Month: July 2020

EP3201: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Phantom Chase Matter, Parts One and Two (Encore)

Bob Bailey
A junior partner accused of embezzling $100,000 jumps bail and the senior partner believes that he saw him in a newspaper picture of a New Orleans bar.

Original Air Dates: October 15 and 16, 1956

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

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EP3200s: Lux Radio Theater: The Ex-Mrs. Bradford

William Powell

A doctor is driven into an investigation of sinister goings on at a race track by his mystery writer ex-wife.

Original Air Date: June 19, 1939

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Support the show on a one-time basis at http://support.greatdetectives.net.

Mail a donation to: Adam Graham, PO Box 15913, Boise, Idaho 83715
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Book Review: Before Midnight

Editor’s Note: A version of this review originally appeared 9 years ago.

How annoying can a client or set of clients get? Nero Wolfe finds out in Before Midnight.

After the death of a hotshot advertising executive, his firm hires Wolfe not to find the killer, but to locate the dead man’s wallet which contained the answers to a verse-guessing contest with $800,000 in prizes at stake.

The story plodded along. While some of the suspects were interesting, I couldn’t consider most of them as likely suspects for either the murder or taking the wallet. The focus was on the contestants, four of whom came from out of town. To go to a place you don’t know, commit a homicide, and evade detection by the police is a tough task, and nothing made me believe any of these out-of-towners would do it.

What held the story together was watching Wolfe’s clients from the advertising firm of LBA, who represented the most annoying and foolish clients Wolfe ever had the misfortune of taking on. There was a pleasure of seeing these guys in action that wasn’t unlike watching a trainwreck. Wolfe had been about his leisurely pace of crime solving for 20 years, LBA was in a mode of “hurry up and do something,” even setting a deadline for Wolfe.

Their battles with each other and Wolfe continue for most of the book. Toward the end, just when we’re expecting Wolfe to spend a few chapters and several glasses of beer unraveling the mystery, we’re thrown for a loop with a plot twist that leaves Wolfe reeling, embarrassed, and determined to get a daring soul who committed a murder right in Wolfe’s office.

The twist makes up for the weakness of the book, which was a letdown after the pure brilliance of Murder by the Book. Still with a twist ending and some classically annoying clients, I’ll give it a:

Rating: Satisfactory (4 stars)

EP3200: Dragnet: The Big Fellow

Jack Webb

Friday and Smith search for dangerous wanted criminals who are also drug addicts.

Original Air Date: August 30, 1955

Support the show monthly at patreon.greatdetectives.net

Support the show on a one-time basis at http://support.greatdetectives.net.

Mail a donation to: Adam Graham, PO Box 15913, Boise, Idaho 83715
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EP3199: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Yankee Pride Matter

Edmond O'Brien

Johnny goes to Singapore to find out what’s stopping an insured shipment from leaving port.

Original Air Date: October 14, 1950

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

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