Richard Diamond, Private Detective proved to be the perfect radio vehicle for actor-singer Dick Powell, combining his tough-guy image, showcased in the 1944 film "Murder, My Sweet" and the 1945-46 radio series "Rogue's Gallery," with his tremendous talent for a song, as all those 1930s Warner Brothers/Fox musicals will bear out. The detective series, created by an aspiring screenwriter named Blake Edwards, featured a hard-boiled detective who rarely took himself too seriously; Edwards, the future director of the "Pink Panther" film series, conceived the Diamond character as an ex-cop who had decided to hang out his own shingle in the investigation business.
Richard Diamond bore a not-unintentional resemblance to another wisecracking detective of the airwaves, namely Sam Spade. Both shamuses - Powell as Diamond, Howard Duff as Spade - demonstrated a breezy insouciance that added a much-needed touch of levity to the type of detective show that was often in danger of sinking under the weight of its own clichés. The lighthearted tone of Richard Diamond was even evident in the program's weekly opening, which featured Powell whistling a jaunty "Leave it to Love." It was not uncommon, after cracking each weekly case, for "the singing detective" to sit down at the piano in the penthouse apartment of Helen Asher, his wealthy, red-headed love interest played by Virginia Gregg and also Frances Robinson, and serenade her with a number from the Hit Parade. In-jokes were rampant on the show; Richard would often make reference to other detectives (notably Sam Spade) and he had a particularly pronounced fondness for actress June Allyson — in real life, Mrs. Dick Powell.
Just as Spade had a love-hate relationship with Lieutenant Dundy, Diamond shared a similar bond with his contact on the force, homicide detective Lieutenant Walt Levinson (played at various times by Ed Begley, Ted de Corsia, Alan Reed, and Arthur Q. Bryan). The sarcastic badinage between the detective and his easily agitated cop pal provided many a memorable moment on the series. Diamond reserved his suffer-no-fools disdain for Sergeant Otis Ludlum, a cop who had such a force field of stupidity surrounding him that you just know he had to have a relative at City Hall looking after his job. Otis was played by actor Wilms Herbert, who also doubled on the show as Francis, Helen's faithful retainer; Francis had an uncanny, mood-killing knack of barging in at the most inopportune times, like when Diamond and Helen were getting ready to turn down the lights and pour the wine....
Richard Diamond, Private Detective debuted over NBC Radio on April 24, 1949 as a sustaining series, but picked up a sponsor in Rexall Drugs in June 1950. Camel Cigarettes picked up the tab as of January of 1951, just before the show moved to ABC, but by June the show was back with Rexall again, which continued its sponsorship until the program left the airwaves on June 27, 1952. The series would return briefly during the summer of 1953 for CBS, recycling earlier scripts from the 1950-51 season.
Richard Diamond bore a not-unintentional resemblance to another wisecracking detective of the airwaves, namely Sam Spade (as in "The Adventures of"). Both shamuses - Powell as Diamond, Howard Duff as Spade - demonstrated a breezy insouciance that added a much-needed touch of levity to the type of detective show that was often in danger of sinking under the weight of its own clichés. (On one memorable broadcast from December 3, 1949, Powell is heard to crack "This is the hokiest case I've ever been on -- even the dialogue is bad.") The lighthearted tone of "Richard Diamond" was even evident in the program's weekly opening, which featured Powell whistling a jaunty "Leave it to Love." It was not uncommon, after cracking each weekly case, for "the singing detective" to sit down at the piano in the penthouse apartment of Helen Asher, his wealthy, red-headed love interest played by Virginia Gregg and also Frances Robinson, and serenade her with a number from the Hit Parade. In-jokes were rampant on the show; Richard would often make reference to other detectives (notably Sam Spade) and he had a particularly pronounced fondness for actress June Allyson — in real life, Mrs. Dick Powell. "Richard Diamond, Private Detective" debuted over NBC Radio on April 24, 1949. 10 hours. Regular Price $29.98 - Specially priced until August 14 for $14.99 Audio CDs / $7.49 Download
Picking the kickoff story was not so easy, because there were so many great ones. We decided to start with Prince of the Red Looters, in which the Spider first battled the Fly. Our customers loved it and begged for more. So we recorded Norvell W. Page’s debut tale, Wings of the Black Death. Eventually, we felt the pressure to release the inaugural story, The Spider Strikes, which we did with hesitation since this it was written by R.T.M. Scott, not Page in full cry. Customer comments applauded our decision. But that one was not an origin story, merely a first adventure.
Since then, we’ve released stories from different years. With 13 exciting Spider audiobooks now in print, a new question has been raised: Where does an interested customer start if he or she is new to the Spider?
