Monday, April 1, 2024

"Yes, It Had To Be Done. I Had To Do It . . ."

YOU don't need to be an inveterate EQ fan to see where this one's going, but it could come in handy when you read about . . .

"Elroy Quinn's Last Case."
By Dennis M. Dubin (born 1950; OfficialUSA HERE).
First appearance: EQMM, July 1967.
Short story (10 pages).
Online at The Luminist Archives (HERE; go to text page 84).

   "What is it, a dying message or a fantastic clue?"

Saving the world is usually left up to gadget-laden superspies and hyperpowered people wearing silly outfits but . . . a frail old man?

Main characters:
~ The bodyguard:
  "From what you've said, I assume the dead man is not the King. Then who is it?"
~ Elroy Quinn:
  "One of these cats has more than one tail."
~ Inspector Thomas Velie, Jr.:
  "I knew this was going to be a weird case, Elroy."
~ The King of Ubinorabia:
  ". . . formed a violent hatred for this country . . ."

References and resources:
- According to FictionMags, this is the first and only short story written by Dennis M. Dubin, who was at the time a high school student.
- "Elroy Quinn's Last Case" is an example of a pastiche: "In literary usage, the term denotes a literary technique employing a generally light-hearted tongue-in-cheek imitation of another's style; although jocular, it is usually respectful." 
. . . "Ellery Queen and Nero Wolfe are other popular subjects of mystery parodies and pastiches." (Wikipedia HERE.)
- There's a reference to Edmund Spenser's epic poem about heroic knights. (Wikipedia HERE.)
- It was just the other day we watched Ellery Queen (the detective) unravel the problem of the "Murder in the Park" (HERE).

Unless otherwise noted, all bibliographical data are derived from The FictionMags Index created by William G. Contento & edited by Phil Stephensen-Payne.

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