Dannay, Frederic

Dannay, Frederic (b. Daniel Nathan)

writers; both born in New York City. First cousins, they grew up only five blocks from each other. After collaborating to win a detective short story contest in the 1920s, they decided to become full-time writers and in 1929 they published their first "Ellery Queen" novel, The Roman Hat Mystery. Eventually they would publish 33 Ellery Queen detective novels, and four others under the name of "Barnaby Ross." Their works sold over 100 million copies and were made into several movie series, a long-running radio program, and occasional television movies. In 1941 they founded Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, to publish both current mystery stories and reprint classics. They also edited numerous anthologies. They always refused to disclose their exact writing methods, but evidently they took turns in developing the plots and writing the stories.