Let me get one thing straight: if there’s anything I love, it’s detective stories, or mysteries on general. It’s something I’ve loved for a long time. I’ve got several detective (both professional and amateur) series on my bookshelves, and I’ve got many, many more mystery books as well. So let me tell you that, when I say The Angel of Vine is one of the best mystery stories I’ve listened to, I really mean it.
A present day journalist uncovers the audio tapes of a 1950s private eye who cracked the greatest unsolved murder mystery Hollywood has ever known… and didn’t tell a soul. Starring Joe Manganiello, Alfred Molina, Constance Zimmer, Alan Tudyk, Camilla Luddington, Mike Colter, Misha Collins, Khary Payton, Nolan North, and Oliver Vaquer. “Angel Eyes” performed by Desi Dennis-Dylan. Directed by E. Ryan Martz. Written by Oliver Vaquer. Story by E. Ryan Martz, Jason Zumwalt, & Oliver Vaquer. For a full list of Cast & Credits visit https://angelofvine.com/credits.
Also, can we look at the voice credits on this podcast? It’s like a dream cast.
This podcast is so well put-together that I was constantly on the edge of my seat while listening. If this didn’t come out weekly, I don’t know what I would have done. The writing in this is absolutely incredible, and being able to listen to it instead of just reading means I think I enjoyed the experience more as a podcast than I would have enjoyed it as a book. I’ve had a few friends wonder from the description if it’s based on the Black Dahlia murders, but it’s not. It’s in its own fictional world.
The show is put together in the form of found audiotapes, meaning that while there is a narrator (the present-day journalist mentioned above), he only pops in here and there to clarify points made by Hank Briggs, the 1950s private investigator. Each tape takes us back through time, as Hank tries to solve the murder of the Angel of Vine and ends up finding out more than he ever bargained for. I’m not usually a fan of “found audio”-style books/podcasts/TV shows, but this works extremely well.
Each episode does start with a disclaimer of the “graphic nature” of the podcast, but aside from a description of the Angel’s corpse, I haven’t run into anything “bad” or “adult” so far. Sure, there’s some language, and there are some darker secrets that come to light in the later episodes (I was shocked), so I’d probably put this at a solid teen-or-higher rating.
The ending of the story came as a complete and utter surprise to me, so they did a really good job of putting the clues together behind the scenes. When it finally snapped into place for me, I think I just sat in open-mouthed shock for a minute and tried to recover. If you’re worried about the ending losing steam and just falling flat, don’t be. The ending of this podcast is incredible, and I sincerely hope the team that created this lives on to create something else in this style. I would listen to them for years.
If you like detective stories, if you like amazing stories in general, you owe it to yourself to check out this podcast. It’s absolutely free to listen, and I am not shy in saying that if I could rate it above a 5/5 star rating I would.
If you have any other suggestions for serialized fiction podcasts, please send them my way in the comments section (only after you’ve checked out The Angel of Vine for yourself, of course).
And as always, keep reading (and listening).