I'm very excited to announce the forthcoming publication of my second book, God and the Great Detective: Ellery Queen's Struggle with the Divine, 1945-1965. Check out the publisher's website here. You can also pre-order, which I'm told is a very nice thing. Here's the write-up:
The problem of human evil is never far beneath the surface of mystery fiction, and this was particularly true in the wake of the horrific events of World War II. One figure who set out to investigate this crisis was Ellery Queen. This book provides a much-needed intervention in the study of detective fiction by giving sustained attention to Ellery Queen as well as suggesting possible directions for broader discussions of the genre. After WWII, Ellery Queen mounted an inquiry into the state of masculinity and of the world in the wake of unimaginable horrors represented by the death camps and the atomic bomb. During his investigation, Ellery rummaged through the ruins of culture, invoking and evoking figures such as Walt Whitman, Henry David Thoreau, and (naturally) Edgar Allan Poe. Ultimately, this quest brought him up against an unexpected foe: God himself. This book examines the ways Queen pushes against the boundaries of what was (and, in some circles, still is) considered possible or desirable in the genre.
This book was almost literally twenty years in the making. I've been fascinated by Ellery Queen from my teens, and one of my initial plans for my Ph.D. work was centered around Queen. So I'm glad to finally have something out there in the much-too-small world of EQ studies. More information to come.