MURRAY FORBES – Hollow Triumph. Ziff-Davis, hardcover, 1946. Stark House, trade paperback, 2023.

HOLLOW TRIUMPH. Eagle-Lion, 1948. Also released as The Scar (Paul Henreid, Joan Bennett; directors: Steve Sekely, Paul Henreid).

   Murray Forbes’ Hollow Triumph  has an interesting idea for a book: Henry Mueller is a failed medical student and small-time chiseler with an over-sized ego, fresh out of prison when he discovers he bears an amazing resemblance to Viktor Bartok, a prominent psychologist.

   Readers of this sort of thing will figure at once that Mueller will kill Bartok and take his place, and that’s pretty much what happens, but Forbes gives it a cute twist: Mueller’s impersonation becomes a greater success than he figured on (The American Dream: if you fail at one thing, re-invent yourself as something else.) and as time passes, he wins even greater fortune and honor… and he can’t stand the fact that the murdered man is getting all the credit for his killer’s work: Mueller rubbed out Bartok, but it was Mueller who got erased, and his overweening pride leads him to….

   It’s a clever thought, and somebody should write a book about it someday; Murray Forbes just didn’t seem too interested. Time and again he just tells us about things when he should be showing them. So we get lines like “She felt suspicious,” or “He was scared,” which ain’t exactly deathless prose. There are even points where Forbes seem to lose interest entirely, and instead of storytelling, he resorts to synopsis, resulting in passages like, “He went to New York to received the honor, then came back and continued work with his patients …”

   I kept reading, but I’m not sure why.

   Fans of Old Time Radio may recall Forbes as an actor on Ma Perkins and other programs, but this was his only novel, and in 1948 the Movies bought it, discarded most of the plot, noired up the rest, and released it under the original title and as The Scar. Like Forbes’ writing Paul Henreid’s acting is just perfunctory, but there’s fine photography by john Alton, and Daniel Fuchs’ script makes intelligent use of a plot twist that would have been a facile punch-line in lesser hands.

— Reprinted from The Hound of Dr. Johnson #34, September 2004.


OTHER WORLDS SCIENCE STORIES. June-July 1951. Editor: Raymond A. Palmer. Cover art: H. W. McCauley. Overall rating: *

RUSSELL BRANCH “Time Flaw.” Novelette. The love betwen Captain Hunter of the S. S. Stella and one of his passengers is interrupted by disaster and application of Einstein’s theories. Poor writing keeps plot from any depths it might have been capable of. (1)

POUL ANDERSON “The Missionaries.” Alien worship of machines is carried to its logical conclusion, cannibalism. (2)

R. BRETNOR “The Fledermaus Report.” Martin Fledermaus, chosen as first human to fly to the moon, discovers that the beauty of one’s wife is relative. Tripe. (0)

ROBERT BLOCH “The Tin You Love to Touch.” Low-grade comedy about the female robot maid that comes between Roscoe Droop and his domineering wife, This is really low. (0)

RAY PALMER “Mr. Yellow Jacket.” Galactic census-takers discover that some humans have the power yo make thoughts real, Included (page 81) is one of the silliest theories of meteors ever. (0)

S. J. BYRNE “Beyond the Darkness.” Novella. Intrigue aboard one of a fleet of FTL ships seeking new worlds for humanity. The passengers are subjected to a memory-erasing device so that the rebellious navigators can return to contest for already inhabited worlds. Nad, our hero, finds the ex-captain still alive; the plan fails, escape, discovery, loss of heroine, villain returns from oblivion, cowardly brother redeems himself. People don’t really talk and act this way, do they? *½

— July 1968.
Reviewed by TONY BAER:


JAMES CURTIS – The Gilt Kid. Jonathan Cape, UK, hardcover, 1936. Penguin Books, UK, paperback, 1947. London Books, UK, hardcover, 2007.

   Kennedy’s a burglar. A wide boy. A wise guy. And wide boys never work.

   He’s read just enough of Das Kapital to think surplus value is theft. So he’s just taking from the capitalists what doesn’t belong to them in the first place.

   He just got out of the clink and he’s ready for some action. He meets up with some of the boys he met in stir. They’ve got a job for him.

   So he does a job. Gets some coin. And promptly gets nicked again.

   Good, catchy slang. Sad sack tale. The prose is dazzling but the story’s ho hum.

