|Radio||Television||Books||Films||PT - Abroad||Send for||Front Page Men|
1 - 4'.
Chief Inspector Reed and Inspector Hunter of Scotland Yard are investigating the Blakeley kidnapping - Reed has been bringing Hunter up to speed.
A book has been publish called The Front Page Men - written by Andrea Fortune. No one knows who the author is, not even the publisher, Gerald Mitchell. The book has been very successful selling 80,000 copies so far. In a recent bank robbery a cashier has been murdered, and left beside the body was a small piece of cardboard with the words "The Front Page Men". Shortly after this there was a jewel robbery in which a card with the same words were left. Now the Blakeley kidnapping is being linked to the Front Page Men. Reed states that the Chief Commissioner, Sir Graham Forbes, believes it may be connected to the much earlier `Granville' kidnapping, Hunter says that they had not heard of the Front Page Men then. But Reed says that they may have existed all the same.
In the current case, Sir Norman Blakeley's only son has been kidnapped by the same crowd.
Blakeley tells Sir Graham that on the day in question he had 2 visitors: Mr. J.P. Goldie - piano tuner, and a city acquaintance Mr. Andrew Brightman. By coincidence - Brightman claims the same thing happened to him. His daughter was kidnapped by the Front Page Men. He was told not to contact the police, and didn't. After he paid the ransom his daughter was released.
Blakeley, despite the same instructions has gone to Scotland Yard. He is very upset, as the story is now in the papers. His acquaintance - Brightman decides to come forward and tell his story to the Yard, in an effort to help Blakeley. The most striking thing to Sir Graham, is that on the day of his daughter's kidnapping, Brightman had only one visitor - J.P. Goldie - piano tuner. Brightman had paid an £8,000 ransom.
Blakeley gets a ransom demand for £9,000, and the police intend to stake out the the hand over. The money is to be left in a phone box opposite Eastwood Mansions. Sir Graham asks Hunter to arrange for access to the first floor flat - which will be a good vantage point. Hunter returns with the news that the flat - 49 Eastwood Mansions - belongs to a Mr. and Mrs. Paul Temple!!
Sir Norman gets the money from the bank, but finds his taxi has gone. Luckily, Brightman is on hand in a limousine, Sir Norman accepts a ride. Brightman offers him a cigarette, but it is laced and Blakeley collapses.
The Temple's, now living in their Mayfair flat, are visited by Paul's publisher and his wife. His publisher is Gerald Mitchell, and they are discussing the book The Front Page Men. Mitchell feels under pressure from the police, but says he knows nothing at all about Andrea Fortune - having never met her. His wife Ann, and the Temple's tell him not to worry, and that if he hadn't published it, someone else would. Mitchell also hopes to publish a book that Steve is writing, if she ever gets it finished.
Later: Temple notices a stake out across the road. He receives a visit from Sir Graham, Steve tells him they haven't used the flat much, spending most of their time at Bramley Lodge. Sir Graham explains the circumstances for the stake out. Temple says he has read about it in the papers.
Nothing happens until Reed rushes in with the news that they found Blakeley dead in the phone box. The money is gone but a card has been left saying:
Unlike Mr. Andrew Brightman - he talked. The Front Page Men.
Temple offers Sir Graham any help he can provide, Sir Graham leaves. In the distance Paul and Steve can hear a piano playing. They call in Pryce who informs them that they have a visitor in the drawing room. A piano tuner..... A Mr. J.P. Goldie!
9 - 13'.
Paul realises he's getting too close, and Wilson has paid the price for telling Temple about the warehouse. Paul returns home only to find Steve and Carol Forbes! Steve hasn't been captured - but narrowed escaped a trap. She knows - because she saw Carol in a taxi - so who ever phoned to make the appointment was not Carol Forbes.
The injured police officer dies. The police trace the phone call to the Medusa Club in Piccadilly, owned by Tony Rivoli.
Temple visits a piano shop where J.P. Goldie used to work, to check up on him, he finds that someone else has been asking questions recently about the gentlemen, the Reverend Charles Hargreaves. Temple also has the feeling now that he has seen the clergyman before. One interesting piece of information Temple gets is that Goldie is an expert on lilies.
At the Medusa Club: In one of the rooms a meeting is going on. Present: Lucky Gibson, Jimmy Mills, Brightman - all Front Page Men. None of them seem to know who is Front Page Man number One - the chief. Perhaps it's a woman? Andrea Fortune? Lucky is jumpy now that the police officer has died, as he was operating the machine gun. Brightman informs the others that they are going to go after the Falkirk diamond. Other members of the gang arrive, Snow Williams, Jed Ware, and the very attractive - Lina Fresnay. They have been to Nottingham to check out the diamond. They believe the job can be done. The diamond is worth £250,000.
