I attended a book sale at our local history museum and found a set of Ellery Queen’s Masterpieces of Mystery Series. This was a series of hardcovers put out by Davis Publications in the 1970s. This set was in good shape: gorgeous red leatherette volumes with gilt decor and b/w photos of authors. The deal in the book sale was that you could buy a shopping bag for $5 and fill the bag with as many books as you could cram into it. It took me two shopping bags to get all of the Masterpieces of Mystery loaded. It was a steal at $10. I’ve seen sets of Masterpieces of Mystery going for $189 on eBay and $350 on ABE. This set is a browser’s delight!
Included in this set:
The Superslueths Revisited-1979
The Grand Masters-1976
The Grand Masters up to Date-1979
The Forties-1978
The Fifties-1978
The Sixties-1978
More From The Sixties-1979
The Seventies-1979
Detective Directory part 1-1977
Detective Directory part 2-1978

The Golden Age part 1-1977
The Golden Age part 2-1977
Blue Ribbon Specials-1978
The Old Masters-1978
Amateurs & Professionals-1978
Cherished Classics-1978
Choice Cuts-1979
Stories Not To Be Missed-1978
The Prizewinners-1976


    1. george Post author

      Randy, I heard about this set, but I’ve never seen it in any of the used stores I’ve visited over the years. It was a museum book sale where I struck gold!

  1. Richard R.

    I have this set too. I got most of them in a used shop years ago, filled it out from Jeff Meyerson in 2008. There are a lof of great stories and short novels in those volumes. Great purchase, George!

    1. george Post author

      I figured you might have this set, Rick. I found a couple random volumes years ago, but I’ve never seen a whole set until last Saturday.

  2. Jeff Meyerson

    Sweet deal! They look to be in really nice shape too and look great all together on the shelf.

  3. Jerry House

    You have a lot of interesting reading ahead of you, George. I have a number of these anthologies and they are very good; in fact, all the Queen anthologies — the ones Fred Dannay edited and the later ones from EQMM — should be required reading.

    1. george Post author

      Beth, wow is right! I could not believe my eyes when I saw that almost mint set! And to get the set for $10 was fabulous!

  4. Richard R.

    One thing that puzzles me about these is that the volumes aren’t numbered and seem to have no specific order. When I was shelving them I wanted them in order but didn’t know what it was, so I sort of started with the earliest content.

    1. george Post author

      Rick, I was able to find the publishing dates. You could order them that way. But I’m not sure there is any order other than the 50s, 60s, 70s, etc.

    1. george Post author

      Bob, I know exactly what you mean. I’ve got about a third of my book collection in boxes and bins. It’s tough to find anything. I’ve promised Diane that I will work down in the basement this Summer to weed the collection and make a substantial donation (I’m shooting for 3000 books) to SUNY at Buffalo. That should clear some shelves so I can unload the boxes and plastic bins.

  5. ga mcclelland

    Please, sir, if you would not mind, could you list each book and what authors and stories are in each book. I have been trying to find this information online and have not been able to. Or, if you happen to know of a website that gives this info, I would be most appreciative. I am sorry to be a bother, but I have 4 books from this set and am very curious as to what are in the other books. Thank you for any time and help that you can offer.

    1. george Post author

      GA, what you’re asking for would be a lot of work. I’ll have to think about typing out 20 TABLE OF CONTENTS for you. Give me a few days to consider this.

  6. ga mcclelland


    there are a few of the books that I am very interested in, would it be more doable if I were to tell you the books I was interested in or the authors?

    thank you for your consideration.

    1. george Post author

      GA, I’m going to honor your request and I’ll type out the TABLE OF CONTENTS for all the volumes. I plan to post them on Saturday. Hope you like the result!

    1. george Post author

      Steve, I typed up the TABLE OF CONTENTS all the volumes in my September 28, 2013 posting. Just search MASTERPIECES OF MYSTERY above and it will pop up.

  7. Ralph E. Vaughan

    Perhaps the only flaw in this series is no example of Charlie Chan, but that lapse is attributable to the author (Biggers), not the editor. The astute detective appeared in novels only.

  8. fred Tarter

    I was the publisher of this series in 1979, soon to be released as an e book series…. Happy to know that it still brings pleasure to readers…. look for it on amazon….

  9. Mark

    reviving this old thread for info sake

    Volume Number Title Year Where volume number found

    Volume 1 The Supersleuths 1976 Stated in it’s own Intro

    Volume 2 The Prizewinners 1976 Stated in it’s own Intro

    Volume 3 The Grand Masters 1976 Stated in it’s own Intro

    Volume 4 The Golden Age – 1 1977 Stated in intro to volume titled “The Fifties”

    Volume 5 The Golden Age – 2 1977 Stated in intro to volume titled “The Fifties”

    Volume 6 Detective Directory I 1977 Stated in intro to volume titled “Amateurs & Professionals

    Volume 7 Detective Directory II 1978 Stated in intro to volume titled “Amateurs & Professionals

    Volume 8 The Forties 1978 Stated in intro to volume titled “The Fifties”

    Volume 9 The Fifties 1978 would guess it came out before “The Sixties”

    Volume 10 Cherished Classics 1978 copyright office

    Volume 11 The Sixties 1978 Stated in intro to volume titled “More from the Sixties”

    Volume 12 Stories Not To Be Missed 1978 copyright office

    Volume 13 Amateurs & Professionals 1978 copyright office

    Volume 14 The Old Masters 1978 copyright office

    Volume 15 Blue Ribbon Specials 1978 copyright office

    Volume 16 More From The Sixties 1979 Stated in intro to volume titled “The Seventies”

    Volume 17 The Seventies 1979 copyright office

    Volume 18 The Grandmasters Up To Date 1979 copyright office

    Volume 19 The Supersleuths Revisited 1979 copyright office

    Volume 20 Choice Cuts 1979 Stated in it’s own intro

  10. Laura

    Hi all~

    I stumbled across this thread while trying to research this book set that I’m trying to sell for a friend’s elderly parents, and I just wanted to thank the person named Mark, who posted all of the volumes in order! My gosh, that was the most helpful info I’ve found yet. I’d managed to sort them by copyright date, but was a little overwhelmed trying to figure out the actual order. So, thanks again, Mark!


  11. Laura

    Oh, jeez.. posted that before I meant to! I just wanted to leave a link to the Etsy shop I’m selling them in.. I can be a tiny bit flexible on the price, but the money is going to a good cause— helping pay for their home health aid, so I’m trying to get them as much as possible.

    If I could afford them, I’d buy them myself! They are very cool!

    Have a beautiful day!


    (And if this sort of thing isn’t allowed here, I am so sorry!!)

  12. MIK

    Many years ago, there was a used book store on the south side of 23rd Street between either Lexington and Madison Avenues or Madison and Fifth Avenues in Manhattan. They sold the books as singles for no more that $5 each and I had between 10-15 of the books, now gone after many moves. I have three of them now and am always looking in used bookshops for more.

    It was a brilliant and well-executed undertaking.


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