BRICK. Focus Features, 2005. Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Brendan Frye, Nora Zehetner as Laura Dannon, Lukas Haas as the Pin, Noah Fleiss as Tug, Matt O’Leary as The Brain, Emilie de Ravin as Emily Kostich, Noah Segan as Dode, Richard Roundtree as Assistant V.P. Trueman, Meagan Good as Kara, Brian White as Brad Bramish. Written and directed by Rian Johnson.

   If there is or ever has been a category of films called “high school neo-noir” – or let’s put it this way, if there isn’t, there should be, even if there’s only one film in it, and that film would be this one, a small little gem called Brick.

   Emily, the former girl friend of Brendan, a loner if not loser in high school, has left him for the higher “societal” levels of that same institution, calls him and asks for help, giving him hints that she’s over her head, and she has gotten into serious trouble. But se gives him only hints as to what that trouble might be, using the words “pin,” “tug,” and “brick.”

   Soon enough she is telling him to back off, but of course he does not. Following her trail through paths that only those of us who have managed to survive high school, except that was then and this is now, Southern California style, Brendan does find her, but alone, dead, next to a ditch filled with water leading to (or from) a circular sewage tunnel.

      “When a man’s partner is killed, he’s supposed to do something about it. It doesn’t make any difference what you thought of him. He was your partner and you’re supposed to do something about it. And it happens we’re in the detective business.”

   And so is Brendan, whether he realizes it or not, a detective, as he (very painfully) struggles to avenge Emily’s death. This being a contemporary high school story (although not a single scene is filmed in a classroom) drugs are involved, and Brendan’s investigation leads straight to (and not through) the local kingpin of the local drug trade, as well as other well-hidden secrets, or so they thought.

   Most striking is the language, a local slang used in a combination of (yes) Dashiell Hammett and William Shakespeare, flowing like poetry in this small but ever expanding drama, and thanks to IMDb, I’ll finish the rest of the review by quoting some of it:

Brendan Frye: Throw one at me if you want, hash head. I’ve got all five senses and I slept last night, that puts me six up on the lot of you.

Laura Dannon: Do you trust me now?
Brendan Frye: Less than when I didn’t trust you before.

Brendan Frye: Emily said four words I didn’t know. Tell me if they catch. Brick?
The Brain: No.
Brendan Frye: Or Bad Brick?
The Brain: Nope.
Brendan Frye: Tug?
The Brain: Tug? Tug might be a drink, like milk and vodka, or something.
Brendan Frye: Poor Frisco?
The Brain: Frisco? Frisco Farr was a sophomore last year, real trash. Maybe had a class a week, I didn’t know him then, haven’t seen him around.
Brendan Frye: Pin?
The Brain: Pin. The Pin?
Brendan Frye: The Pin, yeah?
The Brain: The Pin is kinda a local spook story, you know, the King Pin.
Brendan Frye: Yeah, I’ve heard it.
The Brain: Same thing, he’s supposed to be old, like 26. Lives in town.
Brendan Frye: Dope runner, right?
The Brain: Big time. See the Pin pipes it from the lowest scraper for Brad Bramish to sell, maybe. Ask any dope rat where their junk sprang and they’ll say they scraped it from that, who scored it from this, who bought it off so, and after four or five connections the list always ends with The Pin. But I bet you, if you got every rat in town together and said “Show your hands” if any of them’ve actually seen The Pin, you’d get a crowd of full pockets.
Brendan Frye: You think The Pin’s just a tale to take whatever heat?
The Brain: Hmm… So what’s first?
Brendan Frye: Show of hands.

Brendan Frye: Maybe I’ll just sit here and bleed at you.

Kara: You better be sure you wanna know what you wanna know.

Emily: Brendan, I know you’re mad at these people because you think I went away from you and went to them but, you need to start seeing it as my decision. Stop getting angry because where I want to be at, is different from where you want to be at.
Brendan Frye: Who fed you that line, Em?
Emily: Stop picking on Dode. He’s a good guy.
Brendan Frye: The pie house rat?
Emily: He’s a good friend.
Brendan Frye: So, what am I?
Emily: Yeah, I mean what are you? Just sitting back here, hating everyone? Who are you to judge anyone? God, I really loved you a lot. I couldn’t stand it. I had to get with people. I couldn’t have a life with you anymore.