That was a puzzler. So we recorded a new release––the perfect entry point for old and new Spider fans alike.
Ripped from the March, 1934 issue of the magazine, Citadel of Hell was the sixth Spider novel Novell W. Page penned, and one of his early tours de force. It opens with a wild car chase through the canyons of Manhattan that leads to the first of several running battles in which Richard Wentworth, both in and out of his Spider disguise, takes on Red Mask and his Food Destroyers as they bring New York City to its knees through a vicious campaign of arson and starvation.
This is the novel that introduced the Depression-era character of Tito Caliepi, the hunchbacked street-corner violinist disguise that over the next year or so of the series metamorphosed into the twisted, fearsome figure of the Spider who terrorized the underworld for ten unrelenting years.
So if you’ve never listened to a Spider audiobook––even if you have––and you’re looking to jump aboard, we highly recommend Citadel of Hell, one of the great fast-moving Spider novels of 1934.
For this special occasion, we told voice actor Nick Santa Maria to crank it up and give it his all. And he sure does! This exciting audiobook also includes two short stories, “Killer’s Knout” by Anson Hatch and G. T. Fleming Roberts’ “The Standing Corpse.”
Suzanne's one true friend is Cittie Parker. Cittie is a young man who ran away from the Colored Waifs' Asylum and now performs as a bloodthirsty Zulu drummer in Dreamland on Coney Island. As Suzanne’s best friend, Cittie knows of her abilities. He fears for her safety. As Suzanne digs deeper into the grisly Coney Island murders and her own past, she finds herself and Cittie caught up in a nightmare where social worlds converge and collide. It’s a place where death beckons her forward. It’s a place where insanity grins wildly at her like a devil at the gate of hell.
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“Might Is Right!” — that was the war cry of the powerful Underworld Union which Smiler Miordan led against the nation — behind a barrage of deadly plague-germs! Could the Spider, himself infected, crush this martinet of murder — with only a pitiful army of dying patriots? Another epic exploit of America’s best-loved pulp-fiction character of the 1930s and 1940s: The Spider — Master of Men! Richard Wentworth — the dread Spider, nemesis of the Underworld, lone wolf anti-crime crusader who always fights in that grim no-man’s land between Law and lawless — returns in vintage pulp tales of the Spider, reissued for today’s readers in electronic format.. $2.99.
In 1934 a new type of magazine was born. Known by various names — the shudder pulps, mystery-terror magazines, horror-terror magazines — weird menace is the sub-genre term that has survived today. Dime Mystery Magazine was one of the most popular. It came from Popular Publications, whose publisher Harry Steeger was inspired by the Grand Guignol theater of Paris. This breed of pulp story survived less than ten years, but in that time, they became infamous, even to this day. This ebook contains a collection of stories from the pages of Dime Mystery Magazine, all written by Frances Bragg Middleton and B. B. Fowler, reissued for today’s readers in electronic format. $2.99.
The battle guns are silent in the grim, gray dawn of war — and the legions of horror march unopposed over the fallen bodies of their foe... While terror prowls the night skies, and death lurks in ambush behind every cloud, G-8 and his Battle Aces face the wildest adventure of their careers, as they combat the fiendish force that is wiping the Allied forces from the face of the earth — without a shot being fired! G-8 and his Battle Aces rode the nostalgia boom ten years after World War I ended. These high-flying exploits were tall tales of a World War that might have been, featuring monster bats, German zombies, wolf-men, harpies, Martians, and even tentacled floating monsters. Most of these monstrosities were the work of Germany’s seemingly endless supply of mad scientists, chief of whom was G-8’s recurring Nemesis, Herr Doktor Krueger. G-8 battled Germany’s Halloween shock troops for over a decade, not ceasing until the magazine folded in the middle of World War II. G-8 and his Battle Aces return in vintage pulp tales, reissued for today’s readers in electronic format. $2.99.
Fighting Aces was the youngest in the line of Popular Publications aviation pulps. It was strictly a product of World War II. The inaugural issue was published with a March 1940 date on the cover, as the world war was raging through Europe. After D-Day and the war began winding down, the pulp was closed down as well. After twenty-seven issues, the July 1944 magazine was the last one published. But during those glorious twenty-seven issues, American doughboys fought alongside the French, English, Australian and Canadian Allies in battle after aerial battle... pitting their skill against the Nazi scum. Fighter planes burst into flame and spiral to earth in these WWII tales of soaring action. Fighting Aces return in vintage pulp tales, reissued for today’s readers in electronic format. $2.99.
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Summoned to solve the mystery, Doc Savage and his intrepid men follow a trail of terror that winds through the continental United States like a constricting serpent of senseless destruction.
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