An unsuccessful entry in a mystery story contest turned into a career for Frederic Dannay and his cousin Manfred Lee. The story was picked up for publication in 1929, and the career of Ellery Queen, the pseudonym that Dannay and Lee chose, was off and running. The two wrote countless novels and short stories about Ellery Queen, a young detective who used reason to solve complex puzzles. Their emphasis was always on the intellectual rather than the emotional or intuitive capacities of the detective. In their successful series of novels, Ellery Queen is not only the name of the author, but also the detective-hero of the stories. Dannay and Lee founded Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine in 1941, and it proved to be important in keeping the genre vital. Ellery Queen has won numerous awards, including the Grand Master Award in 1960 from the Mystery Writers of America. More than 150 million Ellery Queen books are in print, and there have been Ellery Queen radio and television shows, as well as movies.
It’s official. Fortune Redding is out of the CIA and a newly minted resident of Sinful, Louisiana. She never expected her homecoming to be all apple pie and hugs, but a murder wasn’t on her list of things to deal with before she’d even gotten her name stenciled on her mailbox.
Boone Carre—Hooch, to the locals—was a drunk and a louse and had shafted pretty much everyone he’d ever done business with. So when someone kills him, there is no shortage of suspects. Unfortunately, Ally is at the top of the list.
Fortune, Ida Belle, and Gertie know that Ally isn’t capable of murdering anyone, but with an ambitious ADA looking to make a name for himself, and the local gossip train intent on finding someone to blame, they know they have to find the killer and clear Ally’s name.