Detectives: Raymond Paige, Howard Barlow, Johnny Green and Mark Warnow (all bandleaders)
Repeated condensed as "The Election Day Murder" 11-02-44 and 11-04-44 (Episode 202)

The newly elected District Attorney is found murdered in a Turkish bath.  Inspector Queen and Sergeant Velie can rely on Ellery in a case which stumbles upon election fraud
10* "The Thirteenth Clue"  (1)
08-20-39 :60:00*
Guest Armchair Detectives: Dan Doherty (Movietone assignment editor), Henry Casler, James Crayhon, and Margaret Bourke-White (all news photographers)
Repeated condensed as "The Squirrel Woman" 02-17-44 and 02-19-44 (Episode 165)

A series of thefts on a Broadway sideshow get Ellery involved. Then a midget dies in a closed room gets bitten by a rattlesnake...

Assisted by the competent, comely Nikki, Columbia's gentleman-detective finds himself faced with a gruesome problem in a honky-tonk side show on Broadway. Complicating matters are a little freak, a Hindu fortune teller, a snake charmer and a card expert. And the stolen articles?  Who could possibly want an ordinary flat iron, a mouse, broom, bag of salt, and deck of cards? Radiogenic-voiced Queen figures it out in his own ingenious, deductive fashion.
                    (39-08-19 Mason City Globe-Gazette
11* "The Secret Partner"
           aka "The Silent Partner"
08-27-39 :60:00*
Nine-part comic book adaptation distributed by Gulf Oil in May and June 1940
Guest Armchair Detectives: Lois Doyle (daughter of radio columnist "Denty"),  Estelle Levy (radio actress of Nila Mack's Let's Pretend), Buster Hoefer (editor and publisher of the Sheboygan (Wisconsin) Weekly, who contends its the world's smallest newspaper), Arthur Ross (schoolboy radio emcee of March of Games.)

Diamonds from Holland are smuggled into the States via a shipment of Tulip bulbs
12* "The Million Dollar Finger"
09-03-39 :60:00*
Guest Armchair Detectives: Dean Cornwall (commercial artist), Ruth Garth (industrial designer), Tony Sarg (illustrator) and Suzanne Silvercruys (sculptor)

In Greenwich Village a group of starving artists encounter dead and Ellery Queen!

The scheduled show was postponed because of European war new broadcasts. Guests reappeared on The Lost Treasurer 15*

"The Three R's"
 09-10-39 :60:00*
Adapted as "The Three R's" in 
EQMM, 9/46 and in The Calendar of Crime (1952).  In the condensed version There Was An Old Woman was  mentioned, in the '46  EQMM version The Murderer was a Fox (sic) and in the printed Calendar version The Origin of Evil.
Guest Armchair Detectives: four undergraduates from Midwest colleges.
Repeated condensed as "The College Crime" 09-14-44 and 09-16-44 (Episode 195)

When at the beginning of a new academic year students and teachers return to the classrooms, Ellery is hired by the administration of Barlowe College to locate a Poe scholar who vanished in the Ozarks during the summer. His finds some baffling clues: a detective-story manuscript, a skeleton with two missing fingers.

West Coast only

     Hugh Marlowe and Marion Shockley pay a visit to the New York City Police Headquarters. (New York, September 13. 1936, CBS)
Above: Hugh Marlowe and Marion Shockley pay a visit to the New York City Police Headquarters. (New York, September 13. 1936, CBS)

"The Blue Curse"
09-17-39 :60:00*
Repeated 02-04-40 (Episode 34)
Guest Armchair Detectives: four winners of a write-in contest

"Every mystery script has to have a focal clue on which the action hinges," George Zachary says. "The clue is usually some tiny detail in the story—a slot machine, a date, a baseball score board—but it must be the give-away to the murderer's identity. Unless it is perfectly correct in itself, people write in and criticize the solution."

West Coast only

15* "The Lost Treasure"
aka "Lost Treasurer"
09-24-39 :60:00*
Adapted as "The Needle's Eye" (EQMM, 8/51),
as "Dead is my business" (True Adventures, 12/58) and collected in Calendar of Crime, 1952 
Guest Armchair Detectives
West: Camilla Boone, James Edwards, Hugh Hawley and Ester Tyler
East: Dean Cornwall (commercial artist), Ruth Gerth (industrial designer), Tony Sarg (illustrator) and Suzanne Silvercruys (sculptor) (all of whom were listed for the deduction squad Sept. 3, when the scheduled show was postponed because of European war new broadcasts.
Repeated as "Captain's Kidd Bedroom" 02-11-40 (Episode 35)
Repeated condensed as "The Buried Treasure" 04-27-44 and 04-29-44 (Episode 175)

Ellery investigates the husband of the niece of a retired explorer. When visiting his island he runs into a treasure hunt and the explorer is murdered ...

