YOURS TRULY, JOHNNY DOLLAR. “The King’s Necklace Affair.” CBS, 17 March 1953. John Lund as Johnny Dollar, with Jack Moyles, Howard McNear, Lilian Buyeff, Jack Moyles, Tom Tully. Scriptwriter: Sidney Marshall. Easily found streaming online.

   This is the first episode of Johnny Dollar I remember listening to which has had John Lund in the leading role. He played the part for two seasons, from November 1952 to September 1954, followed by Bob Bailey’s long run beginning in October 1955 and ending in November 1960.

   For most of the time the show was on the air Johnny Dollar, the man with the “action-packed expense account” was a freelance insurance investigator working out of Hartford CT, but traveling all over the country checking out the validity of false claims and the like.

   In “The King’s Necklace Affair,” though, he goes even further, to a small island near Cuba which one man owns in its entirety, complete with a huge mansion and a valuable collection of art objects to go with it. One of these is a necklace worth a small fortune, which he thinks someone is trying to steal. When Johnny gets there, together they open the safe where it should be, only to discover it is only paste.

   When the owner is soon thereafter found dead on a balcony, Johnny finds that he really has a case on his hands. Unfortunately, from the perspective of an armchair detective listening at home, there are less than a handful of suspects, one of which is a sexy-voiced young lady (Lillian Buyeff) one suspects lives there for less than wholesome purposes. Not surprisingly the script does not go in that direction very far at all. Nonetheless, in spite of a paucity of suspects, the scriptwriter (Sidney Marshall) manages to pull off a small trick he had up his sleeve all along, and a well-clued one to boot.

   John Lund had a strong voice for radio, but not a distinctive one. I am speaking for myself, mind you, but if I were listen to another episode in which he was the star, I’m not sure I would recognize it, and for all of the others in the cast, I would.