Ellery Queen

as Barnaby Ross

The Tragedy of X
First Appearance: January, 1932; Viking Press
First Paperback Appearance: October, 1941; Pocket Books 125


A crowded street car! A man is murdered! Everyone saw him die, but no one saw the killer! Many people (even his own partner) had good reason to hate Longstreet. Inspector Thumm's few clues all led up a blind alley. He finally sought the aid of Drury Lane, retired Shakespearean acto, who made a hobby of solving crimes.
Seated amid the splendor of the vast medieval halls of his castle on the Hudson, Drury Lane hears the story from the Inspector. He knows who the murderer is, but refuses to reveal his identity until he has sufficient evidence for the police to arrest him.
This story is crammed full of chilling thrills! Why was the streetcar conductor murdered? Why won't Longstreet's partner talk? The answers to these questions and others all lead to the solution of this puzzling mystery.

The Tragedy of Y
First Appearance: 1932; Frederick Stokes?
First Paperback Appearance: August, 1945; Pocket Books 313


were not only mad but vicious -- "nasty people" as their neighbors were prone to whisper. So when the worst of the lot, old Emily Hatter, was found murdered, no one was particularly upset, except possibly Louisa Campion, her deaf, dumb, and blind daughter by a former marriage. In this tangled web, not one of the family was above suspicion. There were Barbara, the Delphic oracle of New York's intelligentsia, whose abnormality bordered on genius; Conrad, who loved liquor but couldn't hold it; Jackie, his son, with a wily brain and an inspired gift for inventing cruelties; and Jill, the eternal debutante, who experimented with Life with a capital L. But when the clues began to point to Emily's husband, York, proved dead beyond a doubt, Inspector Thumm turned in despiration to his old friend Drury Lane, the famous actor, whose brilliant analysis and solution of the case proved "The Tragedy of Y" a tragedy indeed.

The Tragedy of Z
First Appearance: 1933; Viking Press
First Paperback Appearance: January, 1944; Pocket Books 355

Detection by Rule of Thumm

Brooding over the quiet countryside of Tilden County in upstate New York stand the grim walls of Algonquin Prison. And on the very day that Senator Fawcett, a man with many enemies, is found stabbed to death in his study, a little man is released from that prison. Inspector Thumm and his daughter Patience, who have accepted a commission from Elihu Clay to look into the affairs of his "silent partner," try to unravel the web of circumstantial evidence that has enmeshed an innocent man. But time grows short, and John Hume, the District Attorney and the Senator's political opponent, finds a quick conviction expedient. Patience refuses to be beaten by a lack of evidence, and with the help of her father's old friend, Drury Lane, finally stops an execution and brings the true criminal to justice.

Drury Lane's Last Case
First Appearance: Mystery League, No. 1, October, 1933
First Hardback Appearance: 1933; Viking Press
First Paperback Appearance: December, 1949; Pocket Books 669


The roadster screeched to a halt.
A Cadillac was blocking the road. Suddenly a masked figure leaped from the big car, a gun in its hand.
Patience Thumm screamed, then struggled to open her car door. But the gun came down sharply on her knuckles.
"Give me the letter," the masked figure commanded.

Ellery Queen

All book liner notes are taken from hardback notes or from paperback notes published by Pocket Books, Dell, Signet, or another publisher.