Paperback Originals

of Ellery Queen

This page includes two different classes of Ellery Queen/Barnaby Ross literature which -- with the exception of A Study in Terror and Cop Out -- have one thing in common: they were not written by Fred Dannay or Manfred Lee. In the case of the film adaptations, these were normally based on genuine Queen stories which had been altered to suit the folks in Hollywood. The scripts were then rewritten into novelized form. Cop Out was written by the original EQ's but features neither the Ellery Queen nor Richard Queen characters. Similarly, A Study in Terror was adapted by EQ from a previously written script which had nothing to do with Queen. The paperback originals which were part of a series of books are listed separately on pages devoted to the series.

The other class of books listed here are rightly called "paperback originals," for in nearly all cases no hardback preceded the release of the paperback. Lee and Dannay almost certainly intended their 30th novel, The Finishing Stroke, to be their last (as even the title suggests). They had both begun to feel that with the advance of technology in the science of criminology the traditional sleuth was no longer a necessity. It would be more difficult now to come up with plots where Ellery's reasoning process would be needed. After the lapse of a couple of years, though, they found themselves licensing the Queen and Ross names (for authorship purposes) to others -- an act which kept the two names current in the minds of the reading public -- even if the Ellery character was absent. The novels were ghost-written or co-written by other authors, using the Queen or Ross name, and the books were released in paperback form only. In some cases, Manfred Lee provided the basic idea or the sketch of a script. Lee is said to have edited all of the paperback originals, except for the last of the McCall series. I wish to note at this time that it can be shown that the pseudo-Ross novels were part of the same series (and therefore same contracts) as certain pseudo-Queen novels. However, the Ross novels are not mysteries. Instead, the 1960's incarnation of Barnaby Ross wrote historical novels with a flair for drama!

Script Novelizations
Ellery Queen, Master Detective
Based on: The Door Between
First Appearance: 1941; Grosset and Dunlap
First Paperback Appearance: 1968; Pyramid Books (as "The Vanishing Corpse")
The police believed pretty Nikki Porter had murdered John Braun, but Ellery set out to prove that she was innocent. Working alone, he matched his wits against a brilliantly clever criminal who twice stole the body of the murdered man from under the very nose of the police.

Adventure of the Last Man Club
Based on: Radio Script, supervised by Dannay and Lee
First Appearance: 1941; Whitman "Better Little Book" 1406
First Paperback Appearance: 1968; Pyramid Books R-1835

Adventure of the Murdered Millionaire
Based on: Radio Script, supervised by Dannay and Lee
First Appearance: 1942; Whitman "Better Little Book" 1472

The Penthouse Mystery
Based on:
First Appearance: 1941 First Paperback Appearance: April, 1968; Pyramid Books R-1810
A murderous mix of clues and characters that gives detection's most expert amateur, ELLERY QUEEN, one of his trickiest cases.

The Perfect Crime
Based on: The Devil to Pay
First Appearance: 1942
First Paperback Appearance: 1968; Pyramid Books R-1814

The Four of Hearts Mystery
Based on: The Four of Hearts
First Appearance: 1949; Dramatic Publishing Co.
dramatization by William Rand

6100 Series
Dead Man's Tale
Author: Stephen Marlowe
First Paperback Appearance: October, 1961; Pocket Books 6117

Find Milo Hacha or else!

When Barney Street, the fixer, was in Holland during World War II, his life had been saved by a German soldier.
Now Barney was dead; his estate was worth $2,000,000. But in his will Barney left it all to Hacha, the German soldier who had saved his life. Barney's wife, Estelle, wanted that money. If Hacha was dead, she would get it. If not...?
So she sent Steve Longacre to Europe to find out. Steve, who had once been one of Barney's boys, took along his kid brother, Andy, and they trailed Hacha from Holland to Switzerland, to Vienna, finally to Prague.
Andy wondered what they were going to tell him when they found him. But Steve knew, only too well. If he were alive, there was only one possible answer.
And it was up to Steve to deliver it to him in person!

Quintin Chivas
Author: Don Tracy
First Appearance: September, 1961; Trident Books
First Paperback Appearance: August, 1962; Pocket Books 6141
a Barnaby Ross novel
There I was, bound hand and foot, bloodied and on my way to prison....
The road was now swarming with people relishing the free entertainment. For them it was carnival day and they made the best of it, shouting and jeering at us as if we were monkeys on a pole. Genoveffa lay facedown on the donkey with her behind turned up. She was an altogether different person from the fair, gray-eyed Florentine girl with whose wealthy family I had thought to be united.

