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

5Jun/140

EP1278: Nick Carter: The Vanishing Lady

Lon Clark

Nick investigates the disappearance of a pregnant woman at a hospital.

Original Air Date: May 6, 1945

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4Jun/140

EP1277: Philip Marlowe: Red Wind

Gerald Mohr

Marlowe witnesses a murder and is drawn in the problems of a woman being blackmailed.

Original Air Date: September 26, 1948

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3Jun/140

EP1276: Pat Novak: Joe Condano

Jack Webb

After being hired to pay off a beautiful woman's brother's gambling debt, Novak finds himself next to a dead body with Inspector Hellman on the way up.

Original Air Date: March 27, 1949

Quote of the show: I should have got out of there right then but I used my brain like a bottle of medicine: a small dose every three hours.

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2Jun/140

EP1275: Pursuit: Three for All

Ted de Corsia

Inspector Black investigates a serial killer who is notifying the police of his murders.

Original Air Date: November 10, 1949

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31May/140

EP1274: Police Headquarters: KO’D and Infiltrating the Mob

A boxer died after the fight of an apparent heart attack in KO'D. 

The police try to recover $100,000 in stolen jewelry in Infiltrating the Mob.

Episodes 18 and 20

Original Air Date: 1932

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31May/140

Book Review: The Saint v. Scotland Yard

The Saint, a character who remained popular for decades and has been portrayed by everyone from George Sanders and Vincent Price to Roger Moore and Val Kilmer, got his start in literature.

The Saint v. Scotland Yard  is a book published in 1932 and it collects three novellas, each featuring the Saint working outside or even against Scotland Yard, near the start of the character’s literary career . . “The Inland Revenue” sees Simon trying to shut down a blackmailer. “The Million Pound Day” pits the Saint against a ruthless gang of kidnappers who have a plan to force the printing of a million pounds in fake Italian currency. The final story, “The Melancholy Journey of Mr Teal” finds the Saint trying to steal a jewel thief’s loot before the thief's caught by Scotland Yard.

Overall, the stories are decent for the period. They’re much more adventures than they are mysteries. The cases are well-written and fun to read.

Those who know the Saint from golden age mediums like radio or the Sanders movies may not recognize much about this early version. While the Saint’s billed as the “Robin Hood” of modern crime, the Saint robs from the rich but seems more self-centered. Of course, as this was the 1930s, many people resented the rich and believed the police were corrupt or incompetent, so there was some catharsis in his antics for the common man of the day.

The brilliance of Charteris is that despite the Saint’s less than sterling conduct, he makes it really hard not to like him. The Robin Hood analogy seems inapt. The Saint in this book is really reminiscent of a romantic pirate. The Saint is a swashbuckler who laughs in the face of danger and death, and writes poetry in perilous situations. He and his girlfriend Pat are pure adrenaline junkies who get their kicks out of exposing themselves to danger which is kind of fun for people who live more tame lives.

While the Saint is no paragon in this book, he doesn’t hurt innocent people. Indeed, the book works because whoever the Saint crosses, we have a sense that they somehow deserve it.

The only other negative to this book are some unfortunate racial language which may make the book less accessible to some readers. Overall though, this was a decent early Saint novella collection.

Book Rating: 3.75 out of 5.0

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30May/140

EP1273: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Rasmussen Matter

Bob Bailey

Johnny searches for the wife of a murdered man to give her her insurance check.

Original Air Date: December 16, 1956

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29May/140

EP1272: Nick Carter: The Witch of Dondenberg Mountain

Lon Clark
Nick is hired by an archaeologist who believes a witch killed his assistant.

Original Air Date: April 22, 1945

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28May/140

EP1271: Lux Radio Theater: The Lady in the Lake

Robert Montgomery
Philip Marlowe looks for a missing wife  at the behest of the missing woman's husband's secretary who wants to break up the marriage to marry her boss.

Original Air Date: February 9, 1948

 

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27May/140

EP1270: Pat Novak for Hire: Rory Malone

Jack Webb

 

Pat Novak gets an offer for $300 from a beautiful woman to stay away from boxer Rory Malone, and $300 from Malone's manager. Whichever side he ends up on, it's going to be trouble.

Original Air Date: March 20, 1949

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She was as safe as a tap dancer on a floor full of dynamite caps.

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