Author: Yours Truly Johnny Blogger

EP3766: Mr. Chameleon: The Dusty Room Murder Case

Karl Swenson

An inventor is found dead in a room completely covered with dust…except for the gun.

Original Air Date: April 5, 1950

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EP3765: Casey, Crime Photographer: Road Angel

Stats Cotsworth

Casey investigates the murder of a driver by a hitchhiker.

Original Air Date: January 13, 1954

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Video Theater 225: Man with a Camera: Two Strings of Pearls

Mike Kovac thinks he recognizes a girl from a cruise ship, but she pretends not to know him and her “Uncle” doesn’t want his picture taken.

Original Air Date: December 12, 1958 

Season 1, Episode 9

Book Review: Deadly Image

Casey notices an old friend who manages his small investment getting uncharacteristically roaring drunk at a bar. The man’s wife asks for a ride home and Casey is asked to hold some film for another photographer, film that is going to be more than a bit dangerous for him. Before he knows it, the veteran crime photographer has a web of murder and blackmail to untangle.

This novel, featuring the character of Jack Casey, was published in 1962, well after the character’s heyday in the 1930s and 1940s. Yet the writing of George Harmon Coxe, who’d written another photographer mystery series in the intervening years, remained exactly the same. In fact if you were to level a criticism of the book, it would be that it doesn’t feel like a book from 1962, with very few clues to its more recent vintage. The big one is that Casey has a small investment portfolio. It’s hard to imagine a hard boiled character in the 1930s investing in the stock market given how skittish people were after the Crash.

Beyond that, it’s a very well-written mystery with a lot of elements to it, more than you would expect for a book of its relatively short length. However, it’s easy to follow and the clues are all there if you’re paying attention. Casey remains the same honorable and decent guy he always was, and the story holds your attention throughout.

After reading three of his books, my opinion of Coxe as a writer is that he’s not one of those brilliant must-read writers of the classics of detective fiction like Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett. However, Coxe was talented and wrote diverting smart mysteries that are worth a look. I put him in the same category as Britt Halliday and plan on visiting some of his other works.

This was a fun book and it won’t be the last time, I read one of Coxe’s novels.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

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EP3764: Tales of the Texas Rangers: Death by Adoption

An adoptive father is robbed and shot at his used car dealership.

Original Air Date: March 18, 1951

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EP3763: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Nathan Gayles Matter

John Lund

Johnny investigates the murder of an insured New York City policeman.

Original Air Date: November 17, 1953

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EP3762: Philo Vance: The Green Girls Murder Case


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Two daughters of a wealthy man are murdered…and District Attorney Markham doesn’t want Vance to investigate.

Original Air Date: April 12, 1949

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