Just one more thing

Just one more thing

David Koenig: Shooting Columbo: The Lives & Deaths of TV’s Rumpled Detective (Bonaventure Press 2021)

The Columbo series probably needs no introduction. Even those who don’t like it, have probably met him on TV. I belong to the group who like it: I can watch an episode at any time and watch my favorites as many times as I want. I was afraid of the book at first, because I didn’t want to find out details about the series that would make me love it less, but luckily that wasn’t the case and I read very interesting things about it.

The very first episode was broadcast in the United States in 1967, but the story was previously written for stage and was performed in one season. The last investigation took place in 2002. What the stories had in common was that they were reverse crime stories: we know who the murderer is right from the beginning, so we can see the collection of clues from the lieutenant’s point of view and the conclusions drawn from them to prove the culprit of the crime, with which the whole story becomes one big revelation. The stories take place in a „sterile” Los Angeles, where there are no shootings, drug farms or prostitution. However, there are luxurious villas with rich people and obnoxious, arrogant killers who believe they have committed the perfect crime. However, that’s when the underpaid, seemingly slow-thinking, crumpled balloon-jacketed Lieutenant Columbo comes to prove that there is no such thing as a perfect crime, and everyone must be held accountable for their actions.

Over the course of the seasons, various cases were presented to us, and in the meantime, the boundaries between Peter Falk, who played the main character, and Lieutenant Columbo, became more and more blurred. Although the identity of the murderer and the method of the crime were known to the viewers, the character of Columbo was deliberately shaped to be mysterious. Perhaps He was the only one whom the viewers could not fully get to know.

The most interesting thing for me was that one of the pieces of evidence (the disposable typewriter tape) once led a real policeman to the trail, who remembered the episode and out of curiosity checked the typewriter during one of his investigations and found the decisive piece of evidence.

If you like the Columbo series, then definitely check out this book, because you’1l love it not less, but even more after it.