Laura Dannon: Listen, you’re scratching at the wrong door. I didn’t know Em well enough to know what she was in. I just got wind of the downfall.
Brendan Frye: If you haven’t got a finger in Em’s troubles, why did her name get me into your rather exclusive party?
Laura Dannon: Keep up with me now. I don’t know, but it sounded like you did. And a body’s got a right to be curious. Now I’m not so sure.
Brendan Frye: Oh, put that body to bed. I don’t know a damn thing about whatever troubles and that works for me. Just in fun.
Laura Dannon: Coffee and Pie.
Brendan Frye: Coffee and Pie, Oh My?
Laura Dannon: You didn’t hear it from me.

PS. This is one outstanding movie.

A 1001 MIDNIGHTS Review
by Robert J. Randisi & Bill Pronzini


LOREN ESTLEMAN – Kill Zone. Peter Macklin #1. Mysterious Press, hardcover, 1984. Fawcett Gold Medal, paperback, 1986.

   In Kill Zone, Loren Estleman, who is best known for his rough-and-tumble. Chandlcrcsque private-eye novels, introduces Peter Macklin, “efficiency expert” — a euphemism for hit man. Macklin is the toughest character-hero or antihero-to arrive in crime fiction since Richard Stark’s Parker; and Estleman’s prose the hardest-boiled since the days of Paul Cain  and Cap Shaw’s Black Mask. Macklin and Estleman, in fact, would probably have been too grimly realistic even for the pioneering Shaw and his magazine.

   A terrorist group takes control of a Lake Erie excursion boat with 800 passengers, rigging it as a floating bomb. They demand the release of three prisoners within ten days. Michael Boniface, the head of the Detroit mob. offers his assistance from his prison cell in return for parole, but it is not until the FBI discovers that one of the passengers on the boat is a cabinet member’s daughter that they take him up on it. Boniface’s assistance is in the form of his top “efficiency expert,” Peter Macklin.

   Macklin tries to concentrate on the business at hand while dealing with an alcoholic wife. the knowledge that someone close to him has betrayed him, and the fact that he is being stalked by a killer working for Charles Maggiore, acting head of the mob, who does not want Boniface to get out of prison.

   Estleman takes an expertise previously displayed in PI and western novels (one of his westerns, Aces and Eights, won the Western Writers of America Golden Spur Award for Best Novel of 1982), and in applying it to a different type of novel has once again scored high marks. Fans of hard-boiled fiction won’t want to miss it — or subsequent Peter Macklin titles: Kill Zone is the first of at least three.

   Reprinted with permission from 1001 Midnights, edited by Bill Pronzini & Marcia Muller and published by The Battered Silicon Dispatch Box, 2007.   Copyright © 1986, 2007 by the Pronzini-Muller Family Trust.

      The complete Peter Macklin series —

1. Kill Zone (1984)
2. Roses Are Dead (1985)
3. Any Man’s Death (1986)
4. Something Borrowed, Something Black (2002)
5. Little Black Dress (2005)

JONATHAN CREEK. “The The Wrestler’s Tomb.” BBC, 1997 (Series 1, Episode 1). Alan Davies (Jonathan Creek), Caroline Quentin (Madeline Magellan), Anthony Head (Adam Klaus). Teleplay: David Renwick. Director: Marcus Mortimer. Currently streaming on Britbox (available via Amazon Prime).

   Jonathan Creek is a young lad with more hair than I have, and he seems to be getting by, but probably not lavishly, as a magician’s assistant – no, that’s misleading. He’s not the beautiful girl in net stockings whose primary job is to distract the audience away from seeing what the magician is really doing. What he is is the fellow who comes up with and designs the stage props for the fakery that goes on there while the audience is watching the girl get closed up as a mummy in a sarcophagus covered with the sharpest spikes pointing inward that you will ever see.

   In the BBC series that bears his name he also becomes the solver of “impossible” crimes, and in this the pilot episode for the series, it is that of a philandering artist who is killed in an upstairs room of his home by what is thought by the police to be a burglar, while the model he is supposed to be philandering with is taped up and gagged in the same room.

   If it is not a burglar, the most obvious suspect is his wife, but she was at the time known to be in her sequestered office. If she really did it, the key question is, how? Investigative reporter Madeline Magellan wants to know, and co-opts Jonathan’s assistance, using her own charming ways.

   Having to date watched this one twice, I can tell you that this one is a good one, and mean it. The clues are well set up, even the false ones, there is a lot of humor to go with the mystery, and I’m willing to wager you’ll have no more idea who did it – and how – than I did.