Then I spotted Petrulla among the crowd. "Petrulla, you hag, you obscene crone!" I shouted. "You sold me! ... You filthy sow! Maggoty bag of indecency! May your bones rot before you die!"

Death Spins the Platter
Author: Richard Deming
First Paperback Appearance: June, 1962; Pocket Books 6126

Tutter King had it made.

Every time he spun a platter on "The King's Session," gold came out: TV earnings, returns on his secret holdings in recording companies, the old payola that some bright young men think only their rightful due.
Tutter was a gay young man-around-town. He was also involved in some hanky-panky with his pretty blond assistant, Lola Arkwright.
And then the roof started to cave in. Senate Investigating Committees. The angry emergence of the wife who Lola never knew existed. The canceling of his network contract.
Poor Tutter, it looked like he was going to lose everything. Even his life!

The Scrolls of Lysis
Author: Don Tracy
First Hardback Appearance: December, 1962; Trident Press
First Paperback Appearance: November, 1963; Perma Books (Pocket) M-5083
a Barnaby Ross novel. Supposed to be the first historical novel of ancient Thebes.
Myrrha was silent except for an occasional obscenity directed at poor Limon as we staggered to their apartment and into the bedroom where we let our sodden burden fall onto the wide couch. She was silent, too, as she turned to face me, then reached up to unfasten the pin that held her chiton and undergarments. They fell in a pool at her feet.

4700 Series
Murder With a Past
Author: Talmage Powell
First Paperback Appearance: February, 1963; Pocket Books 4700

Your wife's a little late, isn't she Dave?"

She usually goes on these business trips with you, Dave. Why didn't she go this time?
"You'd better stop making like a detective, Julian, and tell me what this is about. In words of one syllable.
Julian Smith reached into a pocket and brought out something wrapped in a white cloth. "This is your gun, Dave."
"For God's sake, Julian. How did you get hold of my gun? And what's it got to do with this man Cox, whoever he is? What are you trying to tell me?"
"That it killed him," Smith said...."I'm sorry, Dave. We've got a pickup on your wife."

Note: PB 4701 was a reprint of The Glass Village
PB 4702 was a reprint of The Finishing Stroke

Wife or Death
Author: Richard Deming
First Paperback Appearance: September, 1963; Pocket Books 4703
District Attorney Crosby was waiting for them in the lobby. He ignored Denton. "You tell him anything, Chief?"
"Tell me what?" Denton asked slowly....
"We think," he said in an acrid, bitter voice, "we've found your wife."
A little gavel began to tap on Denton's temple. "Found her? You think? What is this? What do you mean?"
District Attorney Ralph Crosby's lips flattened with a sort of enjoyment, and his nostrils flared. "It's hard to tell, Denton. She's been lying out there in the woods a week or more!"

Kill as Directed
Author: Henry Kane
First Paperback Appearance: August, 1963; Pocket Books 4704

The perfect weapon--

Kurt Gresham smiled again. "You were the sucker. You were the patsy in the middle. The expendable man. And they couldn't wait."
"What?" Harry asked blinking. "What did you say?"
"Don't you know? You mean you still don't see it?"
"See what?"
"That you'd been framed by my wife and her lover? Ah, she didn't tell you about Tony? Oh yes, Tony and Karen. I've known about it since the day it started. What I didn't know was that theirs was no ordinary liaison. I didn't know they were planning my murder and were only waiting for the right weapon to come along. You!"

The Golden Goose
Author: Fletcher Flora
First Paperback Appearance: February, 1964; Pocket Books 4705

Goosey, goosey, gander, whither...

Uncle Slater O'Shea was loaded.
Uncle Slater was supporting the lot of them -- five freeloaders.
And in spite of liberal daily applications of whisky, Uncle Slater had his health.
He intended to keep it, so he had made a new will. So long as he continued to enjoy life, he would continue to maintain them. But the minute he died, his estate would be cut up among them, plus seventeen additional assorted O'Sheas. Cut up into twenty-two pieces, the freeloaders wouldn't get enough from Uncle Slater O'Shea's estate to live in the manner to which they had become accustomed.
Several weeks later, benevolently trailing a fragrant haze of good Irish whisky behind him, Uncle Slater went upstairs for a nip and a nap. He never came down. Which of them had been foolish enough to do the old boy in?

