I LOVE A MYSTERY COMPANION
Longing only for action, adventure and excitement wherever it would lead them, Jack Packard, Doc Long and Reggie York fought through vampire-infested jungles, ghost towns of wind-swept Nevada, solved mysteries involving werewolves, mad scientists, shot at flying gruesome reptiles and battled modern-day pirates seeking treasure of untold fortune. I Love A Mystery is considered one of the greatest radio serials ever broadcast (1939 – 1952) and what began as a harmless West-Coast production became so popular that shortly after the program’s premiere, the series was heard nationally from coast-to-coast and young children began their own fan clubs while civic-minded adults protested against the scary stories.
According to official records, less than 200 recordings are known to exist of the 1,695 episodes broadcast from 1939 to 1952. Fans of old-time radio programs hail the I Love A Mystery episodes among the Holy Grail of “lost” recordings. Thanks to this book, the plot summary for each and every episode is provided along with episode number, title and broadcast date. Scripts performed more than once are noted. Differences between versions are documented. Memories from cast and crew, including Carlton E. Morse, can be found throughout this 400 page book. Morse’ other radio thrillers from I Love Adventure to Adventures by Morse are also documented.
Among the highlights are Morse’s early radio thrillers for dozens of serials from 1930 to 1934, none of which are known to exist in recorded form. They are documented in complete detail (titles, airdates, episode numbers, cast list (who played who), continuity and submission dates and approvals, plot descriptions, alternative script titles and various bits of trivia) for such rarities as The Cross-Eyed Parrot, The Return of Captain Post, Chinatown Squad, House of Myths, Pigskin Romances, The Witch of Endor, Killer at the Wheel, Killed in Action and many others!
ALSO INCLUDED IN THIS BOOK
* A complete production history of the program including reprints and excerpts from Morse’s correspondence, memories from cast and crew, biographical material on Carlton E. Morse, trivia about the various ILAM serials and more!
* A complete episode guide to each and every ILAM broadcast from 1939 to 1952 with episode-by-episode plot descriptions.
* A complete reprint of the January 1939 contract between Carlton E. Morse and NBC and Standard Brands (the sponsor).
* Read the correspondence between Twiss (the director), Carlton E. Morse and Peter Lorre’s agent when Lorre felt his name and character was being infringed upon!
* Learn about Harry Leopold, the 29-year-old Denver gunman who asked the warden for a short postponement to Colorado’s lethal gas chamber so he could listen to the concluding chapter of his favorite radio program, I Love A Mystery.
* Complete documentation about the I Love A Mystery movies, novels, comic strips (some reprinted in the book), plot synopsis for an I Love A Mystery movie never used, and a reprint of “Treasure Hunt” an unused plot synopsis for an I Love A Mystery radio serial never dramatized!
“While I don’t always share the enthusiasm for the show I have been finding myself furiously turning the pages and devouring the incredible historical detail and command of facts contained within . . . Martin’s latest offering is a endlessly fascinating and exhaustive tome of the history of the classic radio serial I Love A Mystery.”
— Ivan G. Shreve of Thrilling Days of Yesteryear
“The I Love A Mystery Companion is wonderful entertainment even for readers who have no earthly idea what the radio program was about. But for those who fondly remember I Love A Mystery, this book is pure gold.”
— Tony Fonseca, February 2004 issue of Necropsy
“If you were one of those lucky folks who attended this year’s FOTR (whether for a day or for the entire event) you may have witnessed what has now become a publishing miracle. Martin Grams, Jr., author of close to a dozen books on old-time radio introduced his latest creation, The I Love A Mystery Companion. This volume provides every bit of information about the series that anyone would wish to know (author, plots, casts, logs, spin off, etc.) but that Martin’s track record in terms of the quality of his previous books speaks volumes for the sale of his newest epic effort. If you happen to be a Carlton E. More or I Love A Mystery fan it is an investment you will not regret.”
— David Siegel, author of The Witch’s Tale
“Martin Grams, Jr. has proven himself up to the task of filling the holes in the knowledge of radio’s vast history, and he has produced what may be his finest work in The I Love A Mystery Companion. As per usual, grams takes all of the information and puts it into an easy to read, conversational format that educates as well as entertains. Every detail in regards to the I Love A Mystery canon, be it comic strips, feature films, or the fate of the missing episodes (which have been rumored to exist for over 20 years) is covered in this book. I found the Companion to be a thoroughly enjoyable book that deserves a place on the bookshelf of every radio fan.”
— Rodney Bowcock, Jr., Spring 2004 issue of The Old-Time Radio Digest
“The heart and soul of this book is in its revealing at last such crucial issues as what happened to Doc when he faced Holy Joe on the web of ropes high above the cavern floor in a fight to the death in ‘The Pirate Loot of the island of Skulls.’ Or perhaps the missing piece for you is to find out what ever happened to Reggie after serving with Jack and Doc for four glorious years. How about Jack’s past? Want to know why he treats women so harshly? Martin Grams tells us these tid-bits and many more. This is a big book of nearly 400 pages that is chock full of information.”
— Charles R. Sexton, March 2004 issue of RRL on the Air