The gang set up there decoy in Nottingham, road works outside the shop - that manage to block the street. While this is diverting attention, Lucky and Jimmy rob the jeweller of the Falkirk diamond. They make their escape, with the police in pursuit. Eventually they shake them off. Later the diamond is tranferred to Lina. When the police check at the jewellers, there were 2 customers present during the robbery, a lady and a clergyman - Reverend Hargreaves.
After the attempt to kidnap Steve, the Temple's have returned to the security of Bramley Lodge, near Evesham.
Sir Graham is visiting them - and he is very tired. This business at Nottingham has made him more determined to do something about the Front Page Men. They have had no luck in finding the warehouse. Forbes tells Temple he is dubious about Brightman, they have checked out his story about the kidnapping, and some of his story is untrue. He believe's Brightman might be in the gang, although not the boss. Sir Graham has also had a man shadowing J.P. Goldie - and it transpires he was in Nottingham on the day of the robbery. The police have still had no luck finding the missing Blakeley child. After Forbes leaves, they have another visitor, Gerald Mitchell. He is very worried about Ann. Having heard the story about the phone call to Steve, he believe's that it may be his wife who impersonated Carol. She is expert at impersonations, having been an actress before her marriage, and she knows Carol's voice. Is it possible she is in the power of the Front Page Men?
Back in London - Sir Graham is informed of the safe returnn of the Blakeley child. He has no memory of what has happened to him. Forbes instructs Hunter to pick up Lucky Gibson, as he feels he may be linked to the Nottingham robbery. Temple arrives - he and Forbes agree that the boy has been given Amashyer. Temple asks how the boy was found. Forbes tells him in confidence that he has an undercover man working on the case - Wrenson. Sir Graham says he's a bit theatrical, but always gets results. At this point neither Reed or Hunter are aware that Wrenson is involved. Temple tells Sir Graham what Mitchell said about his wife, Forbes decides to have her watched. While Temple is still there, Forbes receives a visit from Tony Rivoli, he tells them of a group that meet regularly in one of the private rooms of the Medusa Club, he has always been suspicious of them. Sir Graham feels that he may just be jumping to conclusions based on what he's seen in the papers. Temple however feels the story may be worth checking and determines to visit the Medusa Club.
Paul and Steve visit the Medusa Club - but soon after they arrive the place is raided by the police. Inspector Low has a warrant for the arrest of Tony Rivoli. He also has a message for the Temple's saying Sir Graham is waiting for them at their flat. They return home - but Sir Graham isn't there and hasn't been there according to Pryce. Temple believes the message was a trick. He phones Sir Graham - who confirms it was a trick, and there is no "Inspector Low" on the force. He asks Forbes along with Reed to meet him at the Medusa as soon as possible. As he tries to uses the lift in his building, it appears to be jammed. When Temple gets it going and it arrives at his floor, it has a passenger - the late Tony Rivoli - with a knife in his back and a card left near the body from The Front Page Men.
Hunter is having no success finding Lucky Gibson. He eventually visits "The Glass Bowl", where he encounters Reverend Hargreaves - who beats a hasty retreat. Hunter meets an old friend, and they go out for the evening. Hunter's luck has changed, as by chance he catches sight of Lucky Gibson.
18 - 21'.
Paul is in Sir Graham's office. Wrenson has been in contact and advised Forbes that Lucky Gibson and Jimmy Mills are Front Page Men. Hunter arrives with Gibson in tow. Gibson is now incoherent, having taken some Amashyer while in the taxi. He can't answer any questions as he can't remember anything. As the interview is going nowhere, Forbes tells Hunter to take Lucky to hospital.
Hunter gets a taxi, but it breaks down almost immediately. The driver goes for help, leaving Hunter and Lucky in the car. Lucky thinks he might know the driver, and Hunter senses danger. They leave the cab, only just in times as it explodes in a fireball. The Front Page Men have tried to deal with Lucky!
Temple returns home, buying some lilies on the way. Ann is there and is pretty upset - saying everywhere she goes, she is followed. Temple knows it is the police, but doesn't tell her.
After she leaves, Goldie arrives. Paul says he is thinking of buying a new piano, Goldie tells him his current piano is worth keeping.... Paul then manages (intentionally) to knock over a vase full of what he refers to as "Tiger Lilies" (which he knows they aren't) and Goldie makes no comment! Steve queries this behaviour after Goldie departs. Temple's explanation is that for an authority on Lilies `this' J.P. Goldie appears to know very little about them.
