Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 206 – Fifty Candles

earl_derr_biggersThough he is known for his Charlie Chan mysteries, Biggers was a prolific writer of other mystery stories, several of which were based in Hawaii and/or San Francisco.

This time a look at one of his shorter novels involving Detective Sergeant Barnes of the San Francisco police department. This is a classic whodunit with a number of suspects. Biggers often wrote in a realist style and with a prominent minority such as Charlie Chan. This novel features a Chinese servant though the detective, unlike Chan, are Anglo. The adaptation could have been written by Ken Crossen, though we don’t know for sure.

Music under is Stardust performed by John Coltrane

Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 205 – Homicide for Hannah

Dwight V. BabcockOne of Black Mask magazine’s popular writers from 1934-1939 was Dwight V. Babcock.  His stories were in keeping with the style developed by Joseph “Cap” Shaw of “hard and brittle” stories with naturalistic elements of street grit.  After his stint with Black Mask, Babcock wrote three novels involving “The Gorgeous Ghoul” Hannah Van Doren, who with her friend Joe Kirby set out to solve three crimes over three novels. Known to police and others as “Homicide Hannah” with her taste for murder and mayhem in keeping with her being a writer for the fictitious True Crime Cases magazine, Hannah was a knockout rivaling the likes of Candy Matson.  This time you’ll hear an adaptation of one of Babcock’s novels: Homicide for Hannah over the Molle’ Mystery Theatre.

Music under is Chet Baker performing “Almost Blue”

Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 204 – Out of Control

Baynard Kendrick A look at a writer of detective fiction who seems on the cusp of relative obscurity. Baynard Kendrick is actually a very good story-teller of mystery fiction. His Captain Duncan Maclain series of detective stories were very popular in the forties and Kendrick’s detective was relevant even into the 1970s. What makes his detective unique is that he is blind but of keen other senses. His two guide dogs, German Shepherds, can protect him as well as guide him. Suspense performed one of his stories adapted for radio in 1946.


Music under is Night Has a Thousand Eyes performed by McCoy Tyner.

Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 203 – A Passage to Benares

Paul Stewart A visit with author T.S. Stribling’s Psychologist-cum-detective, Henry Poggioli, PhD in a strangely fantastic detective melange that was meant to be the writer’s last Poggioli story. Enter into the realm of the current and after life of Poggioli as he unravels the mysterious death of a young Hindu maiden in a temple. An excellent story, and well written radio drama.

Music under is “Light Flight” by Pentangle

Thanks to Cameron!

Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 202 – The Green and Gold String

Philip MacDonald A Clairvoyant? Schemer? Detective? A look at one of British author Philip MacDonald’s (left) detectives – one of his lesser known ones – Dr. Alcazar, mentalist and sleuth. One of MacDonald’s short stories was dramatized over the radio series Suspense in 1957. I look briefly at author MacDonald, one of the thirties most popular mystery writers at the time, and one of his minor detective characters. This episode stars Vincent Price in a wonderful portrayal.

Music under is from Andre Previn’s Jazz Band – Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.

Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 201 – Witness For the Prosecution

Agatha Christie Up in this podcast, a look at the inverted detective story, thanks from a tip by Cameron Estep. Unfortunately, there isn’t a really good example on radio of one, but a close contender is a play from the Molle Mystery Theater via the AFRS Mystery Theater called “Witness for the Prosecution” based on a play and short story by Dame Agatha Christie.

Based on the wonderful film of the same name, it fits the bill though without a detective. Enjoy this not often heard radio play.

Music under is “King of Sorrow” performed by Sade.

Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 200 – Tales of the Texas Rangers

Joel McCreaA request to air a “western” detective series leads to Tales of the Texas Rangers. In reality it was a westernized police procedural created by Stacy Keach Sr.  It takes place in modern times, many of the stories coming from actual events (like Dragnet – only the names have been changed…) usually from the late forties, but takes place in the Texas plains often requiring the use of horses as well as vehicles.

Music under is Baldi Olier playing  Suenos De Amor

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Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 199 – Bob Bailey and Johnny Dollar

Bob Bailey I want to briefly examine Bob Bailey and Mandel Kramer in their roles as Johnny Dollar. Bailey left the show when it moved to New York due to his being turned down for a television version of the character. Jack Johnstone who successfully led Bailey to his star run as the character is also discussed with comments from Bailey’s daughter Roberta Goodwin. We’ll also hear from Mandel Kramer on radio acting.

Thanks to John Dunning for his interview with Roberta Goodwin and Dick Bertel and the Golden Age of Radio interview of Mandel Kramer.

Music under is Jason Peri performing his piece Drastic Measures.

Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 198 – Philomel Cottage

Geraldine Fitzgerald A look at how suspense is built dramatically as described by Mitchell Wilson, novelist and critic, in 1947. This podcast will use Agatha Christie’s short story, “Philomel Cottage,” and compare it to Hitchcock’s Suspicion and Rebecca in how the initially weak protagonist reaches a level of fear in which the reader/listener empathizes before either becoming strong by the experience and completing the cycle. This version is from Suspense and stars Geraldine Fitzgerald (right) from 1943.

Music under is the incomparable Diane Reeves singing “In My Solitude.”