Which of them had killed the golden goose?

The Four Johns
Author: Jack Vance
First Paperback Appearance: March, 1964; Pocket Books 4706
The four of them had only two things in common -- their name and a love for the ladies. John Boce was a no-account accountant who lusted after food, drink, cars, and women. John Thompson was a secretive librarian who liked his books and his women well-stacked. John Viviano was a fashion photographer with a great feel for a body -- any body! And John Pilgrim was a poetic bum who had the girls hanging on his every stanza. All of them wanted the same woman, but which one wanted her enough to kill...?

The Duke of Chaos
Author: Don Tracy
First Paperback Appearance: April, 1964; Pocket Books 6232
a Barnaby Ross novel
Wallenstein was a military genius, though for most of his life fate conspired against his career. Convinced that his future had been ordained by the stars, he employed as a personal astrologer a charlatan who was secretly in the pay of his worst enemies.
He sought women, or perhaps it was the other way around, in much the same way that he sought martial glory. But he had an absolute genius for choosing the wrong ones.
He married several large fortunes, yet dissipated them and died almost penniless. But he lived his life to the hilt -- in the pursuit of military spoils and the pleasures of the flesh. It is perhaps debatable at which he was the more adept.
He was a soldier of fortune, one of the best. They called him the DUKE OF CHAOS.

Blow Hot, Blow Cold
Author: Fletcher Flora
First Paperback Appearance: June, 1964; Pocket Books 45007

Recipe for a backyard cookout:

one guest skewered by another

"Lila was shameless," Mae Walters said to Lieutenant Masters. "I'm surprised someone didn't kill her long ago."
"Now, Mae," Stanley Walters said, "you needn't make Lila out to be worse than she was."
"Yes, darling," said Vera Richmond, "you mustn't exaggerate. All Lila did was to give Stanley a meaningless kiss. As a matter of fact, Lieutenant, it started us all off kissing one another immediately."
"Did anything else happen I ought to know about?" asked Masters.
"Nothing at all, Lieutenant," Vera said. "It was just a little backyard cookout. We didn't ask any gangsters."
"Apparently," Masters said, "you asked a murderer."

50400 Series
The Last Score
Author: not known
First Paperback Appearance: November, 1964; Pocket Books 50486

had girl, will travel...

Reid Rance was a travel agent. The kind who would take you where the tourists seldom went. But when Mrs. May Gibson asked him to chaperon her wild daughter Leslie around Mexico, he begged off.
"Why me?" he asked.
"Because you were a police officer once," she answered, "and Leslie won't be able to shake you off."
Rance wanted no part of the deal, but he was behind in his rent, and Mrs. Gibson owned the building. In fact, Mrs. Gibson owned just about everything -- and everyone -- in Greengrove.
It wouldn't be easy, Rance warned Mrs. Gibson. And it wasn't. Within two days Leslie had disappeared from their Mexican hotel. And in her place was a note demanding $5,000 -- or else.

Beware the Young Stranger
Author: Talmage Powell
First Paperback Appearance: May, 1965; Pocket Books 50489

What's the matter with you, Keith?

With her hand on the car door, she ventured a look over her shoulder. "Do you really want me to go?"
"Why not?"
"You're lying to me, you know. What happened in town?"
"All right," he said through stiff lips, "you're asking for it. Here it is. In town they're looking for me. They're saying I killed Aunt Dorcas."
She looked at him for several seconds as if she were about to giggle.
He caught her arm at the elbow and shook her slightly. "Did you hear me, Nancy?"
She continued to stand there and stare at nothing. Then a thread snapped inside her. With a clawing motion she put her hands to her face and started sobbing.

The Copper Frame
Author: Richard Deming
First Paperback Appearance: June, 1965; Pocket Books 50490

This was cold-blooded murder!

"Car One to Control. Can you read me, Control?"
Lifting the microphone from its bracket on the radio panel, Ted Saxon said, "Control to Car One. I read you fine. What's up?"
"We're on Route 60, five miles out of Rigby. The Chief and Lieutenant Burns have both been shot by a suspicious character we stopped. I'm rushing them to Rigby Memorial. Description of suspect's car: new Chevrolet two-door sedan, grey with blue top, New York license 1UL-053. Too dark for description of suspect; he started firing before the Chief and Burns got close to him, then took off. Last seen thirty seconds ago headed south on Route 60. Over to you."
It might have been a routine call, coming over any police hook-up, but it wasn't.
The Chief, you see, was Ted Saxon's father.

