Saturday 30 November 2013


Hello, Columbo Family!  How much would you like to own a book celebrating the wonderful series we all love?  Well, you can!  All we have to do is write it!

The gentleman who brought us all together, Twitter's very own Lieutenant Columbo and myself have been thrashing out an idea for the last few weeks: a definitive Columbo book, written by the fans.  To include: production history; reviews; interviews.  And if anyone has any other bright ideas for inclusion, we are open to suggestions.

It will be self-published via, which costs nothing.

I have been collecting behind-the-scenes information on the series for many years and looking for the perfect place to include it.  This seems ideal.

Columbo, created by Richard Levinson and William Link, is the property of Universal Studios.  No copyright infringement is intended.  As we are only writing about the subject - since the bulk of the book will be reviews - and not using material owned by Universal, I believe we remain within our rights.  

Of course won't be able to include official photographs, but if we make sure the content is exemplary, I don't see why this can't be a first rate publication.  And speaking of which - artistic contributions would be very welcome, too, given that we cannot use photos.

"The Columbo Phile" by Mark Dawidziak (Mysterious Press, 1989)
“The Columbo Phile” by Mark Dawidziak is obviously an inspiration.  A superb guide to the series, but it only covers the period up to 1978, and is long out-of-print.  This project will allow us, at the very least, to hold in our hands (or own as eBook, PDF etc.) a complete guide to the wonderful Columbo.

We must credit Lewis Christian first and foremost for this idea.  His “Celebrate, Regenerate” – a 50th anniversary Doctor Who review book by fans – gave us the impetus.  Last year he invited DW fans to contribute, and earlier this year the book was published, entirely off Lewis’s own back, to great acclaim.  If you haven't seen it, it's superb and believe me, you really would like to see a similar volume about the good Lieutenant C.

Lewis Christian's Doctor Who 50th Anniversary fan project
This will of course be a non-profit publication.  I wouldn’t expect there to be much, but I propose that what profit there is go to The Alzheimer’s Society, for reasons that I'm sure you understand.  I have contacted them – they are more than agreeable in principle but given the rights issue with Columbo we cannot say for definite at this stage that this will pan out.


The way we'll do this is: contributors choose what episode or episodes they want to write about.  Two viewpoints per ep would give a nice balance, so there should be plenty up for grabs.

Email to register your interest and get commissioned.

We encourage as many people to as possible to contribute – the more the merrier and of course, everyone will be credited for their work.  As the Tweet-a-longs prove, you've all got plenty of interesting things to say about the show!


Choose an episode or episodes to write about from the list below and, as I said, email us at  We'll indicate the episodes as they are taken.

The word count is up to you, but a maximum of 600 words.  Secondary reviews need only be 200 words.

The format?  Well, again that’s really up to you but basically it should be a structured review explaining why you like (or don’t like) the episode in question.  By all means choose an episode you don't like!  I think the book should be critical if required.  Write about the story, writing, direction, acting, and maybe add a personal touch if you wish.  What Columbo means to you, etc.

So no strict rules.  And any bright ideas for something else you'd rather contribute? We're listening!  But we would like all the episodes to be reviewed so that the book feels complete.


Please do contribute folks!  The finished product will be fantastic, we promise, and a fitting tribute to the late, great Peter Falk and everyone else who helped to make the wonderful Columbo.

Any further questions?  Anything really obvious we've missed?  Let us know via the email address, or Lieutenant Columbo and myself can be found on Twitter.

Thanks to you all!

Update 30.6.2014 - 69 out of 69 episodes represented; 32 episodes covered by more than one reviewer; over 50 contributors.  Continued thanks everyone!

Lots of terrific reviews in the past few weeks, and I'm currently gathering everything together.  I've got a completion date in mind, which I'm not revealing so as not to jinx it.  However, it's not too far away all being well.

This will be one of, if not the final invitation to contribute, because we have to wrap things up.  There are still a number of episodes with only one contributor (see below), so if you'd like review an episode or episodes, let us know.  The more the merrier!

Secondary reviews, only 200 words or so, are very welcome.

The book's cover, which should be a wonderful surprise, is still very much on the cards.

Thanks again everyone for the excellent material contributed so far!

Tentative title for the book: "The COLUMBO Compendium".  Alternative suggestions very welcome.


