"The German Cologne Mystery"

written with Jon L. Breen

This was one of the Partners in Crime stories I wrote with an assortment of other authors back in the '80s, one of the only two of those stories which had never appeared in print until Jon Breen (who has written a monthly book review column for EQMM for many years) sold it to editor Janet Hutchings for this issue celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Fred Dannay and Manny Lee, the two New York cousins who collaborated for 50 years as Ellery Queen. The story was published without an introduction, but elsewhere in the issue Jon also contributed a lengthy nonfiction piece titled "The Misadventures of Ellery Queen," which includes this paragraph:

Josh Pachter came on the scene in the December 1968 issue with "E.Q. Griffin Earns His Name," written when he was 16, making him second only to James Yaffe in the ranks of the youngest EQMM contributors. (Pachter's account of his first sale is entertaining: Told by his mother that Frederic Dannay was on the phone, he picked it up and said, "Dad, this isn't funny.") The character would return in "E.Q. Griffin's Second Case" (May 1970), written when Pachter was 17. Ellery Queen Griffin is one of eleven children of Inspector Ross Griffin, all of them named after famous fictional detectives. In his first case, he confronts two mysteries he strikes out on the more trivial but solves the more serious, a robbery from a jewelry store, summarizing his conclusions very much in the EQ manner, in this case making a rather obvious solution sound more brilliant than it is. In his second and stronger outing, the victim is a hippie poet and children's-book writer who is stabbed in the back and scrawls a dying message on the sidewalk. The second story includes a reference to the young sleuth's Uncle James, an aspiring writer an in-joke for serious Queen fans: James Griffen, along with Wilbur See, was one of the character names Dannay and Lee considered before settling on EQ. Subsequently, only one of the other Griffen children had a published case: "Sam Buried Caesar" (May 1971) about Nero Wolfe Griffen.

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