Video Theater 100: Richard Diamond: The Mickey Farmer Case

A dying hood asks Diamond to find his girl and protect her from his partner.

Original Air Date: July 1, 1957

Season 1, Episode 1

Book Review: The Private Practice of Michael Shayne

The Michael Shayne that appeared in his first book, Dividend on Death has little resemblance to the character as he’d come to be known in film, television, and future books. In the second book, The Private Private Practice of Michael Shayne, the later character begins to emerge.

The book features the close friendship and partnership between Shayne and reporter Tim Rourke, which was a hallmark of the series. In addition, Shayne shows a bit of character and humanity in trying to ward off an ambitious young lawyer from an unethical deal. The barely grown Phyllis Brighton returns from the first book and Shayne steps in (against her wishes) to save her from crooked gamblers. There’s a bit of reluctant romance that begins to develop between Shayne and Phyllis and it’s handled nicely and believably.

To be clear, he’s not Philip Marlowe, certainly not as mopey and world-weary. The character is plenty of fun and has a lighter, comedic flare. The plot of this book was used as one of the major inspirations for the first Shayne movie starring Lloyd Nolan, Michael Shayne, Private Detective, and the movie and book track pretty well. The result is a Michael Shayne who manages to be comical but not foolish, and tough without being abrasive.

The story is well-plotted, even if it’s not particularly innovative. The humor works a couple twists including Shayne finding a way to get himself out of a murder charge but later outsmarts himself when he tries to mess around with the murder gun. Given all the evidence tampering both in this book and the previous one, it was satisfying to see a consequence to it for Shayne.

This still isn’t quite the Michael Shayne of later books, but it’s a huge step forward for the character.

Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0

EP2066: Dragnet: The Big Overtime

Jack Webb

Friday and Romero try to find a young woman who has been kidnapped.

Original Air Date: December 13, 1951

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EP2065: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar : The Unholy Two Matter

Bob Bailey

Johnny investigates the death of an insured man who was despised by both of his beneficiaries.

Original Air Date: January 10, 1960

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EP2064: Boston Blackie: The Television Roundtable Murder

Richard Kollmar

Blackie and Mary are watching on television as a man is murdered on a roundtable forum where Farraday is a panelist.

Original Air Date: December 20, 1945

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Mail a donation to: Adam Graham, PO Box 15913, Boise, Idaho 83715