RARA-AVIS: Ellery Queen

From: Ned Fleming ( ned@cjnetworks.com)
Date: 02 Mar 2000

The latest National Review has an interesting article about Ellery Queen, which describes his (really their) work as the beginning of the golden age of "classic American mystery," from about 1930 to 1950. Prior to this, the essayist says, there were only puzzle mysteries and hard-boiled mysteries in Am. Lit. Others of the class were Rex Stout and Earl Stanley Gardner. And Hammett was so impressed or influenced by Queen that he wrote his last good book, perhaps his best, The Thin Man, in the same vein. Unfortunately, the NatRev essay isn't on-line.

I have a strong fondness for Stout's Wolfe, so I'm happy to note that the A&E network is airing a version of The Golden Spiders this coming Sunday eve. I can't see the sensitive, flaccid wimpdoodle Timothy Hutton as the near-he-man near-hard-boiled Archie Goodwin. At least they didn't cast Keanu Reeves as Archie.

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