Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday's Favorite OTR

Philo Vance: "The Cheese Cake Murder Case" 7/26/49

The bad guys in this one are actually kinda creepy. When we meet them at the beginning of the episode, they seem like a normal young man and his girl happily in love with each other. She's making him try to guess what her birthday present to him is. When it turns out to be a mask--for use in his armed robbery business--we rather abruptly get the idea that this pleasant young couple have some seriously sociopathic tendencies.

Anyway, the guy's next robbery attempt goes awry and results in a murder. His getaway car--driven by a friend--crashes. The friend is killed and mistaken by the police for the actual killer.

But Philo Vance isn't satisfied. He picks up a couple of subtle clues that indicate there was a second person in the car. Then, using a cheese cake found in the car as a starting point, he manages to track down the real killer.

The original Philo Vance novels have dated badly and--in the books--he's the world's most annoying character. But on radio, played with a mixture of intelligence and affability by Jackson Beck, Vance was an effective hero. And the plots, like this one, were well-constructed mysteries. Put a likeable main character into a good mystery and you almost can't help but be entertaining.

This episode can be downloaded. HERE.


  1. So where did you find this one? I really enjoy Philo Vance.

  2. I'll email you the episode as an MP3 if you like. But, since I always just call you guys rather than e-mail, you'll have to remind me what your e-address is.


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