Ellery Queen is one of those sustaining programs definitely better than a raft of commercials now keeping sponsors fairly happy. That the series deserves a sponsor can scarcely be doubted: but whether CBS can sell it as an hour program is something else again.
Sunday show, titled "The Lost Treasure", was a solid mystery with the theme unfolding thru narration and dramatization. The hour period leaves plenty of time for introduction of minor climaxes, sub-clues and general building of suspense. Whereas this is all very well and aids in presenting a good story, there is scarcely any doubt that much of the interest could be maintained if the program were sliced to a half hour. Perhaps this would necessitate more narration to cover events more quickly, and program might therefore lose something of its interest, but CBS would probably grab a sponsor in shorter order.
George Zachary produces the series, and if all of them measure up to "Lost Treasure" he is doing a very capable job. Like most detective-mystery yarns the business had a good shot of hoke in it, but no more than is expected by the average armchair detective.
Program has four guests who try to arrive at a solution before Queen does. Sunday they were Tony Sarg, Suzanne Silvercruys, Ruth Gerth and Dean Cornwell. They aired their views but contributed very little to the program's appeal (Ackerman in The BillBoard, Oct 14.1939)

During October 1939 Ted de Corsia replaced Howard Smith as Sergeant Velie.

From an audience of 30 visitors to the broadcast, four are to be chosen to comprise the armchair detective quartet. 


"The Woman from Nowhere"
10-01-39 :60:00*
Guest Armchair Detectives: Wally Butterworth and Parks Johnson (co-hosts of radio's Vox Pop program) and four audience members

A pawnbroker moves with his family from one house to another.  To his astonishment he finds they find the body of a mysterious  woman in a trunk in the basement

According to Mike Nevins a few minutes of this episode still exist. Sadly the sound quality is very poor and only the conversation of the guest armchair detectives is heard.

The Columbia Workshop 2nd series had as it's 7th episode "The Great Microphone Mystery" a 30-minute episode broadcast on October 05, 1939 aka Ellery Queen Mystery "The Case of the Mysterious Leap Year" and reran on February 29, 1940 it featured several CBS personalities, joined by several of their wives, play roles opposite to their usual ones. Burgess Meredith, Beatrice Kay, Howard Barlow, John Reed King, Mel Allen, Earle McGill, Norman Corwin, Nila Mack, Ted Husing, David Ross, Robert Trout, Kitty Trout, Mrs. Linton Wells, Ray Bloch (music director), Phil Cohan (director), John Fitzgerald (director), Paul Phillips (writer), Ted de Corsia, Mrs. George Fielding Eliot and Hugh Marlowe.
Surreal, fast-paced musical comedy revue featuring numerous network personalities and their spouses playing against type: "serious actor" Burgess Meredith performs "Singin' in the Rain" like a lowbrow vaudevillian, CBS newsman Robert Trout recites "Jabberwocky," sportscaster Ted Husing announces a symphony, children's program director Nila Mack is profiled as a bandleader, et cetera. An overly zany, self-congratulatory Workshop fantasy that plays like Stan Freberg on amphetamines.
17* "The Mother Goose Murders"  (1)
10-08-39 :60:00*
Guest Armchair Detectives: four audience members

Set in an old hotel where the mild-mannered proprietor Mr. Wiggins  turns out to be responsible for nursery-rhyme killings...
When WBBM Chicago transmitted this show it was forced off the air 9 minutes before the end of the program.
Robert Strauss played Mr. Wiggins not Prouty.
18* "The March of Death"  Script of this story included in "The Adventure of the Murdered Moths" ...   (1)
10-15-39 :60:00*
Guest Armchair Detective: Harry Kurnitz (screenwriter-crime novelist)

