I Love a Mystery

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Overview | Significance | Background | Plot | Cast | Resources | Episodes

Overview

I Love A Mystery (1939-1952) was a weekly OTR adventure serial about three friends who traveled the world looking for adventure, and excitement, both of which they found aplenty. Episodes straddled the borders between mystery, horror, humor, supernatural, and mysticism.

Significance

Stories were told in a continuous narrative arc, individual episodes (chapters) seamlessly flowing one to another
Each story completed usually in 15-20 weekly episodes

Background

I Love a Mystery was a unique weekly action-adventure series with stories told in a continuous narrative arc, individual episodes (chapters) seamlessly flowing one to another. Each story was usually concluded over fifteen to twenty episodes. Then a new story began.

Each episode was written by Carlton E. Morse, noted for his successful radio drama One Man's Family. Often, Morse's scripts are over the top, but this adds to the appeal of the series, which is often called the best OTR action-adventure series ever.

Recurring heroes Jack Packard, Doc Long, and Reggie Yorke met during the war between China and Japan fighting as mercenary soldiers for China. After the war they formed the A-1 Detective Agency in San Francisco, California. Their motto: "No job too tough, no adventure too baffling."

Jack is edgy, possibly hiding from problems with women in his youth. Doc is a boastful, hard-fighting, high-spirited character from Texas who loves women and gambling at poker. Reggie, an Englishman of great strength, prim and proper, also shies away from women, but can be depended on when the fighting starts. Their strengths make them heroes, their failings make them humans.

Valse Triste by Jean Sibelius was the program's theme music. During the Mutual Broadcasting System years, each episode began with the sound of a train approaching a crossing, sounding its whistle.

Plot

Three friends form a detective agency after World War II, mostly as an excuse to continue the life of adventure they enjoyed as solders of fortune. They travel the world looking for adventure, and excitement, which they find aplenty.

Cast

Jack Packard (Russell Thorson)
Doc Young (Jim Bales)
Reggie Yorke (Tony Randall)
Jeri Booker (Athena Lord)
Mercedes McCambridge (multiple female roles)
Writer, producer, director (Carlton E. Morse)
Rex Koury (organist)

Resources

I Love a Mystery Radio Logs at Jerry Haendiges Vintage Radio Logs website
Episodes at Internet Archive

Episodes

Totals

Total episodes: 1,777 (alleged)
Surviving episodes: 100 (approximate)
Three complete stories survive: "The Thing That Cried in the Night," "Bury Your Dead, Arizona," and "Fear That Creeps Like a Cat."

Timeline

16 January 1939-26 December 1952
Fifteen or thirty minute episodes
National Broadcast Corporation (NBC), Columbia Broadcasting Corporation (CBS), and Mutual Broadcasting System (MBS)

Inventory

Information and description for each episode of the series. Learn more.
Episodes available at Internet Archive.

Exemplary Episodes
  • Episode 00a

    But Grandma, What Big Teeth You Have
    Series Audition, 21 May 1945