Columnist, ethics & blackmail

“Mr. & Mrs. North” was a long-running husband and wife detective series in books and radio, reminiscent of the “Thin Man” movie series.

The Internet Archive holds about 80 episodes from the 12-year run of the series, but collector J.David Goldin’s plot summaries only mention one with a journalist character, “The Heavenly Body.”

A Winchell-like newspaper columnist is featured in the tale, possibly offering to suppress one story in exchange for a better tip. He’s arrogant — and risking his life, since his last column involves an old murder and a bunch of folks who still carry guns.

Would journalism students learn anything from this story? Probably not, beyond “don’t get in deep with murderers.”

“Sorry, I can’t use the story,” is one of columnist Sam Zacary’s lines of dialogue here, but maybe not at the right time.

Soon, there’s a love story about a talented singer, and then a murder or two. Can the Norths sort it out? Will there be anyone left to write a headline?

More of Mr. & Mrs. North at the Internet Archive. The series ran in various forms between 1941 and 1955. “The Heavenly Body” episode was broadcast in March 1952.

If you decide to binge watch a few dozen episodes, and stumble onto another newspaper reporter plot, please let me know!

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, columnists, detectives. Bookmark the permalink.

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