As we near our 1000th episode, we continue our look back at some of the best shows we’ve played. Previously, we’ve listed our most exciting episodes and our most humorous. This week, We’ll take a look at those episodes featuring hte most puzzling mysteries with the most surprising solutions.
One exclusion on this category. During this series we’ve played episodes adapted directly from the pens of such masters of mystery as Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and G.K. Chesterton. If we included these, they would dominate the list of “best mysteries” as it’s quite hard for mere radio writers to compete on that level, so we’re limiting to this original stories by radio writers. Let us begin.
The Madero series was best known as a knock off of star Jack Webb’s previous and future role on Pat Novak for Hire. However, this story is a gem as a man comes to Madero searching for a man whose name he’s been hearing in his sleep. A great premise that’s actually pretty well executed.
9) A Life in Your Hands: Carol Carsoon Murdered
Everyone’s favorite amicus curiae is on vacation when a hated woman is murdered and the sheriff asks for help. The solution is dramatic and the setting is the least formal of Kegg’s career. A real highlight from this series.
8) Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The McCormack Matter, Parts 1-2, 3-4, and 5
A solid start to Bob Bailey’s Johnny Dollar run is this story which has Johnny moving into action based on a death bed tip from a dying inmate based on something he head a recently released prisoner say in his sleep. We’re giving a twisting, turning case with a shocking conclusion.
7) Let George Do It: Every Shot Counts
George is hired by a singing cowboy who fears a female sharpshooter across the street is being harassed. Murder, blackmail, and a blind man enter in to create an amazing puzzle with an even more amazing solution.
6) Jeff Regan: The Prodigal Daughter
Regan (Jack Webb) is sent for New Orleans by a father to find his estranged daughter. When he arrives, he finds she’s dead, but that doesn’t end it—not by a long shot.
5) Candy Matson: Candy’s Last Case
Not only is this the only detective show to give its character a fitting finale, it’s a pretty good mystery too. Her crush Lieutenant Mallard is acting mighty suspicious, and she fears he’s gotten himself caught up in murder. A great case and Candy’s best capture by far.
Barrie Craig is hired by the husband of a woman who has been paralyzed through a deliberate attack. Barie goes to a Vermont ski resort to investigate, and while he searches for the truth, suspects to drop like flies. Whose responsible for the attacks and the ever-increasing number of dead bodies? This is a case that’s definitely not what it seems.
3) The Fat Man: The Twice Told Secret
The case starts simply enough as Brad Runyon finds himself chatting with a pawn broker and then gets suspicious about a pawn ticket and finds himself caught up in the struggles of a very conflicted family, and a death that could ruing them all.
2) Sherlock Holmes: The Armchair Solution
The pre-Rathbone radio episodes are rarely remembered but this Luis Hector outing from 1936 suggests that fans may be missing out on a treat. In a plot that’s reminiscent of Rare Window (which wouldn’t be released for another 18 years) finds Holmes solving a murder based on what he saw while confined to his armchair looking out the window.
1) Rogue’s Gallery: Murder with Muriel
Rogue’s Gallery was the first instance of the hard boiled radio show and this episode was arguably his most hard boiled. An unsavory character who owes Rogue’s money gives Rogue a chance to collect it and a big fee if he reclaims some buried loot. However, he sent Rogue half the map and it hasn’t been received when the man with the other arrives, and then when the man is murdered, Rogue is in a fight for his life.
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