“Doc” Job (The Hidden Motive)

Created by Lester Powell (1912 -93) The 1952 BBC radio serial The Hidden Motive related the exploits of "DOC" JOB, an eccentric insurance investigator and bibliophile looking into the possibly fraudulent death claim of a legendary Shakespearean actor, Sir Henry Sloan, whose wife died in her bath. Suspicion soon falls on the extremely wealthy thespian, … Continue reading “Doc” Job (The Hidden Motive)

Philip Odell

Created by Lester Powell (1912 -93) Genial Irish private eye PHILIP ODELL (as played by Canadian Robert Beatty) was the star of a popular radio series that originated as part of BBC's "Light Programme" back in the late forties, and ran right into the sixties, with various actors portraying the steadfast Heather McMara. The series … Continue reading Philip Odell

Secret Agent X-9

Created by Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961) and Alex Raymond (1909-56) Despite being a collaboration between possibly the greatest private eye writer of all time, and one of the all-time great comic strip artists, the action/adventure strip Secret Agent X-9 was always something of a disappointment. The strip was originally conceived by King Features to compete with … Continue reading Secret Agent X-9

Horace Rumpole

Created by John Mortimer (1923-2009 ) Down those mean streets and meaner chambers a man must waddle... Lord knows, he's not a private eye--but I wish he were. Like Philip Marlowe, HORACE RUMPOLE is "a relatively poor man... a common man or he could not go among common people. He has a sense of character, … Continue reading Horace Rumpole

Steve Mallory

Created by Douglas Heyes Pseudonyms include Matthew Howard (1919-1993) STEVE MALLORY is a partner in a small detective agency based in Los Angeles, that employs, besides his partner, Harry Jellison, at least three other ops. That's the set-up, anyway, in the 1951 novel The Kiss-Off, a quick, hard read that's one of those almost-forgotten treasures … Continue reading Steve Mallory

Bill Lance (The Adventures of Bill Lance)

Created by J. Donald Wilson (1904-84) There were actually two separate version of the radio series The Adventures of Bill Lance, a radio show detailing the exploits of a wealthy, Los Angeles-based musical composer and behavioral criminologist whose cases took him all over the globe. An expert on the arts and sciences, he was often … Continue reading Bill Lance (The Adventures of Bill Lance)

Dirk Gently

Created by Douglas Adams (1952-2001) THAT Douglas Adams? The guy with the BBC show and the Vogons and the towels and the three-armed Betelgeusians? Yup, that Douglas Adams. So now he's writing about trenchcoats, fedoras, smoky jazz, and femmes fatales? Well, no... Even in an era of maverick and increasingly non-traditional P.I.'s, DIRK GENTLY defies … Continue reading Dirk Gently

They Also Served: Richard Lillis

Artist & Illustrator (1899-94)   One of the earlier pulp artists (he was young enough to serve in the first World War), RICHARD LILLIS was born in 1899 in Oxford, New York, the son of dairy farmers who ran a small grocery store on their property. He managed to attend an upstate New York college for … Continue reading They Also Served: Richard Lillis

They Also Served: H.J. Ward

Artist & Illustrator (1909-45)    Despite his short life (he died of lung cancer at the age of 35), HUGH JOSEPH WARD cut a wide swath, responsible for some off the most sensational and iconic pulp mag covers of all time, working for Munsey, Dell and Popular, but mostly for Culture Publication's notorious Spicy line--which … Continue reading They Also Served: H.J. Ward

Purkis and Wilburt Flower (The Flower Case)

Created by James Saunders The Flower Case was a radio mini-series broadcast as part of the CBC's The Mystery Project in 2000, featuring rival private investigators PURKIS and WILBURT FLOWER, who just happen to be father and son. Neither's exactly setting the world on fire (or getting any younger) though, and both have resorted to taking domestic … Continue reading Purkis and Wilburt Flower (The Flower Case)