Author: Yours Truly Johnny Blogger

EP3588: Philo Vance: The Merry Murder Case

Three different women confess to murdering a man after he gave a lecture. All three fired bullets into the man but the police can’t figure out who fired the fatal bullet.

Original Air Date: October 3, 1946

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EP3587: Man Called X: Terror Across the Nation

Herbert Marshall

An Israeli friend of Ken’s tips off to gun smuggling from Turkey to Syria and is then murdered.

Original Air Date: April 28, 1951

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EP3586: Jeff Regan: The Man on the Hook

The police and the mob are looking for a key mob witness, and Regan joins the fray when $1,000 is dangled before the Lyon.

 

Orignal Air Date: December 28, 1949

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EP3585: Casey, Crime Photographer: Ex-Convict

Stats Cotsworth

Three ex-convicts who were recruited by a noted prison reformer have gone back to crime and have died before they could be questioned. Casey goes undercover to find out what’s really going on.

Original Air Date: January 22, 1948

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Video Theater 213: Philo Vance: The Kennel Murder Case

Philo Vance (William Powell) is called in when a wealthy man is found murdered and in the process of undressing in his locked bedroom.

Original Release Date: October 28, 1933

EP3584: Tales of Texas Rangers: Trigger Man

Jayce has to hunt down two vicious fugitive brothers from Oklahoma.

Original Air Date: July 29, 1950

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Book Review: The Kennel Murder Case

In the Kennel Murder Case, a wealthy man is found dead upstairs in a locked room with signs that point to murder. His brother is thought to be the prime suspect until he’s found dead downstairs in a closet. A key clue to solving the case is a badly beaten Scottish terrier. Of course, it falls to Philo Vance to unravel the case.

This is the sixth Philo Vance and in my opinion, it’s much better than the first. Vance is far more likable for one. While in the first book, Vance had a thru line arguing physical evidence was so humbug and how he knows better, the smugness is dialed down considerably. And physical evidence is important to him as he investigates and formulates his theory.

It also helps that Vance is a dog-lover and passionate about the Scottish Terrier breed, giving a really impassioned speech on the breed’s virtues. It humanizes his character quite a bit. Although, it should be noted there are some key differences in the way dogs were treated in the 1930s and what we view as best practices today.

In addition, writer S.S. Van Dine also featured some cameos from real people he knew, which gives the book warmth.

The puzzle has a lot of clues, red herrings, and moving parts that boggle the mind and keep the reader engaged. I’m not a huge fan of the solution, due to ridiculous and improbable mistakes and miscues by so many people. If a re-enactment of the murders as portrayed in the book were done on film, it’d be appropriate to play the Benny Hill theme over it.

Another annoyance is that  Sergeant Heath formulates his theories based on racial stereotypes, although these never pan out.  Despite this, this is an enjoyable read. If you love a decent puzzle mystery or are curious about Philo Vance, this is a fun way to experience the character, if you can tolerate the offensive content and the absurd content..

Rating: 4 out of 5

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