TV Movie (1968):
Prescription: Murder - 2 reviewers (COMPLETE)

Pilot (1971):
Ransom For A Dead Man - 2 reviewers (COMPLETE)

Season One (1971-2):
Murder By The Book - 2 reviewers (COMPLETE)
Death Lends A Hand - 2 reviewers (COMPLETE)
Dead Weight - 1 reviewer
Suitable For Framing - 2 reviewers (COMPLETE)
Lady In Waiting - 1 reviewer
Short Fuse - 1 reviewer
Blueprint For Murder - 1 reviewer

Season Two (1972-3):
Etude In Black - 2 reviewers (COMPLETE)
The Greenhouse Jungle - 2 reviewers (COMPLETE)
The Most Crucial Game - 2 reviewers (COMPLETE)
Dagger Of The Mind - 1 reviewer
Requiem For A Falling Star - 1 reviewer
A Stitch In Crime - 1 reviewer
The Most Dangerous Match - 1 reviewer
Double Shock - 2 reviewers (COMPLETE)

Season Three (1973-4):
Lovely But Lethal - 2 reviewers (COMPLETE)
Any Old Port In A Storm - 2 reviewers (COMPLETE)
Candidate For Crime - 2 reviewers (COMPLETE)
Double Exposure - 1 reviewer
Publish Or Perish - 1 reviewer
Mind Over Mayhem - 1 reviewer
Swan Song - 1 reviewer
A Friend In Deed - 2 reviewers (COMPLETE)

Season Four (1974-75):
An Exercise In Fatality - 2 reviewers (COMPLETE)
Negative Reaction - 2 reviewers (COMPLETE)
By Dawn's Early Light - 1 reviewer
Troubled Waters - 2 reviewers (COMPLETE)
Playback - 1 reviewer
A Deadly State Of Mind - 2 reviewers (COMPLETE)

Season Five (1975-76):

Forgotten Lady - 1 reviewer
A Case Of Immunity - 1 reviewer
Identity Crisis - 1 reviewer
A Matter Of Honor - 1 reviewer
Now You See Him - 2 reviewers (COMPLETE)
Last Salute To The Commodore - 2 reviewers (COMPLETE)

Season Six (1976-77):
Fade In To Murder - 2 reviewers (COMPLETE)
Old Fashioned Murder - 2 reviewers (COMPLETE)
The Bye Bye Sky-High I.Q. Murder Case - 2 reviewers (COMPLETE)

Season Seven (1977-78):
Try And Catch Me - 2 reviewers (COMPLETE)
Murder Under Glass - 2 reviewers (COMPLETE)
Make Me A Perfect Murder - 1 reviewer
How To Dial A Murder - 1 reviewer
The Conspirators - 1 reviewer

1988-89 Season:
Columbo Goes To The Guillotine - 2 reviewers (COMPLETE)
Murder, Smoke, And Shadows - 1 reviewer
Sex And The Married Detective - 1 reviewer
Grand Deceptions - 1 reviewer

1989-90 Season:
Murder, A Self Portrait - 1 reviewer
Columbo Cries Wolf - 2 reviewers (COMPLETE)
Agenda For Murder - 2 reviewers (COMPLETE)
Rest In Peace, Mrs Columbo - 1 reviewer
Uneasy Lies The Crown - 1 reviewer
Murder In Malibu - 1 reviewer

1990-91 Season:
Columbo Goes To College - 2 reviewers (COMPLETE)
Caution: Murder Can Be Hazardous To Your Health - 1 reviewer
Columbo And The Murder Of A Rock Star - 2 reviewers (COMPLETE)

1991-92 Season:
Death Hits The Jackpot - 1 reviewer
No Time To Die - 2 reviewers (COMPLETE)

1992-93 Season:
A Bird In The Hand... - 1 reviewer

1993-94 Season:
It's All In The Game - 2 reviewers (COMPLETE)
Butterfly In Shades Of Gray - 2 reviewers (COMPLETE)
Undercover - 2 reviewers (COMPLETE)

Strange Bedfellows (1995) - 1 reviewer
A Trace of Murder (1997) - 1 reviewer
Ashes to Ashes (1998) - 1 reviewer
Murder With Too Many Notes (2001) - 1 reviewer
Columbo Likes the Nightlife (2003) - 1 reviewer