"E.Q. Griffen Earns His Name"

Department of 'First Stories'

"This is the 325th 'first story' to be published by Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine . . . another 'first' by a teenager (God bless 'em!) coming less than two years after Dennis Dubin's 'Elroy Quinn's Last Case' (July 1967). It is always a particularly happy event to welcome young blood to the circulatory system of the mystery story. (Now, let's have no talk about varicose veins: the mystery genre shows no sign whatever of hardening of the arteries!)

"At the time Josh Pachter wrote 'E.Q. Griffen Earns His Name,' he was 16 years old, a junior at General Douglas MacArthur High School in Levittown, New York. (He is now a senior at Half Hollow Hills High School in Dix Hills, Huntington, New York.) The young author wrote: 'My reigning passion is reading detective stories. Come to think of it, 'reading' is not the right word — I just eat them. In fact, you might say that I'm addicted to the Queen's English, a Carr-nivore who Wolfes down every mystery I can get my Stout little hands on.'

"Josh Pachter's chosen field is journalism, and he'd like to attend Columbia University. When not 'eating detective stories,' he bowls (a high of 229 at the time of this writing), trap- or skeetshoots, golfs, or works on his collection of Kuwaitian (!) postage stamps.

"It should come as no surprise that Josh plans to continue with the characters in his first story — Inspector Ross Griffen and his eleven children, all named after detective heroes (and one heroine) — and has already 'roughed out' plots for Gideon Fell Griffen (who solves a locked car murder) and Augustus Van Dusen Griffen (who solves a case in less than ten seconds after hearing the details). Personally, we can't wait!"

In 2018, fifty years after the publication of this, my first story, it was reprinted in The Misadventures of Ellery Queen, which I co-edited with Dale Andrews. Later that year, in conjunction with the publication of "50," my golden-anniversary story, I read "E.Q. Griffen Earns His Name" for the magazine's November podcast, and the print version of the story was posted on the magazine's website.

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