Ellery helps out a department store magnate find three children and stumbles across murder and a dying message! Millionaire Samuel March is murdered. He even carves a clue concerning his killer on a desk top. But that only serves to confuse the police. Suspicion points to six people including March's sons and daughters who were summoned from Cairo, Panama and other distant places just before he made a new will.
19* "Nikki screamed and threw her arms around Ellery's neck. For a moment they stood there, while a ghostly wail rose and throbbed..." from "The Adventure of the Haunted Cave" (Hugh Marlowe and Marion Shockley)."The Haunted Cave"  Script of this story included in "The Adventure of the Murdered Moths" ...
10-22-39 :60:00*
Printed as authorized story in Radio &
 Mirror (05-1940)
Guest Armchair Detectives: four members of CBS staff and Radio City Music Hall, Martin Lewis (Radio Guide columnist) was the only one of the amateur sleuths to name the murderer correctly ...
Repeated condensed as "Dead Man's Cavern" 04-13-44 and  04-15-44 (Episode 173)
Part of a series of EQ episodes to be restaged with Australian actors and local commercials. Airdate 11-26-54 (Episode 23) "Mystery of the Strangler's Ghost"

Ellery spends the weekend at Tecumseh Lodge with Nikki, Inspector Queen and Velie. While investigating a cave haunted by a strangler Colin Montague is murdered...

Above right:  "Nikki screamed and threw her arms around Ellery's neck. For a moment they stood there, while a ghostly wail rose and throbbed..." from "The Adventure of the Haunted Cave" (Hugh Marlowe and Marion Shockley)

Kenneth Roberts, announcer for the Ellery Queen show, looked as though he needed a good night's sleep. Well, he did; he was up all night pacing the floor of the hospital where his frau gave birth to a son as dawn approached. (Radio Guide 39-11-10)
Note: Tony, Kenneth's son was born on 10-22-39

As it usually happens, all members of the cast are not in the studio when the mystery is finally solved. So the members of the cast have made up a pool, each chipping in a dime and then guessing who the murderer is. Actor Ted de Corsia has won it three times now, with Robert Strauss a close second with two wins. People were suspecting De Corsia of having inside information, but we can vouch for the difficulty of finding out any dope before the show begins. We went to a recent broadcast and tried to get Actor Ray Hedge to tell us who the murderer was. He wouldn't so much as give us the initials. When the show was over we learned that Ray Hedge played the murderer. (39-10-29 Jack Sher, The Port Arthur News)

20* "The Dead Cat  (1)
10-29-39 :60:00*
Adapted story printed as "The Dead Cat" in EQMM, 10/46 and collected in  The Calendar of Crime (1952)
Guest Armchair Detectives: four unknown guests
Repeated condensed as "The Murder Game" 06-01-44 and 06-03-44   (Episode 180)

During a Halloween party a game of Murder is played. One of the guest's throat is cut in pitch darkness. Fortunately both Ellery and Nikki attend (in cat costumes)
21* "The Picture Puzzle"
11-05-39 :60:00*
Guest Armchair Detectives: four unknown guests
Repeated condensed as "The Painted Problem" 04-06-44 and 4-08-44 (Episode 172)

A executed bank robber hid a fortune in stolen bonds, Ellery tries to find the goods by studying a painting on the wall of the prison cell
22* "The Cellini Cup"
11-12-39 :60:00*
Printed as authorized story (not Queen) "Here is a 
Mystery" in  Radio Guide 01-26-40
Guest Armchair Detectives: four unknown guests
AFRS Mystery Playhouse program "The Thief in the Dark" sneak preview at the end of AFRS Nero Wolfe broadcast of "The Last Laugh" 07-05-43 (?)
Repeated condensed as "The Thief in the Dark"  05-04-44 and  05-06-44 (Episode 176)
Heavily condensed summary of "The Cellini Cup" "Here is a Mystery"... in "RadioGuide" - January 26.1940.Ellery meets a man who claims that an
art-gallery proprietor has cheated him out of a cup made by the great Benvenuto. Ellery and Nikki go to the auction of the priceless cup and meet a variety of people. That  night the Cellini cup is stolen from the son of the art dealer in total darkness and in the presence of both Ellery and Nikki...

Right: Heavily condensed summary of "The Cellini
Cup" "Here is a Mystery"... in RadioGuide, January 26.1940.