   Here are some things I liked. Jonathan meeting Maddy for lunch for the first time shows her a bit of sleight of hand that I thought wouldn’t be explained (magicians never tell), but wrong. It is, and quite satisfactorily so.

   Then about half way through, Jonathan shows Maddie a 3-D doll house replica of the wife’s office (see above) to explain (and quite cleverly) how she could have left the office unseen and gone off to commit the deed.

   Ha! Not so. It almost would have worked, and the reason why it doesn’t occurred to me just before it does to the two TV stars. (I also knew that they wouldn’t “explain all” at a point in the episode only halfway through, so there is that.)

   And believe it or not, the real solution, while admittedly somewhat far-fetched, really *could* have happened, making for a quite satisfying ending to the first of several seasons of adventures of one young Jonathan Creek. I’m already looking forward to the next one.


MURRAY LEINSTER “The Fourth Dimensional Demonstrator.” First published in Astounding Stories, December 1935. Reprinted in The Other Worlds, edited by Phil Stong (Funk, hardcover, 1941), and The Future Makers, edited by Peter Haining (Belmont, paperback, US edition, 1971). First collected in Sidewise in Time (Shasta, hardcover, 1950), then The Best of Murray Leinster (Ballantine/Del Rey, paperback, 1978), and A Logic Named Joe (Baen, paperback, 2005).

   This one begins with a fellow named Pate Davidson complaining to his newly inherited man servant Thomas that his uncle had left him nothing of value after his death. He is especially upset because his fiancée Daisy (currently the star attraction of the Green Paradise floor show) expects (had been allowed to expect) … well, something more than that.

   “Not so,” says Thomas, and shows Pete one of inventions his late uncle was working on. It’s in the shape of a cylinder standing upright with an open side and all kinds of gadgetry lining the inner surface. On the floor, in the center of the opening is a small plate, and as Peter soon discovers, if something is on the plate when the machinery is turned on, the demonstrator (that’s its name) brings that same object back to the present from a few seconds earlier.

   Never mind the physics behind this. Pete has a mind that quickly begins to work overtime. Place a dime on the plate, turn the switch on, then there’s two. Turn the handle again, than there’s four; then eight, then sixteen. (I hope I’m explaining this correctly.)

   This is only petty cash, though, right? Dimes, pah! Why not dollar bills? You probably know as well I do why not, and as soon as Peter realizes why not too, the cops are knocking on the door. And so is Daisy, and somehow they all end up stepping on the plate, and …

   Most SF stories from 1935 are staid and serious. Not this one. This one is a lot of fun.

   I might have done without the cigarette-eating kangaroo(s), though.

Nero Wolfe on Page and (Small U.S.) Screen:
“Poison à la Carte”
by Matthew R. Bradley


   As with Murder by the Book (1951), the Nero Wolfe novel Plot It Yourself (1959) gets a metafictional spin from Rex Stout, who’d served as the president of Vanguard Press; the Authors Guild, lobbying for copyright-law reform; and the Mystery Writers of America, receiving their Grand Master Award that year. The National Association of Authors and Dramatists (NAAD) and Book Publishers of America (BPA) hire Wolfe due to a rash of “plagiarism upside down,” with successful works alleged to be copied from unpublished material planted ex post facto. The ’teers are reinforced by Dol Bonner and her assistant, Sally Colt (inexplicably renamed Corbett, with Stout’s typical disregard for consistency).

   We learn that Wolfe’s letter-opener “was a knife with a horn handle that had been thrown at him in [The Black Mountain (1954)], in the cellar of an old border fort in Albania, by a man named Bua.” Three at Wolfe’s Door (1960) is unique, since only “Method Three for Murder” was previously published (serialized in The Saturday Evening Post, January 30-February 13, 1960); “Poison à la Carte” and “The Rodeo Murder” debut there. “Method” opens as Archie leaves the brownstone on one of the 30 or 40 times he has been fired or, as he has here, quit over the years, and on the steps meets his first solo client, Mira Holt, who found a woman stabbed to death in the borrowed taxicab she was driving…illegally.

   Per Archie, the methods for answering police questions are to “Button your lip….Tell the truth straight through….[or] Tell a simple basic lie with no trimmings, and stick to it.” A sensible Wolfe offers to split Mira’s $50 fee: “You have helped me with many problems; surely I can help you with one. I am not being quixotic. I do not accept your headstrong decision that our long association has ended, but even if it has, your repute is inextricably involved with mine. [She] is in a pickle. I have never tried to do a job without your help; why should you try to do one without mine?” In “Rodeo,” they investigate a murder that is perpetrated during a party and roping contest at Lily Rowan’s Park Avenue penthouse.

