The great Agatha Christie may have inspired the creation of two of vintage radio’s best mystery detective series.
In Box 13, Dan Holiday ran an ad to get his adventures, “Adventure wanted — will go anywhere, do anything ”
In Let George Do It, George Valentine got his cases through a similar newspaper ad. Throughout the series, the exact wording changed, but the most famous version was, “Personal Notice: Danger is my stock-in-trade. If the job is too tough for you to handle, you’ve got a job for me, George Valentine. Write full details.”
While doing some research regarding a listener question about Agatha Christie in Old Time Radio, I may have stumbled on what inspired both sets of writers.
Agatha Christie wrote a book in 1922, featuring two detectives Tommy and Tuppence, a young man and young woman that set out to find work after the first World War. They formed the Young Adventurers, Ltd. How did they propose to make their business work? Advertising in the newspaper. And what did their advertisement read?
“‘Two young adventurers for hire. Willing to do anything, go anywhere. Pay must be good. No unreasonable offer refused.”
Sounds very close to what George Valentine and Dan Holiday offered, and given the popularity of Christie, it seems quite likely that she inspired the use of this particular device.
The Secret Adversary, in which the Young Adventurers was formed is one of only two Agatha Christie works in the public domain in the United States and is available for reading at Project Gutenberg.