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Flashgun Casey, Crime Photographer

Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 11:56 pm
by Stewart
Flashgun Casey, Crime Photographer: From the Pulps to Radio and Beyond
By J. Randolph Cox and David S. Siegel
A review by Stewart Wright

As with many Radio series, Casey, Crime Photographer had its origins in pulp fiction. A new book by J. Randolph Cox and David S. Siegel covers the Casey character from the first stories in a pulp magazine, to novels and comic books, plays, motion pictures, Radio and television. The authors have uncovered much previously unpublished information and have presented it in a very readable format.

The Casey character was created by award-winning mystery writer George Harmon Coxe and premiered in a short story in a popular pulp magazine of the 1930s, Black Mask. Included in Flashgun Casey are that original short story, "Return Engagement," and a biography of Casey's creator, who was twice President of the Mystery Writers of America (MWA) and recipient of the MWA Grand Master Award in recognition of his lifetime contribution to the mystery genre.

The non-Radio manifestations of Casey are thoroughly documented in the book. Background information is provided on the various literary, theatrical, motion picture and video productions involving the crime-fighting photographer. The authors trace how the Casey character and supporting cast changed with the demands of the different media. They also provide synopses of all 21 short stories and novelettes, six novels, four comic books, two films and a play. Additionally, there is a broadcast log for the 1945 and 1951-1952 television series.

The sections on the Radio series cover approximately 40 percent of the book. There are photographs and an illustration of all main cast and crew members. A variety of topics relating to the Radio series are elaborated on:
how Casey came to Radio;
an overview of Casey's Radio career;
cast and crew information and program changes;
series title, times slot, and opening changes;
an assessment of Casey’s popularity;
ratings; and
a sampling of plot summaries.
Radio scripts for two Casey episodes that are not in circulation, “Hanged by the Neck" and "The White Monster," also have been included by the authors.

The Radio log was compiled from many sources including CBS archives materials, the scripts of the primary writer, Alonzo Deen Cole, and information from a variety of newspapers and other sources. The log includes broadcast dates for all episodes, titles for all but 19 episodes, writer credits, broadcast days and times, and whether or not an episode is in circulation. The log also lists those episodes whose scripts were reused.

Flashgun Casey, Crime Photographer: From the Pulps to Radio and Beyond is well-written and researched and highly informative. David S. Siegel and J. Randolph Cox should be congratulated for bringing much new information into print. If you are a fan of this popular radio series and/or would like to learn more about the various incarnations of this character, this book is for you.

Flashgun Casey, Crime Photographer: From the Pulps to Radio and Beyond
By J. Randolph Cox and David S. Siegel
Softcover 205 pages
31 photographs and illustrations
Published 2005
ISBN: 1-891379-05-4 or 978-1-891379-05-5
$18.95 plus shipping
http://www.bookhunterpress.com/index.cgi/flash.html