By William Link, Crippen & Landru Publishers, $18.00, 262 pages

10“I remember taking the phone call that morning in our office at Universal. “I just read that script of yours,” he said in that now famous gravelly voice, “and I’ll kill to play that cop.””

William Link, co-author with Richard Levinson of the wildly popular television series Columbo, authored this compilation of twelve short stories continuing the sagas of this beloved character in The Columbo Collection. Who didn’t enjoy the quirky, disheveled Columbo as he seemingly bumbled his way through solving the most difficult murders for thirty five years from 1968 to 2003? Even Link was astonished by its popularity. Readers will get a bonus feature from the voice of the creator of this series in the six-page Foreword by Link making this a delicious treat for Columbo fans.

The book is written as a hurriedly, unedited script understandably, with huge parts of the story missing. The TV series drew out these shorts to sometimes a two-hour special with many nuances and details that a short story just cannot fully illustrate. However, the crescendo of love for the character and visualizations of the tenacious Columbo in action keeps you reading…and chuckling as the story unfolds its laden twists and turns.

Just one more thing, sir; Farewell our dear friend, Columbo and thank you for all the years of great entertainment Peter Falk! May you rest in peace.

Reviewed by M. Chris Johnson,