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Ellin, Stanley

Page history last edited by barry_ergang@... 9 years, 4 months ago

Kindly Dig Your Grave Kindly Dig Your Grave Kindly Dig Your Grave Stanley EllinStanley Bernard Ellin (1916-1986) was born in Brooklyn, New York. He was educated at Brooklyn College, receiving his B.A. in 1936. Next year he married Jeanne Michael; they had one daughter. Ellin worked as a teacher, steelworker, a dairy farmer, and served in the United States Army from 1944 to 1945. In 1946 Ellin became a full-time writer. 'The Specialty of the House' appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine in May 1948. In the story Laffler, a gourmet, goes with his assistant for a dinner at a exclusive restaurant. The kitchen is what Laffler wants to see - which is a great mistake.


In 1954 Ellin received Edgar Allan Poe Award from the Mystery Writers of America for the short story 'The House Party', a suburban story with an element of fantasy. Two years later he was awarded for the short story 'The Blessington Method', a comment on the social rights of the elderly, and in 1958 for novel The Eighth Circle, which was an attempt at a long, serious novel about a modern private detective. The title was derived from Dante's Inferno.


Mystery Stories (1956) was hailed by Julian Symons as "the finest collection of stories in the crime form published in the past half century." It included such works as 'The Cat's Paw,' 'The Orderly World of Mr. Appleby,' in which the most important thing in the protagonist's life is his antique and curio shop, 'Broker's Special,' and 'The Moment of Decision', in which a dispute between neighbors leads to a fatal decision. Ellin's Edgar-winning short story 'The Blessington Method' gave the title for the second book. After his third collection, Kindly Dig Your Grave (1975), Ellin published in 1979 his complete mystery tales 1948-1978. Ellin's last story was 'Unacceptable Procedures' (1985), which questioned the morals of economic development. Ellin died of a heart attack on July 31, 1986 in Brooklyn. Ellin was a member of Mystery Writers of America and its past president. His works were a long time out of print, until Foul Play Press reprinted two of his novels in 1996. Ellin's private eye hero John Milano appeared first in Star Light, Star Bright (1979), in which Milano tried to prevent the murder of a renowned mystic guru, who begins to receive threatening letters.





John Milano


Star Light, Star Bright (1979)

The Dark Fantastic (1983)



Dreadful Summit (1948) aka The Big Night

The Key to Nicholas Street (1953)

The Eighth Circle (1958)

The Winter after This Summer (1960)

The Panama Portrait (1962)

House of Cards (1963)

The Valentine Estate (1968)

The Bind (1970) aka The Man from Nowhere

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall (1972)

Stronghold (1974)

The Other Side of the Wall (1976)

The Luxembourg Run (1977)

Very Old Money (1984)



Mystery Stories (1956)

The Blessington Method: And Other Strange Tales (1964)

Kindly Dig Your Grave: And Other Wicked Stories (1975)

The Specialty of the House: And Other Stories (1979)


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