A meeting of The Front Page Men: Brightman is very unhappy that Jed Ware's attempt to get rid of Lucky has failed. They dealt with Rivoli as they believed he was putting 2 and 2 together. Lina has been instructed by `Front Page Man Number One' that Lucky must be dealt with at the hospital. This time Jimmy will do the job with an automatic.
At the hospital - Hunter is ready to take Lucky back to thee police station for questioning. The doctor says Lucky is OK now, although he isn't saying much. As they go to leave, Jimmy Mills steps up and shoots Lucky. Hunter can't do anything.
22 - 26'.
The Front Page Men are planning their next job in Birmingham, Lina has passed on new instructions from the Chief. They are going to steal the `Carter Collection' from a detective called Paradise, who will be taking the jewels by train. The Chief has organised a `fence' called Von Zelton from Germany, to handle the jewels. He will be coming to England almost immediately.
Jimmy returns confirming that he has dispatched the luckless Lucky Gibson.
Sir Graham is very worried about the `Carter Collection', and details Hunter and Digby to accompany Mr. Paradise. The gang seem to be lying low at the moment. Sir Graham tells Temple that Ann Mitchell is acting very strangely, she is renting a flat in Bloomsbury and is spending a lot of time there. Forbes has also received a letter from `Andrea Fortune'. The author states that she has nothing whatsoever to do with the gang that has used the name of her book.
Hunter and Digby accompany Mr. Paradise on the two hour train journey from London to Birmingham. All goes smoothly until the get to Leamington. The train stops, and Hunter receives an urgent message that Sir Graham needs to speak to him, he is told they will told the train for him while he takes the call. Hunter goes to the phone, but is attacked by the gang, recognising Brightman.
The train moves off without Hunter, and Mr. Paradise becomes very worried. Digby has also been taken care of, Swan and Jed get into Paradise's compartment, Paradise pulls out a gun, and fights back but is disarmed. Jed decides to deal with Mr. Paradise, by throwing him off the train! Swan tries to dissuade him, but to no effect. Paradise fights but is no match..... he lands on the tracks of another line, surviving the fall, he is hit by a train going the other way. Jed and Snow escape with the jewels.
Reed reports to Sir Graham, Hunter survived the attack on him, and identified Brightman. Digby says that there was a parson on the train who was acting suspiciously.
The Temple's receive a visit from a very worried Gerald Mitchell. He believe's Ann is mixed up with the Front Page Men and she has vanished. She has been acting very strangely, and telling him lies about where she is going. He is now certain it was Ann who impersonated Carol Forbes. Gerald says that Ann's stage name was Lydia Royal, and Paul thinks he has heard it before. Carol arrives - she has received a letter from Ann. Requeesting she come to the Bloomsbury flat on a very urgent matter. Gerald is shocked... he didn't even know Ann had a flat.
All of them decide to go to Tavistock Court, Bloomsbury, hoping to find out if Ann is in trouble. It's dark and eventually they find the flat that belongs to Ann, but there appears to be no one there. The door is locked but Paul manages to break in. They enter - Carol finds the light switch, and as soon as she turns it on Steve screams!! The body of Ann is on the floor. She has been stabbed. Faintly, from the flat above, they hear a piano playing. A piece of music Paul instinctively associated with J.P Goldie.
27 - 30'.
Paul goes upstairs to investigate. When he returns he says no one is there. The others don't believe him, but he is insistent - perhaps the person escaped onto the roof.
The Front Page Men are not a happy band. Jimmy, Jed and Swan want their cut. Brightman says they haven't got the money yet. The Chief is handling the `Carter Collection' himself. The others say they think Brightman is the boss! He says he is just as helpless as them. Jed asks him to tell them who is the Front Page Man? Brightman says that Lina is the only one who knows. They say she must tell them - eventually Brightman agrees.
When questioned Lina tells them that Van Zelton (the fence) arrives from Munich tomorrow. She says the chief is meeting him at nine tomorrow night, at `The Glass Bowl', and he is anxious for the whole gang to be there!
Unknown to the gang.... this latest meeting has been bugged, and someone else now has this information.
Temple is summoned to Forbes office. Sir Graham has received a message:
"The Front Page Men are meeting at the `Glass Bowl' tonight at nine.... A Friend of Justice."
He has also had advice from Wrenson to pick up Brightman, Jed Ware, Swan Williams, and Lina Fresnay. He still doesn't know who Front Page Man Number One is. Sir Graham says that he is worried about Mitchell, who seems to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown, following his wife's murder.
Hunter, having recovered from his ordeal, has got hold of Jimmy Mills.
