SUSPENSE: Twenty Years of Thrills and Chills

From 1942 to 1962, Suspense brought virtually hundreds of Hollywood celebrities to the microphone to appear in dramas that were non-characteristic of their screen and radio appearances. Comedians who wanted to try their hand at Shakespeare got to play villains, crooks and murderers. Boris Karloff could be heard as an angel in one episode while Phil Harris was hiding out from a lynch-hungry mob in another. Fans just never knew what to expect each week as such classics as “Sorry, Wrong Number,” “The Hitch-Hiker,” “The Wreck of the Ol’ 97” and “Return to Dust” left memorable images the listener cannot forget.


*  A lengthy history of the series with memories from cast and crew.
*  A complete episode guide for each and every radio and television broadcast with cast, production credits and plot descriptions.
*  All of the Suspense movies, comic books, novels and mystery magazines are reprinted in this book.
*  Alphabetical listing of all the titles for easy reference.



* In 1981, 19 years after Suspense went off the air, the series won a Grammy Award for the best non-musical recording of the year, for a commercial release of “Donovan’s Brain.”

* Alfred Hitchcock was a fan of Suspense and after listening to “Death on My Hands,” starring Phil Harris and Alice Faye, sought out the script writer, John Michael Hayes, and hired him to write the screenplay for his next picture, Rear Window. Hayes ultimately ended up scripting four screenplays for Hitchcock.

* In early 1948, William Spier wrote a stage play based on the radio program and took it on the road with Basil Rathbone.

* In 1945, Peter Lorre starred in a local telecast in California, adapted from a Suspense radio script. It was an experimental color telecast.

* Producer-director William Spier explained why he did not want to typecast Hollywood celebrities when they made guest appearances on Suspense. “Every audience likes to be baffled, but it’s impossible to puzzle them if they immediately recognize the players and link them to the roles they ordinarily play.”


“I found it to be an invaluable tool in my own personal field of research documenting all known examples of radio science fiction and the supernatural. I had wasted untold amounts of money buying episodes of SUSPENSE in my quest to identify my genre classifications based on titles alone. This book not only answered my need for a complete set of plot descriptions for all 945 episodes, but the author included close to 20 fields of information for each episode.”
— Gordon Payton, a.k.a. “The Sci-Fi Guy”


“This is a great book, no question about it! Certainly the final word on Suspense… I refer to it often. It’s the only book you’ll need for this show.”
— Bill Kizer, well-known old-time radio fan


“Until my recent offerings of The Twilight Zone and The Shadow, for years I received more feedback about the Suspense book than any other. It was my first and apparently left the biggest impression. The biggest question was how did I come to write it. Actually, it started as a high school project. I wrote a report on Suspense. After I was done delivering the report to the class, I kept having the feeling that I left something out. So I began to gather and research as much information as I could about the subject. After discovering a few logs were written by authorities on the subject, I observed how there was conflicting information between the two. So I decided to dig into archives and unearth the facts. What resulted was a 500 page book about the subject. And everything about Suspense including the movies, comics, television series and mystery magazines… Looking back on it today it has tons of information you cannot find elsewhere on the internet. But it was what I refer to as a ‘learning experience.’ You see, I was a young kid who was approaching numerous publishing companies setting up as vendors at conventions. But they regarded me as a young kid and wouldn’t even look at my manuscript. After a year of rejections (all of which was because of my age), I took my father’s advice and published the book myself. Did I have professional proof readers to look it over? No. Did I have a college education and major in English? I was just graduating from high school and starting my first job. I invested all the money I had to get the book printed and paid a friend in high school, who had a talent with art, to create the cover. Thankfully, all that hard work paid off. Some people expected a book written by an eighty-year-old college professor and criticized the book because it was not published through a University Press. This helped me build thick skin so I could ignore the people who criticized a teenager who tried his hand at self-publishing his first book when he was graduating from high school. Others saw me for what I was and encouraged me to do more. I’m not making excuses for the finished product. I am quite proud of what I was able to accomplish. Comparing the Suspense book to my recent books, there is certainly a big difference. Suspense is selling for as much as $400 on internet websites. And not a month goes by that someone doesn’t e-mail or call or write to ask a question and thank me for writing the Suspense book. That’s reward in itself.”
— Martin Grams, June 2009


ISBN: 978-1575026756
Suggested Retail Price: $29.95
Out of print. We still have a few left in stock at $34.95!



I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.

— George Washington Carver.


The paperback is very interesting but I find it will never replace the hardcover book – it makes a very poor doorstop.

— Alfred Hitchcock