... An interesting revelation is the explanation of the radio detective's odd name. The authors of the series, Manny Lee and Fred Dannay, wanted to compound a name for their hero that would become well-remembered. They decided, since Q was the most unusual alphabetic letter, and then, since "Queen" presented definite picture, that was to be their figure's last name. "Ellery" was chosen for its rare application, and thereupon the completed pseudonym was tested on the friends of Dannay and Lee for tenacity to the memory. The name stuck in all cases tried and it now sticks in the minds of millions of Sunday night listeners all over the nation.   
(39-11-18 Mason City Globe-Gazette)

23* "The Tell-Tale Bottle"  (1)
11-19-39 :60:00*
Reworked and printed as "The Telltale Bottle" in EQMM, 11/46 and collected in The Calendar of Crime (1952) 
Reprinted as "The Thanksgiving Day Mystery" in EQMM, 12/65
Guest Armchair Detectives: Alvena Smith (Tulane University coed) one of four amateur contestants.

When delivering holiday food baskets to the poor, Ellery and Nikki stumble into a cocaine-pushing operation and a murder.
24* "The Lost Child"  Script of this story included in "The Adventure of the Murdered Moths" ...   (1)
11-26-39 :60:00*
Adapted as "Kidnaped!" (This Week, July 8, 1951 reprinted in EQMM
, 6/58 and collected as "Child Missing!" in Queen's Bureau of Investigation, 1955)
Guest Armchair Detectives:  four unidentified guests
Repeated condensed as "The Missing Child" 05-07-42 and 05-09-42 (Episode 85)

Ellery sets out to find a missing child who's parents are about to divorce and finds a mysterious letter and a negligent nurse.
25* "The Man who wanted to be Murdered"  (1)
12-03-39 :60:00*
Printed as authorized story (not Queen) in
Radio & 
Television Mirror
Guest Armchair Detectives:  four unidentified guests

Re-enactment by actors for "Radio & Television Mirror" August 1940, "The Man who wanted to be Murdered".A wheelchair-bound old gambler deliberately tempts his brother, his nephew, his niece, and his doctor. Through his will he intends to leave everything to charity if he lives longer that one week otherwise his estate will be divided among them. Furthermore, the old man makes a $ 25,000 bet that Ellery can't  solve his murder. On the last day of the specified week his wish is fulfilled ...

Above right: Re-enactment by actors for Radio & Television Mirror
August 1940, "The Man who wanted to be Murdered".

 "The Black Secret"  Script of this story included in "The Adventure of the Murdered Moths" ...   (1)
12-10-39 :60:00*
Guest Armchair Detectives:  four unidentified guests
Repeated condensed as "The Dark Secret" 06-08-44 and 06-10-44 (Episode 181)

Ellery and Nikki go undercover as clerks in a rare-book shop where some valuable works were stolen. Then the co-owner is murdered.

Ellery solves three mysteries in a bookstore, and doing so he not only explains a dying message but competes with a rival detective Mike Callahan; who appeared in several of the early radio mysteries. (2)

"...Two boys, ages fifteen and seventeen, walked into a New York department store with a trick box designed to conceal stolen books. Caught, they confessed they had picked up the idea of the novel way to steal novels from an Ellery Queen broadcast, "The Missing Manuscript." They are on probation." (Movie Radio Guide, Feb 17.1940)
(Note: There was no episode by that name, but "The Black Secret" script fits the description exactly)

27* "The Three Scratches"
aka "The Four Scratches" (1)
12-17-39 :60:00*
Basis for the script for The Penthouse Mystery (1941)
Guest Armchair Detectives:  four unidentified guests, possibly Chamberlain Brown (producer) (an article in the Washington Post from Dec 21, 1939 mentions him as solving the story "a few days ago")

"Four armchair detectives chosen from the radio audience, and Columbia network listeners in general as the program rings in".
28* "The Swiss Nutcracker"  (1)
12-24-39 :60:00*
Guest Armchair Detectives:  four unidentified guests

Marooned at a New England house party Ellery is faced with the thefts of a nutcracker, Santa's suit and a valuable diamond.  Everyone has an alibi.
29* "The Scorpion's Thumb"
12-31-39 :60:00*
Printed as authorized story (not Queen) in
Radio & Television Mirror 12-40 (Below,  enactment of "The Scorpion's Thumb" by members of the radio cast. Marion as Nikki leads a character to a chair...)
Guest Armchair Detectives:  four unidentified guests

At a New Year's party a partner of a Wall Street brokerage  house is served a poisoned cocktail...

Radio & Television Mirror 12-40 From an enactment of "The Scorpion's Thumb" by members of the radio cast. Marion as Nikki leads a character to a chair...

