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A puzzling publishing murder attracts the eye of Ellery Queen

Mandarin Press is a premier publishing house for foreign literature, but to those at the top of this enterprise, there is little more beautiful than a rare stamp. As Donald Kirk, publisher and philatelist, prepares his office for a banquet, an unfamiliar man comes to call. No one recognizes him, but Kirk’s staff is used to strange characters visiting their boss, so Kirk’s secretary asks him to wait in the anteroom. Within an hour, the mysterious visitor is dead on the floor, head bashed in with a fireplace poker, and everything in the anteroom has been quite literally turned upside down. The rug is backwards; the furniture is backwards; even the dead man’s clothes have been put on front-to-back. As debonair detective Ellery Queen pries into the secrets of Mandarin Press, every clue he finds is topsy-turvy. The great sleuth must tread lightly, for walking backwards is a surefire way to step off a cliff.

ABOUT Ellery Queen

  • BIOGRAPHY

    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 uses 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.

    Ellery Queen es un nombre de ficción por partida doble. Es tanto el pseudónimo literario de dos primos que escribían a cuatro manos, como el del detective que protagonizó sus elegantes misterios y les superó en fama. Frederic Dannay (1905-1982) y Manfred B. Lee (1905-1971) nacieron en Brooklyn y pasaron 42 años escribiendo y editando bajo este nombre. También fundaron la revista Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, una de las más prestigiosas de la edad de oro de la literatura de detectives. No faltaba un ejemplar de ella en ningún hogar donde hubiese alguien con ganas de entretenimiento de calidad. Aunque Dannay sobrevivió a su primo Lee, Ellery Queen dejó de existir en 1971, coincidiendo con la muerte del primo que daba vida con palabras a las intrigas imaginadas por el otro.