Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 192 – Maltese Falcon – Genre Pt. 5

Humphrey Bogart The final episode on the development of the American Detective as heard through radio and fiction. In the early 1920s, pulp writers Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Carroll John Daly, Erle Stanley Gardner and others were creating a new kind of detective: one who was of the streets. Their gritty street smart, tough talking detectives were the first real American detectives not spawned from the Holmesian model.

5 Responses to Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 192 – Maltese Falcon – Genre Pt. 5

  1. Dear Jim,
    Hope you are doing well and are enjoying the summer. I know that you are busy with a number of different projects I have a suggestion for a new podcast whenever you have the time to present more new podcasts on Radio Detective Story Hour. I have noticed you have done a number of fictional detectives and writers from Holmes to Spade, to Poirot, to Vance, to Carr, to Christie, to Woolrich, to Cain, Chandler to Poe. I have read a mystery novel by one of the forgotten writers of the golden age of the whodunnit mystery common in both England and America. His name is Cecil Day-Lewis but he is better known as Nicholas Blake for when he writes his detective novels. Lewis was an Englishman who was known at first for his poetry and his literary criticism. He is the father of a famous American Hollywood actor named Daniel Day-Lewis who is known such films as the Crucible and Gangs of New York with Leonardo Dicaprio. But when he decided to write a mystery novel he assumed the pen name Nicholas Blake. He wrote 20 mystery novels, 16 of which features his fictional detective Nigel Strangeways. Nigel was an amateur gentleman detective just like Philo Vance, Lord Peter Wimsey, and Ellery Queen just to name a few. He has good relations with the professional British police and is known for his amateur sleuthing in these cases. He makes notes, observations, carefully examines the crime scenes and clues as well as observes the behavior of the suspects he meets and draws his own conclusions as to their motivations on committing a murder. He is married to a famous explorer named Georgia. One of Blake’s novels that is considered one of his best and has been featured on radio is called The Beast Must Die. It tells of a mystery writer called Frank Cairnes who goes by the pen name Felix Lane for his books whose son was killed by a hit and run driver and it explores his almost obsessive hunt for the person who did it and seeks revenge for his son. This novel was featured on the famous radio mystery series Suspense and stars the British character actor Herbert Marshall who appears in films like The Secret Garden, Hitchcock’s Foreign Correspondent, The Razor’s Edge, and the Enchanted Cottage just to name a few. He was also in the spy radio series the Man Called X. He can play a variety of characters good or bad like in Hitchcock’s Foreign Correspondent as the traitorious agent and peace-holder Stephen Fisher. In the Suspense version he plays the lonely and vengeful father/writer Felix Lane. Since Suspense was only a half-hour series and not primarily a detective series Blake’s sleuth Nigel Strangeways was cut out of the radio version and it is Lane as well as a certain Inspector Blount who help figure out the murder. The radio play is told in the point of view of Lane from his shocking begining when he says: “I am going to kill a man. I don’t his name, I don’t know where he lives, I have no idea what he looks like, But I’m going to find him and kill him.” to the conclusion. Playing the part of “the beast” is a British character actor named Dennis Hoey. He is best known for playing Inspector Lestrade in the Sherlock Holmes films for Universal with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. Hoey does a great job playing the mean and cold-hearted murder victim George Rattery. The title of the novel is a paraphase from the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes. I hope you are able to present this episode sometime on your radio detective story hour series. Please send reply as soon as possible.

  2. Pam says:

    Cameron – thanks for the recommendation. I’ve just downloaded Nicholas Blake’s book The Beast Must Die from and look forward to listening to it.

    A fellow RDSH and OTR devotee,

  3. Gail says:

    We miss you podcasts.yes,there are others out there,but they do not give the forethought into the program that you do. So if possible send us a new one. Thaks ,your loyal listener ,Gail

  4. jerry says:

    Glad you are back. You sound well rested. My thanks to you for all your fine works and musical presentations.

  5. Gail says:

    I have heard that CBC Nero Wolfe are really excellent .I would love to hear your take on this series .Have any info on these shows. do you think you might play a few for your fans.?Nero would find that quite satisfactory,,

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