Exciting news! Mark Dawidziak’s masterpiece tome The Columbo Phile has been reprinted to mark its 30th anniversary and is available now!
Published in 1989, but five years in the making, Dawidziak’s book chronicles the creation and evolution of the series and features detailed overviews and analysis of all 45 ‘classic era’ episodes between 1968 and 1978.
Dawidziak also secured interviews with many of the show’s stars and production team members, including Peter Falk, Patrick McGoohan, Roddy McDowall, Leonard Nimoy, William Link and Steven Bochco. Their input helps ensure the book has had no equal in Columbo circles since it was printed.
The 30th anniversary edition (pictured above) features a new preface, an overview of the ‘new’ Columbo episodes from 1989-2003, some additional photography and a remembrance of Peter Falk, who died in 2011. Dawidziak estimates there’s an additional 10,000 words of prose not featured in the original version.
What will most appeal to fans is the more accessible price tag. The original is now only available second hand and copies can cost in excess of $100. The new version can be purchased for just $30, making it an absolute bargain! So what are you waiting for? Dive in…
US READERS – ORDER HERE
UK READERS – ORDER HERE
You can also read my interview with Mr Dawidziak from earlier this year in which he recounts the 5-year journey to get the book published. Check out that here.
You can also read more about The Columbo Phile book, and why it’s such an important one for lovers of the Lieutenant, right here.
If I have one criticism of this book, it’s that it lacks more insight into the creation of the Columbo episodes. Three episodes in particular have always raised questions for me about the evolution of their scripts. Was Grace Wheeler’s brain aneurism in the original draft of “Forgotten Lady”? It’s so inconsistent with the meticulous crime she committed that it feels like an add-on, to make the ending better. Was Riley Greenleaf having a new key made, not knowing Columbo had changed the lock to Alan Mallory’s office, the original gotcha for “Publish or Perish”? Did the “you don’t kill off Rock Hudson” ending, and the scenes that go with it, come later? And how was the ending of “Suitable for Framing” constructed? Apparently, Jackson Gillis started from the premise that finding Columbo’s fingerprints will solve the case. How did he proceed from there? (In the book, William Link says that the episode was plotted backwards, but no details are given.)
My interests, I understand, focus on the writing, structure, and construction more than many others. But this was the one opportunity to get answers to these questions. Jackson Gillis and William Driskill (and Richard Levinson) are no longer with us, along with many other Columbo writers.
[This is one reason why, after the successful premiere run of my mystery play “Framed,” I preserved (in the book “We Open in Oxnard Saturday Afternoon”) every aspect of the play’s creation, revision, and production. See https://columbophile.com/2018/07/25/columbo-blog-contributor-rich-weill-releases-new-book/%5D
Just came by to say whilst overall I loved the book the attention to the 80s and 90s episodes feels like an insulting afterthought.
Perhaps an opportunity for a new book in much more detail by the websites creator himself 😉 !
I’ve just received my copy in the UK today!
Just got the notice from Amazon that it was delivered! I can’t wait to start reading this thing. And just one more thing for those that haven’t ordered yet…it’s marked down $1.50 which we all know is at least a few hours salary for the lieutenant.
Mine just arrived. Thanks so much for the tip.
3 days to my door, is sweet.
Can’t wait to dive in.
Mine just arrived! But I hate reading! Oh well. It’s nice to have on the shelf to rep the fearless Lt. Someone tell me how it ends!
Ordered and waiting for delivery! Almost looking forward to the day when there is no WiFi/Internet.
I ordered a copy as soon as I saw this post. Tomorrow is my birthday and this is a most wonderful present to myself!
I ordered the book as soon as I saw this. Tomorrow is my birthday and this is my present to myself!
Right I’ve finally got round to adding Columbophile to my iPhone home screen. Hopefully will make commenting easier for me!
How do you do that?
You hit the shake button on the bottom ( box with an arrow ). Then select “add to home screen”. It adds it as an app icon and takes you straight to the website.
I now have Peter’s smiley face on my screen!
Ace! I’ve just done that too. Thanks for the tip!
You are most welcome! And of course I meant share button not shake.
Damn you autocorrect lol!
I’d like to read it but I’m not getting it shipped from the US. Wonder if there’s any chance of a Kindle version…
It’s on Amazon UK as well. I ordered as a physical book because I love them. I want to enjoy Kindles but I don’t enjoy the experience.
Fantastic. I’ve ordered on Amazon UK but it’s already out of stock lol! I’ve wanted this for years.
Did you get it before out of stock? If not, Amazon US has it: https://amzn.to/35DHKTc
No but it’s a lot more expensive in US I think?
Also it says ships to UK but once you get to the checkout it says no it doesn’t ship to UK… Go figure!
Oh no kindle version yet ? I have to admit I prefer digital, I hope its coming as a kindle version as well 🙁 and hopefully he will do a real updated book with all the 1989-2003 episodes. many actors and crew members of the later episodes are still in the showbusiness and he probably would be able to get a lot of interesting interviews and stories.
Awesome! Thank you Columbophile for informing us of these great news- will order. Is a great source for Columbo-reference and all kind of information. I just wish there was more mention of Margaret in the plot section of the Ransom episode- just the picture of Leslie looking at herself in the mirror- (p.36) the “old bag” message with the letters. At least she appears in the index- Patricia Mattick, page 33.
Ed from Miami 👍
Terrific, I’m sure you’ll love it!
I just placed my order! Christmas came early!