   “Poison” finds Fritz asked by millionaire orchid fancier Lewis Hewitt to cook the annual dinner for the Ten for Aristology, his group “pursuing the ideal of perfection in food and drink,” to be served (unknown to Wolfe) by “twelve young women, one for each guest,” at the home of shipping magnate Benjamin Schriver. With Rusterman’s maítre d’hôtel, Felix Courbet—aka Felix Martin from The Black Mountain?—and chef Zoltan Mahany lending a hand, Archie busies himself trying to get the phone numbers of the “Hebes.” He meets Nora Jaret, Carol Annis, Fern Faber, Peggy Choate, and Helen Iacono before the dinner, spoiled when theatrical angel Vincent Pyle’s blinis are doctored with arsenic.

   A complex set of circumstances muddled the serving, with Fern returning from the “can” to find no plate, and the other four plus Lucy Morgan serving guests different from those to whom they had been assigned, while nobody seems able—or willing—to identify who gave Pyle the fatal dish. After the usual tirade from Cramer, Helen visits Wolfe to admit stabbing Pyle in self-defense several months earlier; to keep this from coming out, to the detriment of her career, she offers to expedite the investigation and seek a motive among the others. Wolfe suggests doing so en masse with Archie present, so they convene at the apartment shared by Peggy and Nora, a gathering eavesdropped upon by Purley Stebbins.

   Arrested for obstructing justice on the verge of relocating the party to the brownstone, he tells Purley—tipped off by Nora—that Fritz is Wolfe’s client, and is grilled by Rowcliff. The next day, Fritz joins Felix and Zoltan in offering to hire him formally for the good of the restaurant’s reputation, an appeal met with an astonished “Pfui….I am solely to blame for this mess, but you offer to pay me to clean it up.” He has Zoltan call each of the five, claiming to have withheld the fact that he saw her go back for a second plate, and asking to meet at a table with a mike hidden in a bowl of artificial flowers in Piotti’s restaurant, also used for precisely the same purpose in Gambit (1962), as Archie and Purley listen in.

   As with the Grand Central rendezvous in “Christmas Party” (1957), it’s largely a question of who accepts, in this case Carol, who responds to Zoltan’s “admiration” by stating that the master of the casting couch had promised to marry her…and trying to poison Zoltan’s spaghetti anchovy. Brought in by Cramer en route to jail, she admits nothing; per Wolfe, “You took such prodigious risks that it is hard to believe in your sanity…if you are mad you are also ruthless and malevolent.” Given a novella’s constraints, Stout identifies all twelve of neither the guests—including actor Adrian Dart, corporation lawyer Harvey M. Leacraft, and Emil Kreis, Chairman of the Board of Codex Press—nor the actress servers.

   A second-season episode of A Nero Wolfe Mystery, “Poison à la Carte” (5/26/02) was the fourth and final series adaptation by William Rabkin and Lee Goldberg; also broadcast in a double-length international version, it was directed by George Bloomfield, the uncle of Maury Chaykin, who starred as Wolfe. Cast members Michelle Nolden (as Helen) and Lindy Booth (Peggy) were also seen in, respectively, Season 1’s “The Doorbell Rang” (4/22/01) and Season 2’s “Before I Die” (6/16/02). The Server Girls include repertory players Shannon Jobe and Lorca Moore, as well as an early appearance by Stockholm-born Malin Akerman, whose breakthrough role was Silk Spectre II in Watchmen (2009).

   Pyle (Domenic Cuzzocrea) ruffles feathers by dismissing a centerpiece of pricey orchids donated by Wolfe and praised by Hewitt (David Hemblen in his recurring role): “I don’t care for flowers with spots and streaks. They’re messy.” The courses provided by Fritz (Colin Fox), Zoltan (Hrant Alianak), and Felix (Carlo Rota) are lovingly depicted, while Rabkin and Goldberg create dialogue to flesh out such characters as Dart (James Tolkan). Now the host instead of Shriver (sic; Jack Newman), Hewitt tells Wolfe that a dying Pyle keeps repeating “Jack in the Pulpit,” the title of a flop he had backed; Peggy insists that, finding her assigned guest already served, she instead gave his blinis and caviar to Wolfe.