"The Dying Scarecrow"  Script of this story included in "The Adventure of the Murdered Moths" ...
aka "The Scarecrow Man" (1)
01-07-40 :60:00*
Guest Armchair Detectives: Marge Kerr, Russell Markert (promoter), George Shoemaker and Helen Sioussat (radio producer/director)
Repeated condensed as "The Scarecrow and the Snowman" 1-20-44 and 1-22-44 (Episode 161)

In July Ellery, Nikki, the Inspector and Velie are driving through the Midwestern arm country. They stop to take home movies of a picturesque scarecrow and find a knifed man inside the scarecrow outfit. The victim survives but remains unidentified and vanishes from the local hospital soon afterwards. Six months later, Ellery and his entourage return to the area during a blizzard and discover the same man, inside a  snowman in a farmyard only this time very dead....

31* "The Woman in Black"  Script of this story included in "The Adventure of the Murdered Moths" ...
01-14-40 :60:00*
Guest Armchair Detectives: four armchair detectives chosen from the radio audience.
Kate Smith (singer) and Ted Collins (vice president of Columbia Records) (?)
Repeated condensed as "The Circular Clues" 03-16-44 and 03-18-44 (Episode 169)

Ellery investigates the haunting of the family of a English writer. 
"The Case of the Three Macklins" script (Jan 19. 1940) for an EQ capsule in The Kate Smith Hour was published in a special Crippen & Landru booklet in 2005 (limited edition of Adventures of the Murdered Moth), this booklet mentions Kate Smith (singer) and Ted Collins (vice president of Columbia Records) as armchair detectives in the Ellery Queen program the previous Sunday.

"The Anonymous Letters"
01-21-40 :60:00*
Guest Armchair Detectives (East): George and Martha Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Napoleon Bonaparte, Robert E.Lee (5 people with famous names)

Visitors will attempt to solve Adventure of the Anonymous Letters on CBS show George and Martha Washington, Napoleon Bonaparte, Benjamin Franklin and Robert E. Lee - these are the armchair detectives who have accepted Ellery Queen's challenge to beat him to the solution of the Adventure of the Anonymous Letters over Columbia network.
Mr. and Mrs. George Washington are respectively, a US postal carrier and housewife of Caldwell, N.J. Napoleon Bonaparte, aged nineteen, is a New York University senior and business manager of The Medley, a college publication. Benjamin Franklin is an attorney and Robert E. Lee an illustrator of crime stories for newspapers and magazines. The latter three are New Yorkers.
Abraham Lincoln of New Jersey and Ulysses S. Grant of New York were unable to accept the CBS sleuth's challenge to appear on the program.
          (Buffalo Courier-Express, Sunday, Jan 21, 1940)

To find the individual musical motif of a mystery, Lyn Murray studies an Ellery Queen script for hours. For "The Anonymous Letters" adventure the theme had to suggest mischief yet forecast ominous results. To complement the previous episode "The Woman in Black," a ghost story, the melodic theme had to be eerie, fantastic. (The Harrisburg Telegraph)

33* "The Devil's Violin"
01-28-40 :60:00*
Guest Armchair Detectives: four people named John Smith. John Smith ( Flushing, N.Y.), John Smith, (Brooklyn, N.Y), John Smith and John Smith, (New York City)
Repeated condensed as "Wanted, John Smith" 03-09-44 and 03-11-44 (Episode 168)

Ellery tries to help two refugees from Austria a violinist and child prodigy. Their Stradivarius is threatened by a bearded man with a limp, wearing dark glasses who calls himself John Smith... . 
34* "The Blue Curse"  (1)
02-04-40 :60:00*
Repeat of 9-17-39 (Episode 14)
Guest Armchair Detectives (1940):
Donald Cook (star of "Skylark"), Ralph V. Hitchcock (advertising man), C.J. Ingram (Jersey Journal radio editor) and Dr. Benjamin Shallet (physician).

"Captain Kidd's Bedroom"
02-11-40 :60:00*
Repeat of "The Lost Treasure" 09-24-39 (Episode 15)
Adapted as "The Needle's Eye" (EQMM, 8/51) and collected in
Calendar of Crime, 1952 
Guest Armchair Detectives: three/four experts
Repeated condensed as "The Buried Treasure" 04-27-44 and 04-29-44 (Episode 175)

Ellery investigates the husband of the niece of a retired explorer. When visiting his island he runs into a treasure hunt and the explorer gets murdered ...