He's brought before Reed, Temple and Forbes. He cracks when Temple suggests that he might get the same treatment as Lucky. And spills the beans about the meeting tonight at the `Glass Bowl'. Sir Graham is confident they will catch the whole gang when the Yard raid the inn tonight.
The raid doesn't go as planned - Lina escapes, and the Front Page Man wasn't there anyway. He was double crossing the rest of the gang! They aren't willing to surrender, and it ends in a shoot out.
31 - 34'.
& pictures scanned by Greg Marshall.
24 September 2000.
In the aftermath of the raid, Brightman & Jed are in a bad way, Swan is uninjured - but not talking.
They realise the tip off note Sir Graham received must have been sent by the Front Page Man - himself.
Apart from Lina escaping... they also realise that one other person in the inn had slipped away during the raid. Reverend Hargreaves. However, Forbes is able to introduce the Reverend to the others. This is his undercover man - Gilbert Wrenson of the Intelligence Department.
Wrenson still doesn't know who the Front Page Man is. However he reveals that it was he who rescued the `Blakeley' child.
They believe Lina was there so she could see the rest of the gang captured and report back to the chief. Wrenson followed her when she left the inn - but lost her in the fog. She did however drop her hand bag, and it contains a card with the name.... "Mr. Wallace Sabina.... The Autumn Hotel." Also on the card are the letters "V. Z".
They realise Sabina is the Front Page Man, and this is a meeting with Von Zelton. The police arrest Von Zelton at Croydon airport, so he will not be making the meeting.
At the "Autumn Hotel" - a gentleman arrives to see Mr. Wallace Sabina. His name - Herr Von Zelton!!
Von Zelton is shown into Sabina's room, they discuss the "Carter Collection", then the phone rings. It is Lina with a message - the police have captured Von Zelton. Sabina tells her not to be silly.... Von Zelton is here with him now. When he turns around, the bogus Von Zelton has a gun on him. The gentleman says he is here for revenge! He is Lester Granville, who's child was kidnapped. He paid the ransom, but his child was killed. He shoots 4 times, and leaves the body of the Front Page Man - Gerald Mitchell - dead on the floor - taking the diamonds with him.
Temple, Forbes, Hunter and Reed arrive at the Autumn Hotel, much to their surprise - Sabina is dead. The manager tells them itt is a suicide. Temple realises that the "fake" Von Zelton is the key. The phone rings - it is a message for Sir Graham... a package containing the "Carter Collection" has been handed in to the Yard. Temple decides that there is nothing more he can do here, and rings Steve to say he'll be a little late as he is going to visit a certain `piano tuner.'
At tea time the following day - while enjoying some buttered muffins, Paul gives Steve his explanations of the case.
Paul had suspected Gerald, when at Bramley Lodge he had told them that Ann was good at impersonating people. He believes Gerald got Ann to impersonate Carol, probably telling her it was a prank. She must have worked out the truth, causing her to move to Bloomsbury, but after at first throwing suspicion onto her, Gerald realised she had to be got rid of. Paul knew for certain at Bloomsbury.... Gerald said he had never been there before.... but he knew exactly which button on the lift to press to go to the right floor. Also when they heard Goldie playing the piano... it was Gerald who suggested that if there was no one there (as Paul said) they must have escaped on the the roof. The flat was being renovated - and access to the roof was possible, but only someone who had been in the room would have known that.
Paul explains, that J.P. Goldie was actually actor Lester Granville.... impersonating the piano tuner. He explains about the murder of Granville's child after he contacted Scotland Yard, Granville swore revenge. Temple knew he wasn't the real Goldie, when he didn't correct Paul over his intentional mistake about the identity of the lilies. The real Goldie being an expert.
Granville had reasoned he needed to disguise his true identity in order to get close to the gang. The real Goldie was a friend of his, and as an actor and competent musician - he had no problem.
Granville had known for some time that Gerald was the Front Page Man. The connection was that Ann Mitchell (formerly Lydia Royal) had acted with Granville, so this was how Mitchell had known of Granville and his daughter. When Mitchell published the book, he realised that Mitchell's wife had been very friendly to his little girl. Gerald used the name for the gang as a smokescreen. As for Andrea Fortune, Paul knows who she is. Steve Temple!!! This was the long awaited book that Steve was supposed to be writing. Temple hopes Granville will stay and confess to killing Mitchell, but says he won't do anything if he leaves.
Somewhere they can hear a piano playing. Pryce enters and says they have a visitor.... Mr. J. P. Goldie the piano tuner.
Book Images from "Paul Temple and the Front Page Men" (Chivers Press edition 1994 - Black Dagger Crime Series).
& pictures scanned by Greg Marshall.
24 September 2000.