A case of mistaken identity

In Raymond Chandler’s novels or the 1947-51 radio series they inspired, Philip Marlowe wasn’t the kind of detective who plays for the headlines.

“What’s the news in that?” he asks at the end of this 1950 adventure titled “The Big Book.”

It took a while to find episodes of his radio adventures with newspaper reporter characters. I had just started on the 105 half-hour tales available at the Internet Archive’s Old Time Radio Researchers collection when I wrote this. I had found an adventure in which he looked for a newsboy’s missing uncle, but there wasn’t enough newspaper to it.

So why is “The Big Book” here in a blog about newspaper reporter and editor characters? Because, in it an Italian shoemaker — who once was an artist and also can bind large volumes in leather — easily mistakes Marlowe for a newspaper reporter, and their dialogue is interesting.

Given the location of Marlowe’s office, I suspect there are episodes with Hollywood publicity agents, but I’d rather stick with the working press.


Oops… In the background while I was editing this, my playlist of Marlowe episodes got to a new story, and I heard the phrase “a Tribune reporter dodging bullets” while Marlowe was investigating the disappearance of a diner owner’s wife. I’ll be back to write about “Friend from Detroit” if I can do it without plot spoilers. Feel free to jump in and listen.

Next discovery, Marlowe meets a whole Hollywood trade paper crew in “The Green Flame” … which I will write about next.

About Bob Stepno

mild-mannered reporter who found computers & the Web in grad school in the 1980s (Wesleyan) and '90s (UNC); taught journalism, media studies, Web production; retired to write, make music, photograph sunsets & walks in the woods.
This entry was posted in 1940s, 1950s, detectives, reporters. Bookmark the permalink.

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