Radio Thriller Puts Kidd On “Jorgan ’s Island”
Those who listened in on the
Ellery Queen hour over
WABC last Sunday evening could easily discern that the scene of the play was Gardiner’s Island, although it was listed as an Island two miles off the coast of Montauk Point, owned by one "Jorgan."
Ellery Queen's phantasmagoria was the equal of any of Sherlock Holmes
laudanum-spiked pipe dreams.
Ellery unerringly hit on the solution to the crime, and three experts in the studio
 made a feeble attempt to solve the crime fifteen minutes before the closing curtain.
You see there a room in the old Manse on Jorgan's Island occupied by Captain
 Kidd in the seventeenth century. The old boy was said to have buried treasure on the Island, to some one or other he imparted the message that "he who would find the treasure, must look through the eye of the needle.” Queen takes a trip to Jorgan's Island, coming out at Montauk Point and being ferried across by none other than the proprietor himself, Mr. Jorgan. They are met at the dock on the Island, by “Silver” the one-legged caretaker.
Plots and intrigue develop at a fast pace and some confusion. Suffice it to say' that Queen discovers that the “eye of the needle” refers to a design on the rare old wallpaper in Kidd's bedroom, presumably not re-decorated since the departure of fair William in 1695. Poking a broom handle through the design, Queen "takes a bead” on a hill on the east  shore of the Island, and, digging there, finds a chest full of gold, silver and platinum jools. (Clue No.1) No sooner the treasure trove is recovered than Jorgan is found shot in Kidd's bedroom. Jorgan had fired his pistol, but no bullet hole is found in the room and examination discloses no wound on any one on the Island (clue No. 2) enter a guy posing as an English jook and stage-English wife—a Scotland Yard agent, one Viborg (a nasty individual) etc etc   ad nauseam.
Who done it? Give up? Well ya see, the jools is a plant by the English jook who is none other than a desperate international crook. He buries the loot on the island with the connivance of the wooden legged caretaker, invents the yam about looking through the needless eye so that the “ice” can be "discovered” and then peddled legitimately as Kidd's treasure. The platinum settings (Clue No. 1) done him in as Queen showed that this had not been used until 1900 for jewelry.
The wooden legged bloke, Silver, did the shooting, because Jorgan's bullet was
 lodged in his wooden leg (clue No. 2) hence no bullet hole in the room and no wounded person on the Island.
Queen announced that his program would be continued as a thirty minutes feature beginning in two weeks, but here for once he failed to give any logical reason why.
Montauk Point received about six or eight mentions in the play, the “Suffolk
 County police" one or two but no - distinguishable local names. As Colonel Bradley so often said about modem inventions, including the scourage known as "radio","Ah, the marvelous workings of the wheelbarrow!"
 (The East Hampton Star, Thursday Feb 15, 1940)

A bridge tournament which began early last June when the "Adventures of Ellery Queen" first went on the air is still raging at CBS. Every week between dress rehearsal and broadcast, Ellery Queen, Nikki (Marion Shockley), Inspector Queen (Santos Ortega), and George Zachary, the producer of the show, get out a pack of cards and relax from detective mysteries by delving into the mysteries of bridge. Whenever a rubber is unfinished by broadcast time, the score is put away and the game left to be completed the next week. The game has recently brought up a mystery Ellery is having trouble solving - the mystery of the disappearing score card. Ellery is sure he and Nikki were ahead one evening a short while ago, but when it came time to continue the next week, the score couldn't be found. Zachary and Inspector Queen claim complete ignorance of the disappearance, and have established ironclad alibis. (Harrisburgh Telegraph - Feb 17. 1940)

"The Last Man Club" Script of this story included in "The Adventure of the Murdered Moths" ...
The Last Man Club - authorized not by Queen published Better Little Book, 1940
02-18-40 :60:00*
Repeat of 6-25-39 (Episode 2)
Guest Armchair Detectives: unknown
Repeated condensed as "The Disaster Club" on 01-06-44 and 01-08-44 (Episode 159)

When Ellery and Nikki witness a hit-and-run,  the victim's dying words lead them into the affairs of a survivor-takes-all-group to which the dead man belonged.

George Zachary, program originator, announced that Queen Fans have been given the opportunity to select the mystery that they have most enjoyed.

Click if you think you can help out...!


1) Radio Guide
(2) The Adventure of the Murdered Moths - Crippen & Landru
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