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Thursday, September 22, 2005

The Metropolitan Line Murder - listen on BBC7

Scarlet Pimpernel Author's Tube Short Story on BBC7

The Old Man in the CornerMany thanks to eagle-eared Jon Justice yet again for bringing to my attention the fact that The Metropolitan Line Murder by Baroness Emmuska Orczy was on BBC7 yesterday but for the next week, you can listen to it again here.

Baroness Orczy is better known for writing The Scarlet Pimpernel but she also wrote a series of detective stories which first appeared in the Royal Magazine in 1901 based on "The Old Man in the Corner", an armchair detective who solved crimes from the comfort of the corner of a London tea shop, using only the clues provided in the newspaper, with the assistance of an enthusiastic female young reporter, Polly Burton, who was also trying to solve the crimes.

Baroness Orczy received the large amount of 60 pounds when the first one was published and they became immediately popular, with the public clamouring for more.

Two of these stories feature murders on the London Underground - "The Mysterious Death on the Underground Railway" and the one which BBC7 dramatized and broadcast yesterday "The Metropolitan Line Murder". It's a bit slow going at first but certainly gets into its stride - even has a bit of tube sex - well a "raunchy" romantic discussion on the tube with the husband and wife - this was written in the early 1900's remember. "Are you trying to make love to me John?" "Well, yes, I suppose I am", replies John, with train noises in the background.

"The Mysterious Death on the Underground Railway" was on TV in the 1970's and starred Coronation Street actor John Savident, better known as Fred "I say Ashley, I say Ashley" Elliott. I can just imagine him as the fat detective sitting in corner of a tea shop lazily solving crimes.

You can download the stories through an e-book in amazon here. Enjoy!


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