Selected Shorts: Mysterious Circumstances

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Look out! Mayhem! Cops and robbers in a hard-boiled classic, and a comic take on burglary make zesty listening.

The first of this program’s two stories includes murder, blackmail, kidnapping, screeching sirens, screaming tall blondes and nitroglycerine explosions. If you’re guessing it’s a classic piece of crime fiction, your suspicions are right, copper, because the story, “Double Check”, by mystery writer Thomas Walsh, is from Black Mask Magazine’s anthology, The Hard-Boiled Omnibus, and was first published in the 1930’s.

The reader, James Naughton, has won two Tony Awards for Broadway appearances as a tough guy — in “City of Angels,” and “Chicago” — and has plenty of fun with this story’s rollicking period dialogue.

Our first story was about organized crime, or at least disorganized attempts by professional criminals who can’t always shoot straight. Our second is a short humor piece about amateur efforts to deter burglary. The writer/protagonist is the popular humorist and retired columnist Dave Barry, aided and abetted by the family dogs: the "main dog," Earnest and "emergency back-up dog Zippy." The reader is Larry Keith.

The musical interlude in this program is "Crimebusters," by Daniel Elfman, from the score for the film "Dick Tracy." The SELECTED SHORTS theme is Roger Kellaway’s “Come to the Meadow.”

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