   Assigned to Hewitt, already served by Lucy (Dina Barrington), Fern (Hayley Verlyn) lost the game of musical chairs after fixing her hair and delivered none, meaning that she is in the clear and someone else—clearly the murderer—had double-dipped. Wolfe asks Kreis (David Schurmann), Leacroft (sic; Gary Reineke), and the others to envision the scene, in the hope of recalling who had served Pyle, but to no avail. Cramer (Bill Smitrovich) says a paper spill was found bearing traces of arsenic and the fingerprints of Zoltan, who states that he saw it on the floor and put it in the trash; returning with Archie (Timothy Hutton) from their all-nighter, Wolfe does the unthinkable and skips his 9:00 A.M. orchid session.

   Helen had been seeking a role in Jack in the Pulpit when Pyle tried to have his way with her, and is quite happy, once they have a nominee, to tell the police she saw her go back for a second plate. At the “party” with Carol (Emily Hampshire), Nora (Sarain Boylan), et alia, broken up by Purley (R.D. Reid), Archie uses the seating chart and twelve slips of paper to go through the various permutations. Wolfe wisely warns Cramer of the planned unmasking—with him and Rusterman’s respectively replacing Purley and Piotti’s—since Helen calls the D.A. right after hanging up on Zoltan; Fritz forgives the injury Carol did to him, and the episode adds a nice coda of him and Wolfe silently sharing wine and beer.

         — Copyright © 2024 by Matthew R. Bradley.

Up next: Too Many Clients- –

Editions cited

         Plot It Yourself: Bantam (1960)
         3 [sic] at Wolfe’s Door in Seven Complete Nero Wolfe Novels: Avenel (1983)

Online source:

Reviewed by TONY BAER:


JOHN McPARTLAND – The Wild Party. Gold Medal #596, paperback original; 1st printing, 1956. MacFadden 60-367, paperback, date?  Film: United Artists, 1956.

   Tom Kupfen is a hulking psychopath. Former football player. Hell with the ladies who love a sweaty bull.

   Gorgeous debutante Erica London is out on the town with her fiancé, Lieutenant Arthur Mitchell, fighter pilot. They decide to go slumming with the lowdown miscreant jazz musicians living hand to bop.

   Erica falls for psycho Tom. For just a moment. But the moment is long enough for Tom to dream dreams of what a rich foxy lady like Erica could do for him. And he for her. He won’t let go. He kicks her fiancé’s ass. And the only out is death.

   Forgettable. Made into a 1956 film with Anthony Quinn as the bad guy.


THE ADVENTURES OF THE ABBOTTS – The Man in the Green Nile Suit. NBC, 29 May 1955. Claudia Morgan & Mandel Kramer as Pat & Jean Abbott. Based on the characters created by Frances Crane.

   Married couples, one of whom is a famous detective, should never take second honeymoons, as this episode of The Abbotts well demonstrates. About to embark on a cruise in the West Indies, they stay overnight in a cabin where they find in the bathroom … a dead body. The captain of the ship insists on taking over, a task Pat Abbott is well willing to step away from

   But not for long. Once on the ship more intrigue breaks out. One man, a Frenchman, quietly suggests to the Abbotts that another man on board is a collaborator and that he wishes him dead. Soon enough, you guessed it. It’s a good thing the Abbotts are on board. The captain would hardly be up to the job.

   You may have already jumped to a conclusion that there is a connection between the two deaths, and luckily for your own safety, you would be correct. It’s one of those things it is difficult to avoid on old radio shows when there is only 30 minutes available to the writer and with no visual effects that can be used to distract the viewer of a contemporaneous television show.

   It is difficult for me to reveal events I read, watch, or listen to whenever I wrote up a report like this, but there is a twist I didn’t see (hear) coming, and that is a good thing, but I’m not so sure it would have worked as well on television as it does on radio.

   I had to go back and listen to the previous scene again, and yes, the script writer wrote it perfectly right — and the player in the role played it just exactly as it should have been done.

   Chagrined I was, that I missed it.

   But you can listen for yourself. Follow the link below and do some scrolling. Quite a few other episodes can also be sampled.  I can’t promise you that there is more than a surface resemblance between Frances Crane’s characters and those you’ll find in this and the other episodes you’ll discover there, but you may find them as amusing as I did this one, co-winky-dink and all.

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