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18Jun/140

EP1289: Philip Marlowe: The Panama Hat

Gerald Mohr
A woman hires Marlowe to investigate  anonymous threats against her husband by a man in a Panama hat.

Original Air Date: October 10, 1948

 

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17Jun/140

EP1288: Pat Novak: Shirt Mix Up at the Laundry

Jack Webb

When Pat Novak gets the wrong bundle at the laundry, he tries to switch with the man who was given his shirts. Novak is knocked out and wakes up next to a dead body. Par for the course, Hellman suspects him of murder.
Original Air Date: April 9, 1949

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16Jun/140

EP1287: Pursuit: The Pursuit on Lundy Island

Ted De Corsia
While on vacation, Inspector Black is called to investigate a murder on a boat.

Original Air Date: February 7, 1950

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14Jun/140

Book Review: Family Affair

This is the very last Wolfe novel written by Rex Stout. The book begins with a literal bang as a favorite waiter of Wolfe's comes seeking Wolfe's advice in the middle of the night. Archie puts him up in the South Room for safety, only for the man to be blown up by a bomb that rocks Archie and Wolfe's world.

This case is personal for Wolfe who is determined to catch the killer himself. It's an unprecedented case where we get a whiff of Watergate, Wolfe turns down a one hundred thousand dollar fee, and ends up going to jail all leading up to a conclusion that was shocking at the time and still is if you don't search the Internet too much before reading.

Written while Stout was 85, the book was clearly intended to bring the series to an end. I lost count of the number of times Archie said something happened for the first time. In one scene, Archie gives one person a thousand to one odds on something and he ends up being wrong. Cramer shows a softer side even while Wolfe abandons all pretense of anything but perfunctory cooperation with the police.

This is a book that you should ideally read at the end of the other Stout books, or at least after reading a couple dozen. You can't appreciate how deeply ingrained the rules that get broken in this book are unless you understand the world these characters inhabit.

Family Affair doesn't give us new insights into Wolfe's past but it does tell us a lot about what matters most to him and his closest associates: honor. There is an honor in being the greatest detective in the world and someone people can turn to, and there's honor in working for him and woe to the person who puts that at risk.

The book is a perfect finale and it leaves me a little bit hesitant to pick up Robert Goldsborough's Wolfe novels, because I can't imagine anything doing a good enough job to follow up this story.

Rating: Very Satisfactory

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14Jun/140

EP1286: Police Headquarters: Mrs. Smallwood Killed and Dr. Thonton’s Wife Missing

The police investigate a murder and search for a motive in Mrs. Smallwood Killed. 

A doctor report his wife missing in Dr. Thornton's Wife Missing. 

Episodes 24 and 25 (1932)

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13Jun/140

EP1285: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Ellen Dear Matter

Bob Bailey

Johnny is hired to protect jewels purchased a wealthy businessman in Mexico but finds the jewels were lost at sea...or were they?

Original  Air Date: January 6, 1957

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12Jun/140

EP1284: Nick Carter: The Mystery of Hangman’s Wood

Lon Clark
Nick Carter investigates the legend of an apparition at  Hangman's wood.

Original Air Date: May 20, 1945

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11Jun/140

EP1283: Philip Marlowe: Persian Slippers


Gerald Mohr

The only clue Marlowe has to the disappearance of a wealthy woman is the name of a skid row fortune teller.

Original Air Date: October 3, 1948

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10Jun/140

EP1282: Pat Novak for Hire: Father Lahey

Jack Webb
A priest hires Pat Novak to intercept an escaping convict. However, when Novak allows the convict to make an unplanned stop, trouble of the lethal kind ensues.

 

Original Air Date: April 2, 1949

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9Jun/140

EP1281: Pursuit: Pursuit of the Tall Man

Ted de Corsia

The police searched for a tall man believed to be behind a series of robberies.

Original Air Date: January 6, 1950

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