Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Good Lieutenant

January Magazine today carries my gift-guide recommendation of The Columbo Collection, a paperback featuring 12 short mystery stories that star legendary TV detective Lieutenant Columbo. The book is the handiwork of William Link, one of the two writers who created the 1970s NBC series. Here’s part of my review:
All [of the stories] contain the flavor of the original TV series. They find Columbo in intellectual jousting matches with one well-off and supposedly infallible killer after the next, whether it be a criminal defense attorney who’s murdered the client whose case he just won, a woman who has done away with the hit man she’d employed to kill her judge of a husband, or a controlling real-estate developer who’s knifed his son’s fiancée. In each case, it is some critical and overlooked mistake that finally trips up the murderer. Link easily weaves into his fiction the traits we immediately associate with the TV show--Columbo’s beat-up old Peugeot, his cigars and shabby raincoat, his deceptive tendency to become distracted in his questioning, and his habit of asking “just one more thing” before leaving his trapped-before-they-know-it suspects alone, at least for a while.
You can read the full January piece here.

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