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William Theodore Link Books In Order

Publication Order of Collections

The Columbo Collection (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Plays

Prescription: Murder (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

William Theodore Link is American film and TV writer, a producer and author who often worked for hand in hand with Richard Levinson. Theodore was born and raised in Philadelphia to William and Elsie Theodore Link. His mother was of German origins while his father never knew of his heritage. Link later discovered that his parents were of Jewish roots- his niece Amy examined a suitcase that Link’s father had secretly hidden in their attic. She opened the case in 3022, and to their surprise, it contained genealogical research done by Link’s father during the Second World War. Amy found out that Link’s paternal parents were of Jewish heritage.

Link earned bachelor’s degree from University of Pennsylvania before enlisting in the United States Military from 1956 to 1958. Link and Levinson met on their first day in junior high school, and each loved performing magic tricks.

The two began writing together soon after and they sold their first short story, Whistle While You Work which was published in the November 1954 issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. They also co-created and also produced television series such as Mannix, Columbo, Murder, She Wrote, and Ellery Queen. They also worked together and made-for-TV movies including, The Execution of Private Slovik, The Gun, That Certain Summer, My Sweet Charlie, and The Judge and Jake Wyler. They also collaborated on two short feature films: Rollercoaster (1977) and The Hindenburg (1975).

Following the death of Levinson in 1987, Link continued writing and production career in many different media. In 1991, as a tribute to the late Levinson, Link wrote the script for the television film, The Boys featuring John Lithgow and James Wood. Link is a regular contributor to different mystery fiction releases such as Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine.

In 1979, Link was awarded a special Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of American for their work Columbo and Ellery Queen. In 2002, he was selected as the president of Mystery Writers of America, and he is one of the few TV writers to get this honor.

Late in his TV career, Link embarked on acting at the behest of Bill Cosby who insisted that he plays the role of Ben Sapolsky in Cosby Mystery series. In addition to his career as an author, Link is also known for his show-biz cartoons, has had museum shows at The Hollywood Entertainment Museum, The Writers Guild West, and The Cartoon Art Museum. The author has also published other two novels, The Playhouse, Fineman and also two books on TV Off-Camera and Stay Tuned. His play was Prescription: Murder which debuted Columbo character in 1961 was the highest grossing play in the United States and Canada that year.

The Columbo Collection

The Columbo is a collection of fun short stories, and a must read for any fan of the television series. The author, the master of mystery, has created exciting and memorable gems in these short stories. Below is a synopsis of the several stories in the title.

A criminal defense attorney gets his client acquitted of rape but then kills him. The writer does a great job of portraying a mental due that exists between the attorney and Columbo. Also perhaps the witty defense attorney is the closest any of the stories come to Columbo’s battle against the most elite.

Then there is The Blackest Mail- the only longest story in the book and well-worth. An actress kills a man who is trying to blackmail her. She makes it look like self-defense, and now she has to evade Columbo.

In a trance, the author doesn’t reveal the killer, but it is evident from the start that Columbo thinks the murderer is the Monk. Columbo’s suspicion heavily lies on a hypnotist, and he has an airtight alibi, and the way he manages to break the alibi is classic.

Photo Finish is a unique story compared to the rest of the stories in the collection. It stays from the viewpoint of the killer from the first page to the last as she plots the murder of her husband. The main character has a distinct voice as a woman determined to avenge at all cost, and she is always annoyed by her newbie skills in the murder game. But unfortunately for her, Columbo walks into the solution.

Just opposite of the table of contents, this collection features a sweet and beautiful sketch of Columbo drawn by Peter Falk. The first five stories in the collection contain hidden motives buried deep down in the characters need for revenge, their greed, and jealousy.

Death Leaves a Bookmark

Attempting to conduct a perfect murder, the killer meets the perfect cop. After several years of trying to get rich quick schemes, Troy’s bank account is empty and is only left with a single option in mind.- Take a job in his uncle’s bookshop and the rest of his days working for his uncle whose only redeeming aspect is a mammoth bank account.

Though in his eighties, Troy’s uncle is the picture of good health, and the day that Troy will get to inherit his uncle’s fortune seems very far away. But then, Troy comes up with a very brilliant idea – why work for his uncle for pennies whereas he can kill him and live like a king?

After the deed vanishes into thin air, a peculiarly tumbledown cop comes to call. Lieutenant Columbo appears to be weak, and Troy expects that he will have no trouble at all putting off the scent. But as the noose tightens, Troy soon realizes that there is no murder too perfect for Columbo.

Prescription: Murder

The television series was based on this play- the book revolves around a successful psychiatrist and his mistress as the hatch a plan to kill his possessive wife. Lt. Columbo and the psychiatrist engage in a game of cat and mouse until the doctor succeeds having the lieutenant removed from the case- but what he doesn’t realize is that the mistress is the weak link that could lead to his ultimate destruction. If you like reading police detective novels full of suspense and plenty of twists and turns, then William Theodore Link books are a perfect match for you.

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