The Columbo Companion 1968–78: Investigating Every Detail of All 45 “Classic Era” Columbo Adventures

Bonaventure. Sept. 2022. 344p. ISBN 9781937878160. pap. $24.95. TV
The anonymous creator of the popular Colombophile blog has reorganized, revised, and updated blog entries to produce a pithy, astute, and essential guide for fans of the TV detective series Columbo. This book concentrates on the two pre-series TV movies (Prescription: Murder and Ransom for a Dead Man) and the first 43 episodes, covering the TV series’ first seven seasons. There was an 11-year gap after the seventh season before the series returned in 1989 and continued until 2003. There are spoilers galore, but this book was not written for the uninitiated, but for Columbo lovers who want a deep dive into their favorite sleuth. Arranged chronologically, each episode is broken down to “The Killing,” “The Gotcha,” a lengthy “Episode Analysis,” and “Best Moment.” The Columbophile’s keen critical eye is not blind to flaws in some episodes or pointing out absurdities (like Roddy McDowall’s skin-tight pants or Ray Milland’s terrible toupee). He also shares juicy production tales, including Peter Falk’s power play, when he feigned illness while filming “Dead Weight” and forced his disgruntled crew and costars to film most of the episode with his stand-in.
VERDICT An affectionate, critical, and immensely entertaining guide to the classic TV series.
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