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 sank into computers and the Web during graduate school in the 1980s and '90s, then taught journalism, media studies and Web production, retiring to write and play more music.
This entry was posted in 1940s, columnists, detectives. Bookmark the permalink.

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