Five Minute Mysteries radio show (1947-1950, United States)

Episode time

5 minutes



Five Minute Mysteries 1947 reviewFive Minute Mysteries radio show

Five Minute Mysteries was a show that was presented as filler between other shows - as the title suggests the whole show was done in just five minutes. The concept was very simple, but at the same time very effective - first part was setting the scene, showing the few characters that took part and a at the end of this part (after about 2-3 minutes) detective that was taking part in the scene was giving his solution. Then there was a break during which the audience could have tried to solve for themselves what was the solution for the case, during which the main theme was played over and over again for about minute. The last part was explanation given by the detective to what lead him to the conclusion that he gave before the break.

On surface the show was similar to Ellery Queen - a chance for the armchair detectives to prove what they are worth, but Five Minute Mysteries was not a panel show or the competition, to find the right solution was the only prize. While the show was interesting there were some problems - not all of the episodes were made with same standards and not all of the mysteries kept the same quality. Some of them had blindingly obvious solutions and after hearing few episodes it was too simple to solve the next one. But the bigger problem was with those not so obvious solutions - sometimes they were simply impossible to solve, f.e. they required a very specific knowledge about driving rules in some of the states in US. But the worst kind of Five Minute Mysteries was those, which even when the solution was given not always made more sense than before you knew the solution.

Five Minute Mysteries was just a filler put in the program to fill all the gaps or to sell some advertisement time, the concept was not bad, but the quality sometimes struggled.

Five Minute Mysteries episodes

001 My Pal Patsy
002 Death Calls at Dinner
003 Blood Brothers
004 Best Laid Plans
005 Three Scarlet Letters
006 Murder on Diamond Row
007 No Leg to Stand On
008 Missing Ruby
009 Command Performance
010 Death in a Turkish Bath

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old time radio shows