The Great Detectives of Old Time Radio The great ones are back in action.

22May/150

Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Sick Chick Matter

Bob Bailey
A friend of Johnny's call him in to investigate when his chickens are becoming ill.

Original Air Date: February 9, 1958

When making your travel plans, remember http://johnnydollarair.com

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21May/150

EP1578: Nick Carter: The Case of the Classical Clue

Lon Clark

Nick is contacted by a wealthy man to investigate his ward's fiancé but the man is murdered before Nick can speak to him.

Original Air Date: February 1, 1947

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20May/150

EP1577: Philip Marlowe: The House that Jacqueline Built

Gerald Mohr

Marlowe is hired to find a missing house on New Year's Eve.

Original Air Date: December 31, 1949

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19May/150

EP1576: Police Headquarters: $80,000 Robbery and Two Officers Disappear

A fur robbery occurs but the criminals get away far too quickly in $80,000 Robbery. 

Two police officers disappear when bringing in a dangerous fugitive and then a gang boss offers an Inspector a deal

Episodes: 19 and 22

Original Air Date: 1932

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18May/150

EP1575: The Saint: The Bride Who Lost Her Groom

Vincent Price

Louie brings a bride whose groom didn't show up for the wedding.

Original Air Date: February 11, 1951

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16May/150

EP1574: Dragnet: The Big Badge

Jack Webb

Joe Friday and Ben Romero hunt a man who holds up parked cars while pretending to be a police officer.

Original Air Date: May 4, 1950

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16May/150

Book Review: The Case of the Courteous Killer

In 1958, Dragnet had been with America for nearly a decade, with 318 Radio performances coupled with more than 200 TV episodes, and a movie. It’s in this atmosphere that Richard Deming wrote his tie-in Dragnet novel, the Case of the Courteous Killer.

It begins with an unassuming man holding up couples in lover’s lane, eventually killing a man who thought the unassuming robber would be easy to handle in the first of a series of murders. Joe Friday and Frank Smith are called in to locate and apprehend the suspect.

Adapting television shows to novels is tricky business, but the late Mr. Deming does a superb job capturing the spirit of the 1950s TV show while producing a story that was more gripping and involved than half hour television would allow.

Deming nails the voices of Joe Friday and Frank Smith. Friday was particularly important as the story is told in typical Dragnet first person. There were a couple moments I didn't quite buy, though. For example, I found the idea Joe Friday watched the Boston Blackie TV show to be a little unbelievable. There are also funny moments with Frank Smith providing comic relief as he talks about his brother-in-law and various goings on. Truly, I could imagine this on TV as I read it.

The mystery was far beyond typical Dragnet cases, which were resolved in half an hour, but it was in that same matter of fact style. There are many twists as this criminal changes methods, the police stumble upon an almost unbelievable coincidence that's too strange for Dragnet's genre, and the courteous killer twice attempts to exact some not-so-courteous revenge on Joe Friday.

The story lost a bit of momentum and dragged in the last little bit with some repetitive moments before finishing up strong at the end.

Still, if you love 1950s Dragnet, or are a fan of clean early police procedural, this is a really good and engaging read.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0

 

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15May/151

EP1573: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Price of Fame Matter

Price of Fame
Vincent Price calls for Johnny's help to locate a priceless stolen painting.

Original Air Date: February 2, 1958

When making your travel plans,  remember http://johnnydollarair.com

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14May/150

EP1572: Nick Carter: The Man Who Died Twice

Lon Clark

Nick Carter finds a man killed in an auto accident in Florida was also killed in Ohio.

Original Air Date: January 18, 1948

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13May/150

EP1571: Philip Marlowe: The Little Wishbone

Gerald Mohr

Marlowe falls in love, but the woman he's in love with has a secret.

Original Air Date: December 10, 1949

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