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

31May/130

EP0961: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Amy Bradshaw Matter, Part Five and Nightmare for Knight

Bob Bailey

Knight breaks into the Prince's headquarters with a French criminal and bad results.

Original Air Date: 1958 or '59

The wind up of the Bradshaw Matter and who really is behind the threats against Amy Bradshaw.

Original Air Date: November 25, 1955

 

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30May/132

EP0960: Sherlock Holmes: The Speckled Band

John Gielgud

A young woman whose sister died from a mysterious poisoning asks Holmes and Watson to help, fearing her stepfather may kill her next.

Original Air Date: March 20, 1955

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29May/130

EP0959: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Amy Bradshaw Matter, Parts Three and Four

Bob Bailey
Johnny begins to get too close to the case as motives for threatening Amy Bradshaw begin to multiply.

Original Air Date: November 23 and 24, 1955

 

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28May/130

EP0958: The Big Guy: The Case of the Villanious Friend

A man in prison for robbery escapes with the help of a lifer...but why?

Original Air Date: August 27, 1950

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27May/130

EP0957: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Amy Bradshaw Matter, Parts One and Two

Bob Bailey

A beautiful actress receives a threatening note.

Original Air Date: November 21 and 22, 1955

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26May/130

Telefilm Review: The Murder of Roger Akroyd

Four years after the end of the sixth series of Poirot, the mysteries returned for a seventh series with David Suchet. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd begins with Poirot in blissful retirement in the country as he focuses on his gardening.

However, a baffling murder brings him out to investigate the buried secrets of a small town.

As usual with Poirot stories, the mystery's not a problem, nor is the acting by the lead. The fundamental problem with this play is dramatic. Here, I try not to give away the game to anyone unfamiliar with the story. The Murder of Roger Akroyd much Christie's Murder on the Orient Express, is noted for an unusual twist solution that's actually quite shocking in the annals of detective fiction.

The ending works great in a book or in a well-done radio adaptation like Orson Welles' Campbell playhouse version, however it's understandably difficult to pull off in a cinematic way.  But, what they tried to do instead failed with a gratuitous chase scene to resolve the story just didn't  feel right.  The film also suffered somewhat from the decision to include the Poirot family of actors even if it really didn't work for capturing the spirit of the book.

In addition, the story had a somewhat maudlin, overly sentimental feel to it. To be fair, I wasn't following the Poirot series in 2000 and maybe fans appreciated it back then, but it doesn't age well.

It's a weak entry and a bumpy start to the second half of the Poirot mysteries.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.0

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25May/130

Book Review: The Scandal of Father Brown

This is the final Father Brown collection, containing eight stories (or nine, depending on the collection.) From my point view, G.K. Chesterton really hadn't lost a step in this last collection the year before Chesteron's death in 1936.

The stories all are wonderfully unexpected with a great twist. Why for example would the very orthodox priest seem to help a woman escape with her lover in the title story. Or what was the real misdoing of a radical professor in "The Crime of the Communist?" And who is the mysterious Mr. Blue? And why can't the combined duo of Father Brown and Flambeau solve "The Insoluable Problem?"

These are the some good little mysteries here. Others that I really enjoyed included, "The Quick One" and also if your edition includes it, "The Vampire of the Village" is probably the best story in the collection even though it was in the first edition as Chesterton published it.

Overall, this is a fine final collection and shows the enduring power of Chesterton and his little priest with the umbrella to surprise, amuse, and entertain us while also making us thing.
Rating: 4.75 out of 5.0

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25May/130

EP0956: The Line Up: The Senile Slugging Case

William Johnstone
Guthrie investigates a series of brutal muggings that have targeted elderly victims.

Original Air Date: September 12, 1951

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24May/130

EP0955: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Broderick Matter, Part Five and Nightmare for Knight

Bob Bailey
Knight makes a daring escape from the harem and the intrigue surrounding it grows deeper.

Original Air Date: 1958 or '59

Johnny is all that stands between Lorraine Broderick and a leap into eternity.

Original Air Date: November 18, 1955

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23May/130

EP0954: Sherlock Holmes: The Blue Carbuncle

John Gielgud

A lost goose sets Holmes on the trail of a jewel thief.

Original Air Date: March 13, 1955

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