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

22Aug/140

EP1345: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Melancholy Memory Matter

Bob Bailey

Johnny searches for a pitcher who disappeared during Spring Training and whose sister is accusing his new bride of murdering him.

Original Air Date: April 28, 1957

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21Aug/140

EP1344: Nick Carter: Shakespeare’s Ghost

Lon Clark

A grifter cons a collector out of a copy of the Shakespeare folio that's rumored to be haunted by Shakespeare's ghost and is founded beheaded with an Elizabethan sword.

Original Air Date: December 30, 1945

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20Aug/140

EP1343: Philip Marlowe: The Long Rope

Gerald Mohr

Marlowe is hired by an elderly man to transport a string of pearls to Chicago but arrives to find the man who hired him dead and the pearls missing.

Original Air Date: February 5, 1949

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19Aug/140

EP1342: Pat Novak: Joe Dineen

Jack Webb
Two men kidnap Pat Novak from a wrestling match and demand he take them to a man Novak doesn't know by the name of Joe Dineen.

Original Air Date: June 19, 1949

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18Aug/140

EP1341: Pursuit: Pursuit of the Thames Pirates

Ben Wright

Peter Black joins the pursuit of thieves down the Thames River.

Original Air Date: December 11, 1951

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16Aug/140

EP1340: Dragnet: Production #3 Robbery Aka: The Werewolf

Jack Webb

Joe and Ben go searching for a criminal nicknamed the “werewolf” who is terrorizing young women in LA’s Central district

Original Air Date: June 17, 1949

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16Aug/140

Book Review: Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories

This book collects all the short stories starring Agatha Christie’s famous elderly spinster detective Miss Marple.

The most important thing to know about them is that in three out of four short stories, nothing is really at stake. There is no murderer to be caught or punished because the murderer has already been caught and punished. In the majority of the stories, Miss Marple is sitting around in a group of friends who are telling each other about murder cases they’ve encountered for which they know the solution and are challenging their friends to solve it.

The format of these stories hearkens back to the armchair detectives of the 1910s and 1920s such as Baroness Orczy’s Old Man in the Corner. While the stories don’t have much suspense, the puzzles are interesting and Christie gives Miss Marple’s friends enough characterization to keep them interesting while also working a nice dose of charm and humor into the discussion of the case.

In many of the early armchair stories, Miss Marple is somewhat reminiscent of G.K. Chesterton's Father Brown in his earliest stories. She sits back and leaves most of the conversation to the younger people only to contribute the actual solution at the end. In many ways, she seems like anyone'stereotypical grandmother or elderly aunt, though perhaps more honest as Miss Marple not only admits to gossiping but defends the practice. However, she has an amazing mind that has taken in all she has experienced while living in a small village and used it as a frame of reference for understanding human behavior, including the criminal crime.

Of course, there are some stories that deviate from the armchair format and and are more traditional detective stories. I enjoyed these more. My favorite was, “The Case of the Perfect Maid” which has Miss Marple investigating a case of a maid whose career is in trouble after leaving the employee of two strange sisters under a cloud of suspicion. I also found “Sanctuary,” which has Miss Marple assisting in the investigation of man who died in a church to be very enjoyable.

Overall, while I’m not a huge fan of pure puzzle mysteries, I found myself thoroughly entertained by this volume. It’s a testament to the genius of Agatha Christie that these stories are so entertaining. Also for 20 Miss Marple short stories, the book is very economically priced either in paperback or as an ebook.

Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0

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15Aug/140

EP1339: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Ming Toy Murphy Matter

Bob Bailey
Johnny has to find a dog--a talking dog.

Original Air Date: April 14, 1957

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14Aug/140

EP1338: Nick Carter: The Case of the Howling Horse

Lon Clark
Nick goes upstate to investigate the case  of a horse that hunt and kill men.

Original Air Date: September 30, 1945

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13Aug/140

EP1337: Philip Marlowe: Easy Mark

Gerald Mohr

Marlowe to help a woman's husband whose in trouble with blackmailers and finds a backwards case. Why would blackmailer attack their mark?

Original Air Date: January 29, 1949

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