So here we are, midway through the calendar year. What could be more appropriate than a collection of short mystery stories based on the calendar? We have one to offer today for your reading pleasure. It's called Calendar of Crime, a 1952 collection of a dozen stories by Ellery Queen, featuring that eponymous detective, Ellery Queen. It's the subject of today's audio review on the Classic Mysteries podcast, and you can listen to the complete review by clicking here.
In case you came in late, "Ellery Queen" was the primary pen name used by Frederick Dannay and Manfred B. Lee for their many books and short stories; it was also the name of their principal fictional detective, Ellery Queen, the son of New York City police inspector Richard Queen. Reading Calendar of Crime is a little like eating a box of assorted chocolates: you can devour them one at a time or savor them individually. They're perfect for summer beach reading.
The stories all present Ellery (the detective) with a problem appropriate to the month, often taking place on or near a holiday within that month. There are a lot of murders, to be sure, but there are other crimes as well - more than enough to keep Ellery busy over the course of a year.
I've included brief synopses of all the stories in my podcast review this week, and I certainly invite you to listen to that podcast for a better idea of the kinds of stories (and crimes) you can expect. The late Anthony Boucher, that great and perceptive mystery critic, is quoted as saying, "Ellery Queen is the American detective story." High praise indeed, and Calendar of Crime will give you a dozen examples to help explain that sentiment.
Ellery Queen’s Calendar of Crime has now been republished in a number of e-book formats by MysteriousPress.com and Open Road Integrated Media, who provided me with an e-book copy for this review. Spread the stories out over a year – or binge on them, if you prefer. I think you’ll find them pretty tasty.