The Misadventures of Ellery Queen

edited by Yusan Iiki

In 1892, Arthur Conan Doyle published a collection of short stories titled The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. In 1934, the first collection of Ellery Queen stories appeared, titled The Adventures of Ellery Queen. And in 1944, Ellery Queen edited The Misadventures of Sherlock Holmes, a collection of Sherlockian pastiches and parodies.

In the early 1970s, I suggested to Fred Dannay -- who with his cousin Manny Lee was Ellery Queen -- that perhaps it was time for a collection of EQ pastiches and parodies, to be titled The Misadventures of Ellery Queen. He liked the idea, but didn't think it would be appropriate for him to edit such a book himself and suggested that I ought to do it. I was in my very early twenties, though, and had no idea how to edit a book. A few years later, I moved overseas. Fred Dannay died in 1982, and the idea was forgotten. By me, at any rate....

But in 2016, my old friend and EQ scholar Mike Nevins was visiting the DC area from St. Louis and staying with his friend Dale Andrews, who had himself published three Queenian pastiches in the pages of EQMM. Mike asked Dale to invite me to join the two of them for dinner, and we spent a pleasant evening in Dale's back yard. Somewhere along the line, Mike reminded me about my long-ago idea for a Misadventures of Ellery Queen and asked me what I thought about the fact that a Japanese publisher had actually released such a collection in 2012. I hadn't heard about that, but Dale had a copy of the book and showed it to me.

Sure, enough, the Japanese Misadventures was real -- and it included not only Mike's classic "Open Letter to Survivors"and Dale's "The Book Case," but also my "E.Q. Griffen Earns His Name," which the Japanese editor had neither asked me for permission to reprint nor paid me for the right to include.

I found an email address for the company and complained, and they ultimately paid me five times what they'd paid Mike and Dale and the other contributors. Banzai!

Meanwhile, Dale and I wound up deciding to edit an English-language version of Misadventures, and Wildside Press published it in 2018. (Two years later, in 2020, Wildside published The Further Misadventures of Ellery Queen, again co-edited by Dale and me, and the Mysterious Press published The Misadventures of Nero Wolfe, which I edited on my own.)

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