Sunday, October 21, 2018

Queen's Quorum: Review

In Queen's Quorum: A History of the Detective-Crime Short Story as Revealed by the 106 Most Important Books Published in This Field since 1845 (1951), Frederic Dannay and Manfred Lee (under their pseudonym Ellery Queen) do just that--they give readers a run-down of the short stories they consider to be the best and/or most influential in a little over 100 years from 1845 through 1950. This is an interesting and informative reference book. It is not just a list of short stories, but Queen provides indepth historical and biographical information on the stories and their authors. 

I was pleased to note how many of Queen's selections I had already read. I didn't necessarily agree with their opinions on all of those, but I agreed with enough that I would definitely welcome the chance to read the
rest of the stories listed here. Unfortunately, it seems that several of their selections may be quite difficult to find. They were scarce when the book was first published and I'm sure that they are even more difficult to track down today. But there would be no thrill of the hunt if all vintage mystery stories and books were easy to find.

The only thing I would have appreciated more would have been a Queen's Quorum on the history of the detective-crime novel. While I do appreciate a good detective short story, I do prefer those that are novel length and it would have been interesting to have Queen's list of the most important novels. ★★ and 3/4.

[Finished 10/13/18]

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