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80th Anniversary EQMM Trivia Contest

We’re celebrating our eightieth anniversary with an EQMM anniversary tradition: A trivia contest! This year, we’ve reached out to Ellery Queen and EQMM experts to bring you a fresh challenge.


The first reader to e-mail us ( with the correct answers by December 31, 2021 will win a choice of five free EQMM anthologies from our archives. Five runners-up will each receive one anthology.


1. Which of the following celebrated authors did NOT make their professional fiction debut in EQMM’s Department of First Stories?

a. National Book Award winner Sigrid Nunez

b. MWA Grand Master Edward D. Hoch

c. Multiple Agatha and Anthony Award winner Nancy Pickard

d. MWA Grand Master Stanley Ellin
2. Who is the only person to appear in EQMM’s Department of First Stories twice?

3. In a 1936 review of Ellery Queen’s Halfway House (Revista Hogar, October 30, 1936), Jorge Luis Borges praised the credibility of Ellery’s logical solution, noting that in good detective stories the solution cannot be premised on devices such as “hypnotism, telepathic hallucinations, elixirs of evil operation, witches and warlocks, real magic and recreational physics.”  However, a magician in fact played a crucial role in the history of EQMM.  Who was that magician?
4. The town of Wrightsville provides the locale for five Ellery Queen novels (six, if you count The Last Woman in His Life, where the town is featured in one chapter).  Wrightsville was also the locale for seven Ellery Queen short stories published in EQMM between 1953 and 1967.  The town of Wrightsville does not, in fact, exist.  But what New England town is Wrightsville almost certainly modeled after?
5. EQMM editor in chief Frederic Dannay, together with Manfred B. Lee, authored a wealth of Ellery Queen novels and short stories.  What other editor, while serving on EQMM’s staff, used the Ellery Queen characters in detective fiction?
6. An early mystery concerned the division of labor for the writing team of Dannay and Lee.  That mystery has largely been solved, and it is now common knowledge that the Ellery Queen stories, while plotted by Frederic Dannay were drafted by Manfred B. Lee. In addition to his gift for creating prose, what other hidden artistic talent did Lee possess?
7. Dannay and Lee wrote the first Ellery Queen novel, The Roman Hat Mystery, as an entry in a writing contest sponsored by McClure’s MagazineWhen they were informed that they had won the contest, what did the cousins do to celebrate?
8. EQMM was launched in the fall of 1941 and has now been around for 80 years. But EQMM was not the first mystery magazine launched by Dannay and Lee. What magazine holds that honor?
9. Why did Dannay and Lee adopt a pseudonym?
10. What was the worst typographical blunder involving an author’s name in EQMM’s history?
11. What author has had the most stories published in EQMM in the magazine’s history?
12. During its eighty years, EQMM has had six outstanding reviewers of crime fiction. Can you name them?
13. In 1948, Anthony Boucher translated a story by Jorge Luis Borges into English—the first story by that eminent Argentine author to appear in English. Since EQMM launched its Passport to Crime Department in 2003, many stories originally in other languages have been translated into English for EQMM. Which translator has translated the most stories for Passport to Crime?
14. What do the following four authors have in common?: Lillian de la Torre; Harry Kemelman; David Morrell; Susan Dunlap
15. A “series character” is one (usually a detective) who appears in two or more stories or books. Name the series character(s) who appeared in EQMM by the twelve authors listed here. (Note: Some of the authors created more than one character. Try to name any or all of their series characters.)

a. Ngaio Marsh

b. Ross Macdonald

c. Ian Fleming

d. Raymond Chandler

e. Edgar Rice Burroughs

f. Agatha Christie

g. Lillian de la Torre

h. William Dylan Powell

i. John Lantigua

j. Amy Myers

k. Charlaine Harris
16. What’s the longest time span between an author’s first appearance in EQMM and their most recent, and who is the author?

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