A Room to Die In
Author: Jack Vance
First Paperback Appearance: Fall, 1965; Pocket Books 50492

Strange Kinship
Author: Don Tracy
First Paperback Appearance: September, 1965; Pocket Books 50493
a Barnaby Ross novel
I walked every step of the way, wounded leg and all. For some the fall of Vicksburg was merely another in a long series of reversals, but for me it was the end of a senseless struggle that had forever soured me on the glories of even a gallant war.
What would I find when I got home to Great Bay, the land that I loved razed by a merciless foe, a town peopled only by ghosts? ... If I'd known the grotesque horror that lay before me, I'd have happily turned back into the jaws of hell!

The Killer Touch
Author: not known
First Paperback Appearance: October, 1965; Pocket Books 50494
He spun the combination, opened the strongbox, and glanced at the glittering fortune nestled in velvet. With his left hand he began stuffing the diamonds into his pocket. When one pocket was full, he shifted the gun and began filling the other.
Suddenly he sensed movement and someone lunged at him. The gun boomed, and the bullet ripped through his assailant's upper arm as he ran outside and leaped head first off the ledge. For a moment it looked as if he'd decided to dash out his brains on the rocks, then the lean body knifed the water three feet beyond the rocks and came up swimming. A power cruiser was lying at anchor, a hundred yards out.

The Cree From Minataree
Author: Don Tracy
First Paperback Appearance: December, 1965; Pocket Books 50200
a Barnaby Ross novel


Behind them lay what civilization there was to be found in New France. Ahead, though only one of them was aware of it, lurked one of the most bloodthirsty tribes in all of the Great Lakes area. Their mission was to chart and explore unknown territory -- and only four would return.
Who would be left behind?

The Devil's Cook
Author: Fletcher Flora
First Paperback Appearance: April, 1966; Pocket Books 50495
Police Captain Bartholdi sometimes indulged himself in a harmless fantasy. His thoughts, he would imagine, were irresponsible imps that wriggled out of his head and scampered around with an abandon that was often embarrassing.
A woman had been kidnapped. The woman was dead. Bartholdi was convinced that a murderer was at that moment having a grim laugh at his expense. He knew who the murderer was. He would have bet his pension and his sacred soul that he knew. But he could not, knowing, prove what he knew. He needed confirmation of one critical point.
From among his antic imps he culled the three that had directed his mind to its present state:
  • One newspaper too many.
  • A girl who slept too soundly.
  • And, most important of all, a ragout with too many onions.

A Study in Terror
Authors: Paul W. Fairman and Ellery Queen
based on a screenplay by Donald and Derek Ford
First Paperback Appearance: 1966; Lancer Books 73-469
Novelization of the film

The savage killer roamed the dark streets and alleys of London. No woman was safe from his swift, gory attacks as murder followed murder. No man could stop the menace or even guess the identity of the brute called...

No man...except Sherlock Holmes.
Now it can be told -- in this gripping modern thriller. Sherlock Holmes did stalk Jack the Ripper in 1888, and through a quirk of fate that is a mystery in itself, Ellery Queen follows in his footsteps in 1966. The two greatest detectives of all time match wits with each other -- and together arrive at a solution that will stun you.
NOTE: The novelization features both Ellery and his father and mentions Nikki Porter.

Losers Weepers
Author: Richard Deming
First Paperback Appearance: July, 1966; Dell 5034
One Hundred Thousand Dollar Misunderstanding
Some men retire on a hundred grand -- or buy their wives mink coats with days of the week sewn in the lining...or fly to Rio for a good cup of coffee -- but not Jim Morgan.
Jim had a hundred thousand all right -- neatly packed in stacks of fifties -- only someone had made an expensive mistake. A mistake that put him on the run for his money -- as well as his life.

The Madman Theory
Author: Jack Vance
First Paperback Appearance: August, 1966; Pocket Books 50496
At first it seemed as though only
The Madman Theory
could explain the brutal shotgun slaying which lay in wait for the friendly group of back-packing hikers.
But Inspector Omar Collins, lean, gloomy-eyed, black-haired, was a painstaking man.
The more he pursued it, the less he believed in THE MADMAN THEORY.

