“Ellery Queen” was a pen name created and shared by two cousins, Frederic Dannay (1905-1982) and Manfred B. Lee (1905-1971), as well as the name of their most famous detective. Born in Brooklyn, they spent forty two years writing, editing, and anthologizing under the name, gaining a reputation as the foremost American authors of the Golden Age “fair play” mystery.
Although eventually famous on television and radio, Queen’s first appearance came in 1928 when the cousins won a mystery-writing contest with the book that would eventually be published as The Roman Hat Mystery. Their character was an amateur detective who used his spare time to assist his police inspector father in solving baffling crimes. Besides writing the Queen novels, Dannay and Lee cofounded Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, one of the most influential crime publications of all time. Although Dannay outlived his cousin by nine years, he retired Queen upon Lee’s death.
Several of the later “Ellery Queen” books were written by other authors, including Jack Vance, Avram Davidson, and Theodore Sturgeon.