Tag: murder

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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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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EP3582: Philo Vance: The Eagle Murder Case


A man is put into an ambulance with minor injuries after a car accident and when he’s pulled out, he’s dead of a knife wound in his side.

Original AIr Date: September 26, 1946

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EP3581: Man Called X: Race Against Death

Herbert Marshall

Ken fears that the murder of a crusading reporter is tied to a terrorist Puerto Rican nationalist party.

Original Air Date: April 21, 1951

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EP3580: Jeff Regan: Five Hundred Santas from Mexico

A green-eyed dancer hires Regan to find her husband (who works as a department-store Santa) and prove he’s dead so she can collect the insurance.

Original Air Date: November 30, 1949

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EP3578: Tales of the Texas Rangers: Apache Peak

Jace Pearson investigates the killing of a New York driver by a hitchhiker.

Original Air Date: July 22, 1950

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EP3576: Philo Vance: The Case of Strange Music

A cantankerous husband is found murdered in a wax display.

Original Air Date: August 9, 1945

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