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


EP1588: Ellery Queen: Adventure of the Circus Train

Carleton Young

A long-time circus owner is murdered on a train.

Original Air Date: March 27, 1943

Support the show.


EP1587: The Saint: The Big Swindle

Vincent Price

A man shows up with a bag of money and claims to have amnesia.

Original Air Date: February 25, 1951

Support the show.


Book Review: The Maltese Falcon

The Maltese Falcon is rightly considered one of the landmark books in detective fiction. The tale was also immortalized on the screen in one of the greatest films of all time.

The book works so well because of its characters. Joel Cairo, Wilmer, and Brigid O’Shaughnessy are incredibly rich and fascinating characters who would be copied and recreated by lesser writers. Spade himself is perhaps the most fascinating character of them all.

As a person, he has many detestable qualities. At times, he’s coldly sociopathic, he uses people, and his own moral code is far more questionable than Philip Marlowe's is. Yet, this allows the reader to wonder where exactly Spade stands. That question is probably the most intriguing mystery in the book.

The language of the book is fascinating. Hammett uses so many rich, active words. For example, Spade doesn’t light a cigarette. He ignites it or he sets it on fire.

Probably one of the big differences (although relatively minor) between the movie and the novel is the movie doesn’t include Guttman’s daughter. It’s understandable why the film didn’t include her as there would have been issues with the production code and it also would have overcrowded the film. However, she does serve two purposes in the book. We do get a clearer picture of Spade’s humane side, as well as an idea of how ruthless Guttman could be.

The book does deal with some adult themes, but in a tasteful way, as was required by the times.

Overall, the book is a classic and worth reading as an example of great writing and characterization, even if you don’t care for the type of protagonist Spade represents or the type of protagonists that the book has inspired.

Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0

If you enjoyed this post, you can have new posts about Detective stories and the golden age of radio and television delivered automatically to your Kindle.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that items purchased from these links may result in a commission being paid to the author of this post at no extra cost to the purchase


EP1586: Dragnet: The Big Pug

Jack Webb
Friday and Romero look for a duo who robbed a grocery store and assaulted its elderly owner.

Original Air Date: May 18, 1950

Support the show.


EP1585: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Time and Tide Matter

Bob Bailey
Johnny goes to the Caribbean after a wealthy insured person fails to make a key appointment and Johnny finds the man's life is in danger, but from who?

Original Air Date: February 16, 1958

When making your travel plans, remember


EP1584: Nick Carter: The Case of the Wandering Corpse

Lon ClarkNick is called in by a mother whose son is accused of murdering a police officer.

Original Air Date: February 15, 1947

Support the show.


EP1583: Philip Marlowe: The Torch Carriers

Gerald Mohr
Marlowe finds himself investigating the death of a racketeer's girlfriend.

Original Air Date: January 7, 1950

Support the show.


EP1582: Ellery Queen: Adventure of the Singing Rat

Carleton Young

An informant reveals a scandal involving a crooked politician and a gangster and the gangster is murdered.

Original Air Date: January 9, 1943

Support the show.


EP1581: The Saint: The Next of Kin

Vincent Price
A mobster is shot and killed when clueing the Saint in that a notorious dead mobster isn't dead.

Original Air Date: February 18, 1951

Support the show.


Video Theater 065: The Mandarin Mystery

Ellery Queen investigates the disappearance of a rare Chinese stamp and comes across two murders along the way.

Release Date: December 23, 1936



Friends of the Show

GAR Links

Great OTR LInks

Other Old Time Radio Shows

June 2015
« May