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21Dec/140

EP1448s: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Nick Shurn Matter Omnibus

Bob Bailey
At Christmastime, Johnny searches for a woman who witnessed a murder in which an underworld kingpin is suspected. Johnny travels to her small Michigan hometown to find her. There he encounters suspicion from her friends and family, and finds that the mob is already closing in.

Original Air Dates: December 19-23, 1955

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20Dec/140

Book Review: Hang by the Neck


I picked up a copy of Hang by the Neck out of curiosity as I’d listened to the Crime and Peter Chambers golden age radio program and was curious what the books were like.

The answer is very much the same, only with a more complex plot.

In the book, Pete is hired by Johnny the Mick to go pick up a suitcase from Johnny’s apartment. However, Pete finds the body of a beautiful woman and then the police come up and haul Johnny and Pete off to jail. Chambers released only to come home and find the body of Johnny the Mick hanging from his window.

The police conclude that Johnny murdered the girl and committed suicide but Pete knows Johnny the Mick well enough to not buy the explanation.

What follows is Chambers’ questioning and conversing with a wide variety of shady characters to get to the truth. The suspects are pretty much stock characters for a hard boiled detective novel: the seductive performer, the charming model, the shady night club owner. The one exception to this is an ex-boxer turned painter which was a nice touch. There’s also a great speech from a cop about what private investigators are for and what they ought stick to investigating. Though later events in the book make the speech more than a tad ironic.

Radio programs were known for taking massive liberities when bringing detectives not named Sherlock Holmes to the microphone, so I was surprised to find that the characters in the book spoke exactly like the radio program with some very stylized dialogue. However, reading it, there were points were the style could be a tad wearying with a few too many pages filled with rapid fire one-liners between Chambers and someone he was questioning.

Rating the book is hard. Overall, Hang By Your Neck is average or perhaps a bit above average hard boiled detective novel. However, it doesn’t approach greatness and is by no means essential for fans of the genre. Certainly Peter Chambers isn’t in the class of Philip Marlowe, Archie Goodwin, or Nick Charles. However, if you want to read a 1950s Detective novels to pass the time, this isn’t a bad choice.

Rating: 3.25 out of 5.0

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20Dec/140

EP1448: Dragnet: The Big Little Jesus

Jack Webb
Joe Friday and Frank Smith investigate the theft of a statue of the child Jesus from a local church.

Original Air Date: December 22, 1953

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19Dec/140

EP1447: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Missing Mouse Matter

Bob Bailey
Johnny has to find a singing mouse before a Christmas Eve show.

Original Air Date: December 23, 1956

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

 

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18Dec/140

EP1446: Nick Carter: Nick Carter’s Christmas Adventure

Lon Clark

Nick Carter investigates why a rich man has soured on Christmas.

Original Air Date: December 25, 1943

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17Dec/140

EP1445: Philip Marlowe: The Busy Body

Gerald Mohr
Marlowe investigates a case where a body is found and keeps disappearing.

Original Air Date: June 18, 1949

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16Dec/140

EP1444: Crime and Peter Chambers: The Dentist and the Extortion Murder

Dane Clark

A dentist comes to Pete believing he killed a man and wants Pete's help to decide whether to blackmail money.

Original Air Date: May 25, 1954

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15Dec/140

EP1443: The Saint: The Frightened Author

Vincent Price
The writer of a novel based on the real life affair between a fighter and a manager's wife turns to the Saint when he fears he'll be murdered.

Original Air Date: July 23, 1950

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14Dec/141

Video Theater 059: Dragnet: The Big Little Jesus

Friday and Smith search for a stolen statue of the Baby Jesus on Christmas Eve for a church that desperately needs it.

Original Air Date: December 24, 1953

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13Dec/140

EP1442: Dragnet: The Mother-in-Law Mother

Jack Webb

It looks like Friday and Romero have an open and shut case against a woman who was having an affair for murdering her mother-in-law.

Original Air Date: November 24, 1949

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