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

27Dec/140

EP1454: Dragnet: The Spring Street Gang

Jack Webb

Friday and Romero investigate a large gang of criminal teenagers.

Original Air Date: December 1, 1949

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26Dec/140

EP1453: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Poor Little Rich Girl Matter

Bob Bailey

Johnny is called into investigate when a beautiful woman wants to take out a $250,000 life insurance policy on her husband as a surprise.

Original Air Date: September 1, 1957

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

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25Dec/141

EP1452: Nick Carter: The Case of the Chemical Chickens

Lon Clark

When Waldo buys eggs laced with nitroglycerin, Nick sets out to find a criminal conspiracy behind it.

Original Air Date: April 13, 1947

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24Dec/140

EP1451: Philip Marlowe: The Key Man

Gerald Mohr
Marlowe is hired to protect a businessman from being murdered before leaving for New York.  When the man is murdered, Marlowe has to figure out whodunit.

Original Air Date: June 25, 1949

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23Dec/140

EP1450: Crime and Peter Chambers: The Missing Earring Murder

Dane Clark
A case of mistaken identity and a missing earring lead Pete to an investigation of an elderly man's apparent suicide.

Original Air Date: June 1, 1954

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22Dec/140

EP1449: The Saint: Santa Claus is No Saint

Vincent Prince
While dressed as Santa, Simon is mistaken for a man who mad off with an expensive necklace. Simon spends Christmas Eve trying to catch a thief and a murderer.

Original Air Date: December 24, 1950

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21Dec/140

EP1448s: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Nick Shurn Matter Omnibus

Bob Bailey
At Christmastime, Johnny searches for a woman who witnessed a murder in which an underworld kingpin is suspected. Johnny travels to her small Michigan hometown to find her. There he encounters suspicion from her friends and family, and finds that the mob is already closing in.

Original Air Dates: December 19-23, 1955

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

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20Dec/140

Book Review: Hang by the Neck


I picked up a copy of Hang by the Neck out of curiosity as I’d listened to the Crime and Peter Chambers golden age radio program and was curious what the books were like.

The answer is very much the same, only with a more complex plot.

In the book, Pete is hired by Johnny the Mick to go pick up a suitcase from Johnny’s apartment. However, Pete finds the body of a beautiful woman and then the police come up and haul Johnny and Pete off to jail. Chambers released only to come home and find the body of Johnny the Mick hanging from his window.

The police conclude that Johnny murdered the girl and committed suicide but Pete knows Johnny the Mick well enough to not buy the explanation.

What follows is Chambers’ questioning and conversing with a wide variety of shady characters to get to the truth. The suspects are pretty much stock characters for a hard boiled detective novel: the seductive performer, the charming model, the shady night club owner. The one exception to this is an ex-boxer turned painter which was a nice touch. There’s also a great speech from a cop about what private investigators are for and what they ought stick to investigating. Though later events in the book make the speech more than a tad ironic.

Radio programs were known for taking massive liberities when bringing detectives not named Sherlock Holmes to the microphone, so I was surprised to find that the characters in the book spoke exactly like the radio program with some very stylized dialogue. However, reading it, there were points were the style could be a tad wearying with a few too many pages filled with rapid fire one-liners between Chambers and someone he was questioning.

Rating the book is hard. Overall, Hang By Your Neck is average or perhaps a bit above average hard boiled detective novel. However, it doesn’t approach greatness and is by no means essential for fans of the genre. Certainly Peter Chambers isn’t in the class of Philip Marlowe, Archie Goodwin, or Nick Charles. However, if you want to read a 1950s Detective novels to pass the time, this isn’t a bad choice.

Rating: 3.25 out of 5.0

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20Dec/140

EP1448: Dragnet: The Big Little Jesus

Jack Webb
Joe Friday and Frank Smith investigate the theft of a statue of the child Jesus from a local church.

Original Air Date: December 22, 1953

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19Dec/140

EP1447: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Missing Mouse Matter

Bob Bailey
Johnny has to find a singing mouse before a Christmas Eve show.

Original Air Date: December 23, 1956

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

 

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