Whether you’re the fan hoping to receive a relevant gift, or you’re looking for the perfect item for the Columbo lover in your life, there’s plenty of choice out there if you know where to look.
To help you on your way, I’ve listed a few handy items or stores where Columbo wares of all sorts can be obtained for your nearest and dearest (or yourself – no one’ll judge you!). There really is something for everyone, whether your budget is Alex Benedict-esque or more akin to the humble Lieutenant’s.
Happy perusing – and remember that you can secure bargains around Black Friday on a number of these items from the comfort of your own home without having to risk being trampled to death by shoppers desperate to secure a new toaster they don’t need before someone else gets it…
Items for the bookshelf
The Columbo Companion, 1968-78
I’d need my head read if I didn’t take this opportunity to shamelessly promote my own book, wouldn’t I? Released in September 2022, The Columbo Companion offers fully revised and updated analysis of all 45 classic era Columbo episodes that aired between Prescription: Murder in 1968 and The Conspirators a decade later.
Featuring a foreword by Columbo authorial legend Mark Dawidziak, and delightful illustrations throughout, the book has been very well received by fans thus far, with a 4.7/5 rating on Amazon at time of writing. Published through Bonaventure Press, The Columbo Companion is available in paperback and Kindle versions, priced at US$24.95 and US$19.95 respectively (or the rough equivalent in different countries). It’s available via numerous Amazon marketplaces, and if you purchase using one of the links below, I’ll get a slightly larger cut of the pie at no extra cost to you (but at a minuscule cost to Jeff Bezos).
- Amazon US: Shop here
- Amazon UK: Shop here
- Amazon Canada: Shop here
- Amazon Australia: Shop here
- Amazon France: Shop here
- Amazon Germany: Shop here
- Amazon Spain: Shop here
- Amazon Italy: Shop here
- Amazon Japan: Shop here
- Amazon Netherlands: Shop here
- Amazon Sweden: Shop here
- Amazon Poland: Shop here
Released in late 2021, this is the most important Columbo book to be published since 1989’s The Columbo Phile. Author David Koenig was permitted unprecedented access to the show’s archives, as well as interviews with directors, writers, actors and producers involved, to provide masses of behind-the-scenes intel on the production of all 69 episodes – much of which has never been published before. If you don’t already own a copy, right that wrong PRONTO!
Murder, She Cooked: A Cabot Cove Cookbook
Shock, horror! This is not a Columbo item, but may very well be right up the alley of many fans all the same – especially those who already own author Jenny Hammerton’s previous TV detective-themed cookbook, Cooking With Columbo (reviewed on this blog here).
A love-letter to the popular Murder, She Wrote mystery series (created by Columbo alumni Peter S. Fischer, Richard Levinson and William Link), the book features a guide to all 132 episodes from the show’s first 6 seasons with accompanying favourite recipes of Angela Lansbury and the stars of the show. A lot of fun – just as 2018’s Cooking with Columbo was before it.
One More Thing… About Columbo
A genuine stocking filler at only 49 pages in length, this bite-sized book of Columbo cartoons is a real delight. Created by Diane A. Rogers (AKA cartoonist Missy Tassles) during COVID lockdowns, the book features 170 illustrations covering all aspects of Columbo’s character, using direct quotes and facts from each episode in the order they were broadcast.
Costing less than $10 it’s an absolute STEAL and guaranteed to raise a smile with the Columbo fan in your life!
Everyday items (including sick Columbo threadz)
There is a tonne of Columbo swag available on sites such as Redbubble, Etsy, Cafe Press, Society6 etc, but I’ve got a load of good stuff curated all in one place on my TeePublic store – including hot-selling Carsini Wineries, Ding-A-Ling Ice Cream, Great Santini and Milo Janus Health Spa-branded wares.
As is typical for a site like this, the designs are not simply limited to t-shirts and hoodies but can also be found emblazoned across a whole range of products to suit various tastes and budgets, including mugs, tote bags, laptop cases, phone covers, cushions, magnets, wall hangings and many more…
Please note, there will be a 40% off site-side sale between November 22-30 and another between 2-16 December, so this will be the best time to get amongst it.
Items for the wall
Tony Stella prints
A movie poster and book cover artist of repute, Tony Stella is also quite the Columbo fan and has produced a number of lovely works which have been made available to purchase as high quality prints. His Columbo pieces tend to sell out swiftly but you can still get your hands on a few of items if you act swiftly. Check out your options here!
Alistair Little print
An absolutely lovely piece, Alistair Little’s ‘One More Thing’ is available as a high quality print and is so good that it’s rumoured even Dale Kingston has a copy hanging in his Californian jail cell.
If you’re interested in making a statement about your love of the Lieutenant, this fine work takes quite some beating.
Limited edition production photo
The lovely folk at Gebr Art (the estate of renowned Columbo/Universal Studios artist Jaroslav Gebr) have made a never-before-released photograph of Peter Falk available, which was used used as a study for the portrait of Columbo from 1989’s Murder, A Self Portrait. A limited edition run of 100 authenticated, signed and numbered 16″x20″ prints were put on the market earlier this year. For full details, visit the Gebr Art website. Enquiries to Renee Gebr via email.
Columbo cross stitch pattern
I’ll eat my hat if there isn’t come sort of correlation between Columbo fandom and cross stitching, so if you fit in the middle section of that particular Venn diagram this is the item for you!
Available from the Knots and Crosses Craft Etsy store, this cute cross stitch pattern can be yours for just a couple of pounds/dollars and is sure to be well received by thread and needle experts. Please note, it is the pattern only, so recipient will need the rest of the clobber to get it made.
Columbo crochet doll pattern
If there’s a Columbo fan in your life who also loves crochet (quite the daily double!), you can let their creative juices flow by giving them the gift of a Lieutenant Columbo doll crochet pattern, which they can then make and gift back to you! Literally everyone’s a winner…
Costing just £5 from the Snorkers Imaginarium website, the pattern PDF is automatically emailed to you once purchase is complete. The final product stands approximately 15cm tall – only a little shorter than Peter Falk himself!
Columbo on DVD
Unless you live in the US, where Columbo can be freely streamed on a variety of platforms, the very best, most sensible purchase any fan can make is to get hold of the complete DVD boxset. Tune in whenever you like and don’t worry about endless ad breaks or clumsy editing. It’s the gift that genuinely keeps on giving. Although a lot more expensive, the full series on Blu-Ray can also be imported from Japan, so if it’s crystal clear HD visuals you’re after, look no further.
This is a good time of year to buy as there’ll be Black Friday deals on Amazon until 28 November.
Well my dear friends, that’s about all I have for you this week. Are there any Columbo items you’re desperate to get your trotters on? And what’s the best Columbo gift you’ve ever received? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
In other news, I’m pleased to report that I have successfully uprooted from Aussie outback to a cosy city suburb and will be able to pump out world-class Columbo content more easily again. I dare say that the much-delayed Trace of Murder episode review will follow on a week after this post – my pre-Christmas gift to all you patient readers!