Johnny Fletcher & Sam Cragg

Created by Frank Gruber Pseudonyms include Stephen Acre, Charles K. Boston & John K. Vedder (1904-69) JOHNNY FLETCHER and SAM CRAGG may claim to be private eyes or even book salesmen, but what they really are are scam artists supreme, always one step from the poorhouse or jail, it seems. Johnny's the "brains" of the … Continue reading Johnny Fletcher & Sam Cragg

Boston Blackie

Created by Jack Boyle (1881-1928) "Enemy to those who make him an enemy. Friend to those who have no friend." --from the intro to the Boston Blackie radio show (1945) BOSTON BLACKIE is a rather peculiar character to include here as he wasn't a P.I. in his original incarntation at all, but a jewel thief … Continue reading Boston Blackie

Martin Kane (Private Eye)

Created by J. Walter Thompson & Co., on behalf of The U.S. Tobacco Company   MARTIN KANE was television's first private eye, so there! And just to rub it in, his show was called Private Eye. No muss, no fuss--just the straight goods. Talk about putting your mark on something. Featuring an easy-going but determined Big … Continue reading Martin Kane (Private Eye)

They Also Served: William Gargan

ACTOR, and TELEVISION'S FIRST PRIVATE EYE If WILLIAM GARGAN (1905-79) brought a certain air of authenticity--if not grit--to his numerous roles as a detective, there was a good reason--he'd actually worked as a one at one point in his life. In fact, much of his pre-acting life may have been a contributing factor to whatever verisimilitude … Continue reading They Also Served: William Gargan

Raguel (Murder Mysteries)

Created by Neil Gaiman “And what do you do in the dark, Lucifer?” -- Raguel poses a question I tell ya, eventually everyone shows up here on this site. Sooner or later, everybody dips his toe into the P.I. Pool. In the case of comics whiz and storyteller extraordinaire Neil Gaiman, it was in a … Continue reading Raguel (Murder Mysteries)

Nick Carter

Created by Nicholas Carter Pseudonym of John R. Coryell (1848-1924) Sound of someone knocking on the door... Woman: "What's the matter? What is it?" Man: "It's another case for Nick Carter... Master Detective!." Announcer: "Yes, it's another case for that most famous of all manhunters, the detective whose ability at solving crime is unequalled in … Continue reading Nick Carter

Mollé Mystery Theatre

Radio Anthology Series (1943-48, NBC) The competition in the forties and fifties between various mystery radio shows was fierce... and confusing. How confusing? All three major networks had crime or detectives shows titled Mystery Theater (or Mystery Theatre). But the first and arguably the best (and the one under discussion here) was NBC's version, the only real … Continue reading Mollé Mystery Theatre

Mystery Playhouse

Radio Anthology Series (1944-46, AFRS) MYSTERY PLAYHOUSE was a radio anthology series of reruns (and possibly a few original) crime dramas. The show aired on the American Forces Network from July 1944 to June 1946, specifically for the purpose of entertaining the troops serving during the war. Because it was mostly repeats, the producers had … Continue reading Mystery Playhouse

Westrel Keen (Mr. Keen)

Created by Robert W. Chambers (1865-1933) Developed for radio by Frank and Anne Hummert Robert W. Chambers was an American author who, over a long career, cranked out over seventy novels in assorted genres, mostly historical and romantic works. But in the beginning he wrote mostly fantasy and horror. In fact, his first successful work was … Continue reading Westrel Keen (Mr. Keen)

Mike Barnett (Man Against Crime)

Created by Lawrence Klee Featured on both radio and television, MIKE BARNETT was a New York private eye so tough he didn't need a gun. Take that, Hammer! Along with Martin Kane, which made its debut only a few weeks earlier, Man Against Crime (1949-54) was part of a one-two punch that set the scene for … Continue reading Mike Barnett (Man Against Crime)