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February 11, 2013

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Cameron Estep

Thanks for featuring this episode. While I have listened to the two radio versions of this play I actually plan to read the original novel since I am going to read the works of John Dickson Carr this summer. I have two suggestions for two Suspense episodes that you have not featured yet. First is one that is based on a short story by Dorothy L. Sayers which does not include her sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey and is called The Fountain Plays. It tells of a middle-class Englishman named Archie Spiller who has been doing well for himself in a small English country village. He has money, lives and owns a country estate, has a cook and a manservant and in a very lovely garden he has...yes a fountain. Things however turn bad when "an old friend" of his turns up and blackmails him and lives off Spiller's home and hospitality. Soon Spiller realizes that he has two choices: continue to pay the blackmail or get rid of the blackmailer. I read the original short story before and it is pretty good. The story was adapted for Suspense twice the first for 1943 which featured the famous British character actor Edmund Gwenn as Spiller, Dennis Hoey as Gooch, and Wendy Barrie as Betty Spiller. Then in 1944 it starred Charles Laughton as Spiller, Dennis Hoey as Gooch, Norma Varden as Mrs. Digby, and Ian Wolfe as Masters the butler. My next one is based on a mystery novel by a forgotten person named Cecil-Day Lewis who was the Poet Laureate in the 1930's. He was also the father of the famous film actor Daniel-Day Lewis. However he also wrote mysteries under the pen name Nicholas Blake. One of his famous mysteries is called The Beast Must Die and tells of a grief-stricken father named Felix Lane whose son was killed by a hit and run driver and now the father plans to find the driver and kill him. The driver is a man named George Rattery who owns a local gargage in a small English town he is also a very hateful man and once he found dead at his home Lane becomes the obvious chief suspect but it turns out there are others who might have poisoned "the beast". Was it his abused wife? His unhappy son? His sister-in-law? His business partner? Or someone else? Suspense featured this story in 1944 and stars Herbert Marshall as Felix Lane with Dennis Hoey as George Rattery, Frederic Worlock as Inspector Blunt, and John McIntre as Carfax.

Christine A. Miller

Hi Cameron,
Thanks for your comment! Actually, I was just going to post "The Fountain Plays" today, along with the other Dorothy Sayers story, "The Cave of Ali Baba." I kind of got stuck on that Ali Baba episode--but it is finally finished now. Will post soon. Best, Christine

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