The Passionate Queen
Author: Don Tracy
First Paperback Appearance: 1966; Pocket Books 50497
a Barnaby Ross novel

Shoot the Scene
Author: Richard Deming
First Paperback Appearance: November, 1966; Dell 7845
Love For Your Life

"Come on, baby. This has to look real," Casey said. "Relax."
Immediately Sally's body went stiff. "Do I have to?"
"You've got to. Now loosen up, get into the spirit of the thing before--"
She slid her arms around his neck. Suddenly they were kissing wildly, clinging to each other as if it were a matter of life or death -- because it was...."

Cop Out
Authors: Fred Dannay and Manfred Lee
First Hardback Appearance: 1968; World Publishing
First Paperback Appearance: 1969; Signet T-4196

Guess Who's Coming to Kill You
Author: Walt Sheldon
First Paperback Appearance: 1968; Lancer 73-802
Let's face it, Alex: you were the KGB's top assassin, and they paid you off. Just as we might. A cushy lieutenant-colonelcy in Tokyo; riding pour le sport, a yacht, your pick of Eurasian dolls ... Like? We can do you better in the U.S.A., Alex -- come on over, and bring your secrets with you ...

That was FACE's pitch to the would-be defector, and it got results. Witness one ... nice courier slashed and dumped in a Tokyo alley.

Maybe agent Pete Brook could make jolly Alex's dream come true. Except what did Krylov really long for in America -- wine, women and song...or a dramatic return to the murderer's trade?

Kiss and Kill
Author: not known
First Paperback Appearance: April, 1969; Dell 4567
The nice mild man named Edward Tollman had a problem. His lovely wife was missing, and he wanted her back -- fast.
So he went to a fellow whose specialty was solving problems like that -- a very private detective called Barney Burgess. Burgess' methods were not pleasant -- but they got results.
Burgess was used to sordid scenes and secrets. But after four quick corpses, a wild ride to Mexico, and a blonde sex bomb who threatened to blow the case wide open at the first wrong move, Barney began to wonder how such a nice guy got him into something this nasty....

About the Authors:

Each of the authors who wrote under the Queen name is famous in his own right -- his own write?

Avram Davidson is the author of 17 novels and over 200 short stories. Davidson, who died in 1993, wrote Fantasy and Science Fiction novels in addition to mysteries. Davidson's first widely recognized story appeared in 1954, although he had been writing for several years before that. For a few years (1962-1965), he edited The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. A Davidson story appeared in EQMM in April of 1957, which may be what attracted Ellery Queen to Mr. Davidson. Davidson won quite a few awards, including the Edgar and the World Fantasy Award for lifetime achievement.

Richard Deming wrote several novels, including Mod Squad, Dragnet, and other serializations. Deming was best known for these novels and for his work in the mystery field. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Mystery Writers of America from 1976 until his death in 1983.

Fletcher Flora (d. 1968) wrote various "sensational" stories during the 40's and 50's. His mystery output includes over sixty short stories and sixteen novels. The Hot Shot and Strange Sisters are among his credits.

Henry Kane, author of To Die or Not to Die, The Midnight Man, and other works is probably the least known of the Ellery Queen authors. Perhaps it was his Deadly Finger, a medical suspense novel, which drew the attention of the cousins Queen.

Milton Lesser is better known as Science Fiction author "Stephen Marlowe", especially for The Lighthouse at the End of the World, but his mystery work (e.g., Model For Murder) attracted Ellery Queen. He too began writing for pulps (such as the legendary Amazing Stories) and has gone on to have a long writing career. In 1998 the Private Eye Writers of America awarded him their lifetime achievement award, called "The Eye."

Talmage Powell got his break in the 40's writing short stories for such "pulp" magazines as Detective Tales, Black Mask, and Dime Detective. After writing about 200 stories for the pulps, he went on to write over 300 additional short stories and over a dozen novels. His series of "Ed Rivers" (private investigator) novels is classified among the best of the period. Powell's works are noted for their originality and have appeared under a variety of names. His works have been translated into ten languages. Mr. Powell took the time to review this site and to recall for us his own collaborations with Manfred Lee.

Walt Sheldon was writing for the pulps as early as 1940. Having published over 30 stories for the pulps and being a contemporary mystery magazine author, Sheldon was a natural choice to assume the monicker of Ellery Queen, which he did only one time.

Jack Vance sold his first story, "The World Thinker," in 1945. His first novel, Vandals of the Void was published in 1953. Better known as a Science Fiction and Fantasy writer, Vance has won several awards, including the World Fantasy Award for lifetime achievement.

Ellery Queen

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