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The American cousins were co-authors of a series of more than 35 detective novels featuring a character named
Ellery Queen.
Which is about as accurate as one can get with all the mixed up aliases and frequent ghostwritten "Faux-Ellery Queen novels".
Some count as many as 25 novels by Ellery Queen, 4 under the name Barnaby Ross, 5 books with their own short stories, many anthologies under his name, 2 books of radio stories, 8 juvenile mysteries, and two volumes of detective bibliography, ...
Which could also be right... but who's counting? If anything is obvious it is the fact that their output was prolific. After the first three Ellery Queen publications Dannay and Lee wrote scripts for the long-running (9 years) Ellery Queen radio show that began in 1939.  In 1999 Ellery Queen already enjoyed book sales of 150 million.
And we haven't even began to consider that other grand opus: Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine ... 

In 1933 both cousins tried their hands at a magazine entitled Mystery League which only delivered four issues and failed. To quote Manfred B. Lee : "Mystery League Magazine was the child of the Queen imagination and early ambition. It was published on the proverbial shoelace... Fred and myself were the entire staff. We did not even have a secretary. We selected the stories, prepared copy, read proofs, dummied, sweated,...and almost literally swept out the office as well."

            Ellery Queen (still in full Barnaby Ross/Ellery Queen mode) with publisher Sidney M. Biddell (R) whilst signing the first copy of the magazine (Oct 1933)
Above:  Lee as Ellery Queen (still in full Barnaby Ross/Ellery Queen mode) with publisher Sidney M. Biddell (R) whilst signing the first copy of the magazine (Oct 1933).

Sidney M. Biddell, previously failed with his Mystery League books, which used a newsstand and cigar store outlet at 50 cents a copy, now revived the idea in the form of a magazine called Mystery League. It contained in each issue three or four times the wordage of each of the former Mystery League books. In with Biddell on the business end of the new Mystery League Magazine  was Karl J. Weimer.

A fifth number was assembled but never printed. All covers were photographs by Ben Pinchot and the illustrations by Eugene Thurston. Whilst laboring over Mystery League they did acquire expertise on  anthologies...

Mystery League - Nr 1 October 1933 Mystery League - Nr 2 November 1933
 Mystery League - Nr 3 December 1933 Mystery League - Nr 4 January 1934

Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine was launched in the fall of 1941 when Dannay persuaded Lawrence E. Spivak of The Mercury Press (who subsequently founded and hosted the popular TV show Meet the Press) to let them take another try at a mystery magazine. EQMM quickly became, as it remains today, the top publication of its kind. Largely the brainchild of Fred Dannay, EQMM not only gave Ellery an outlet for their short stories which was self-owned but also it gave other authors the opportunity to showcase their works. They considered the so-called pulps unsuitable for their purpose because often the stories were poorly written or "trashy." And so, EQMM started as an experiment:

"As writers, readers, and collectors of detective-crime stories, we have for many years shouted the need for -- and deplored the lack of -- a quality publication devoted exclusively to the printing of the best detective-crime short-story literature... And so, Ellery Queen is editing and Lawrence E. Spivak is publishing this volume, which is planned as the first of a periodic anthology of detective-crime short stories, in which the sole editorial criterion will be quality."

Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine's goal was explained as follows "to raise the sights of mystery writers generally, to the target of a genuine and respected literary form and to encourage good writing among our colleagues by offering a practical market not otherwise available among American magazines, as well as to develop new writers seeking expression in the genre." *

* The exact origin of the quote is unknown. The earliest appearance as statement by Ellery Queen was in 1962's Reader’s Encyclopedia of American Literature (Crowell).

In pursuit of the first goal - to raise mystery writing to a respected literary form - he set about finding and publishing stories with elements of crime or mystery by great literary figures past and present. The result was the inclusion of more than forty Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners in EQMM - Rudyard Kipling, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Norman Mailer, and Alice Walker among them. 

Dannay was always the driving force of the magazine (just as Lee was primarily involved with the team's radio efforts). Manfred did but occasionally contribute to EQMM. However their contract with Lawrence E.Spivak did specify that in the event Dannay died or was drafted into World War II Lee would take over.

A pioneering scholar of the genre, especially the mystery short story, Dannay personally supervised every issue of the magazine until shortly before his death. He was an indefatigable finder and reprinter of "lost" gems from pulps and dime novels. He actively solicited his peers to write for the magazine and encouraged new writers, instituting a "department of first stories" under which heading he printed at least one story in each issue by an author new to the mystery genre.

First issueEarly covers featured art by Salter and others. As the magazine progressed, photographs were used, including this picture of pinup girl Bettie Page (9/53)Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine january 1957

EQMM was born on September 25, 1941- the first quality magazine of its kind in America.  The event was no passing flutter. It was launched, with pomp and ceremony, at the Detective Story Centennial Luncheon held at the Hotel Waldorf-Astoria, New York City, in honor of the 100th Anniversary of the World's First Detective Story - Edgar Allan Poe's The Murders in the Rue Morgue. The double-barreled festivities were broadcast over a coast-to-coast radio hook-up and were attended by such notables and aficionados as Henry Seidel Canby, Dr. A.S. W. Rosenbach, Major Alexander P. de Seversky, William Lyon Phelps, Burton Rascoe, Arhtur Garfield Hay, Dr. Foster Kennedy, Howard Haycraft, Tony Sarg, Raymond Gram Swing, and by such representative detective-story writers as Carolyn Wells, Anthony Abbot, Mignon G. Eberhart and Ellery Queen himself.

So the periodical began as a quarterly in Fall, 1941. By May of the following year, the reaction had proved so overwhelmingly accepting that the publication was accelerated to bimonthly. Soon, the magazine was coming out every month, leading to competition from The Saint's Magazine and from Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. The first Ellery Queen story to be featured in EQMM was a reprint. After that, there appeared several scripts from the EQ radio show. But Ellery would also premiere new stories in the magazine as well (as a scan of the "short story" page reveals). EQMM offered rewards for good stories, and especially for good "First Stories" -- a regular staple of the magazine.

Dannay edited the magazine personally until just a few months before his death, using his expertise (and his personal library) to rescue stories from oblivion and encouraging young writers to use the form.
This despite the obvious downsides to which Dannay wasn't blind:
"Has it ever occurred to you that an editor's life is no bed of roses? That an editor does not spend his time as a gentleman of (literary) leisure?
That many of an editor's working hours creep by in the smoking watches of the night, when people of saner vocations are slumbering peacefully? That, in a phrase, being the editor of a detective story magazine is not all silk and money?
" Ellery Queen "A Plea for Editors" (1981)


 Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine july 1957 - Subscription copiesEllery Queen's Mystery Magazine july 1957 Newsstand editions

Above: For a time, subscription copies of the magazine had(dull) plain-looking covers, while newsstand copies were more appealing. (7/57)

'47 was an American magazine first published in the year 1947. It changed its name with the calendar and remained '48 until its demise in 1948. Because its title changed with the year, it is indexed in libraries by its subtitle, The Magazine of the Year.  It was pocket-sized and sold for 35c. Among the Brooklynites who are shareholder or contributors was Frederic Dannay.

continued here...

Visit Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine's website...

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