"Radio Crime Fighters - Over 300 Programs from the Golden Age"
By Jim Cox
McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers
I have always bemoaned the fact that there was no single, comprehensive source of information on crime fighter radio series. No longer! With the publication of "Radio Crime Fighters," author Jim Cox has now filled that void with a highly informative and entertaining book that identifies and discusses 309 series, famous and obscure, whose primary characters fought crime on a frequent basis.
To be included in Jim's book, a series must have included one or more characters who regularly appeared in occupations or avocations that fought against criminal activities such as espionage, theft, or murder. Each series entry includes:
the series title (and alternate titles if any),
air dates and times,
number of known available episodes,
crew and cast information (such as the directors, writers, composers, sound effects artists, announcers, lead actors and supporting actors), and
a brief series synopsis.
At least 40 favorite series receive multi-page coverage.
For some fans, a simple compilation of factual information might be enough. However, Jim didn't stop with supplying the reader with "Just the facts!"
Throughout "Radio Crime Fighters," the reader is treated to much additional information that makes the memories flow and the series and their heroines and heroes come alive. Many entertaining anecdotes from cast and crew members are included. There are numerous biographical sketches of actors and crew members. Also, Jim has provided much information that connects various radio series to their antecedents and progenies in comics, pulp fiction, literature, motion pictures, television, and the theater. There is even an appendix in which the series are grouped by character and genre types.
The end result is that "Radio Crime Fighters" manages to not only be consistently informative, but also invariably entertaining. Jim Cox has made another fine contribution to the body of literature on the Golden Age of Radio. This is a book that is well-worth reading and will find its place as a frequently-consulted source in the libraries of Old-Time Radio fans.
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