Par Novak for Hire originally starred Jack Webb in the title, with scripts behind written by Webb's roommate Richard L. Breen. Based in San Francisco, the show ran for two years --1946-47 -- on regional West Coast radio stations. When Webb and Breen moved to Los Angeles to create Johnny Madero, Pier 23, a program similar to Pat Novak, for the Mutual Network, Webb was replaced by Ben Morris. Webb returned to the role when the program was revived by ABC in 1949, where the show lasted for 21 episodes.
Novak is the owner of a boat shop on Pier 19 and also does odd jobs for money. These jobs usually end up with a corpse and Novak has to solve the murder. There's a heavy pulp magazine aura that runs through the show.
"Death in Herald Square" is one of the few episodes starring Ben Morris. Novk is hired by a man who discovers his door lock broken and wants him to watch his apartment. Police Inspector Hellman shows up at the apartment looking for a stolen book which could be key evidence in a murder and informs Novak that the apartment the Novak's client does not own the apartment and that there is a $10,000 reward involved.
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