The series, set in New York City in the late '40s, details the work of Ellery Queen, a gentleman detective and writer, and his father, Richard Queen, a police inspector with the the Centre Street precinct in lower Manhattan.
The format allows viewers to match wits with the detectives. The viewer sees a crime being committed, is told who the suspects are, and is presented with all the clues. Before the last commercial break, Ellery faces the camera and asks viewers to identify the murderer. After the commercial break, Ellery reconstructs the crime and reveals the guilty party.