John Dunning (writer)
John Dunning is an American writer of non-fiction and detective fiction
Detective fiction
Detective fiction is a sub-genre of crime fiction and mystery fiction in which an investigator , either professional or amateur, investigates a crime, often murder.-In ancient literature:...

. He is known for his reference books on old-time radio
Old-time radio
Old-Time Radio and the Golden Age of Radio refer to a period of radio programming in the United States lasting from the proliferation of radio broadcasting in the early 1920s until television's replacement of radio as the primary home entertainment medium in the 1950s...

 and his series of mysteries featuring Denver
Denver, Colorado
The City and County of Denver is the capital and the most populous city of the U.S. state of Colorado. Denver is a consolidated city-county, located in the South Platte River Valley on the western edge of the High Plains just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains...

 bookseller and ex-policeman Cliff Janeway.


Born in Brooklyn
Brooklyn is the most populous of New York City's five boroughs, with nearly 2.6 million residents, and the second-largest in area. Since 1896, Brooklyn has had the same boundaries as Kings County, which is now the most populous county in New York State and the second-most densely populated...

, New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

 in 1942, Dunning moved to his father's hometown of Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is the second largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina. It was made the county seat of Charleston County in 1901 when Charleston County was founded. The city's original name was Charles Towne in 1670, and it moved to its present location from a location on the west bank of the...

, at the age of three. In 1964 he left his parents' home and moved to Denver, Colorado
Denver, Colorado
The City and County of Denver is the capital and the most populous city of the U.S. state of Colorado. Denver is a consolidated city-county, located in the South Platte River Valley on the western edge of the High Plains just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains...

, where, after a time working as a stable hand at a horse racing
Horse racing
Horse racing is an equestrian sport that has a long history. Archaeological records indicate that horse racing occurred in ancient Babylon, Syria, and Egypt. Both chariot and mounted horse racing were events in the ancient Greek Olympics by 648 BC...

 track, he got a job at The Denver Post
The Denver Post
-Ownership:The Post is the flagship newspaper of MediaNews Group Inc., founded in 1983 by William Dean Singleton and Richard Scudder. MediaNews is today one of the nation's largest newspaper chains, publisher of 61 daily newspapers and more than 120 non-daily publications in 13 states. MediaNews...

. In 1970 he left the newspaper and took up writing novels, while pursuing a variety of jobs. Partly because of trouble with his publishers, in 1981 he stopped writing and opened a store specializing in second-hand and rare books. At the urging of fellow authors, he returned to the world of novels in 1992 with his first Cliff Janeway novel, Booked to Die. The novel won the Nero Award
Nero Award
The Nero Award is a literary award for excellence in the mystery genre presented by The Wolfe Pack, a society founded in 1978 to explore and celebrate the Nero Wolfe stories of Rex Stout...

 that year.

Dunning currently lives in Denver with his wife Helen.


In addition to compiling encyclopedic reference books about the history of radio programming
Radio programming
Radio programming is the Broadcast programming of a Radio format or content that is organized for Commercial broadcasting and Public broadcasting radio stations....

, Dunning hosted a long-run weekly radio show, Old-Time Radio.
I was a collector of old-time radio shows for 30 years. I grew up with this stuff. It was like collecting part of my own life. I parlayed that into a weekly radio show, which I hosted on Denver radio for more than 25 years... In 1973 I worked on the Robert Altman
Robert Altman
Robert Bernard Altman was an American film director and screenwriter known for making films that are highly naturalistic, but with a stylized perspective. In 2006, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognized his body of work with an Academy Honorary Award.His films MASH , McCabe and...

 film, Thieves Like Us
Thieves Like Us (novel)
Thieves Like Us was the second and last published novel written by Edward Anderson . It was published in 1937 by Frederick A. Stokes. See: Crime Novels: American Noir of the 1930s and 40s by Robert Polito , The Library of America [1997].Anderson later sold the movie rights for $500...

. Altman's film was based on the 1937 novel by Edward Anderson
Edward Anderson
Edward Anderson may refer to:*Ed O.G. , American hip-hop musician, born Edward Anderson*Eddie Anderson , Hall of Fame college football coach...

, and he wanted it scored with old radio shows. My job--which lasted six weeks--was to find the right sounds to fit his story.

Cliff Janeway novels

  • Booked to Die (1992) ISBN 0-684-19383-3
  • The Bookman's Wake (1995) ISBN 0-684-80003-9
  • The Bookman's Promise (2004) ISBN 0-7432-4992-5
  • The Sign of the Book (2005) ISBN 0-7432-5505-4
  • The Bookwoman's Last Fling (2006) ISBN 0-7432-8945-5

Other detective novels

  • The Holland Suggestions (1975) ISBN 0-672-52110-5
  • Looking for the Ginger North (1980) ISBN 0-449-14317-1 (paperback only)
  • Two O'Clock Eastern Wartime (2001) ISBN 0-7432-0195-7


  • Tune in Yesterday: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio, 1925-1976 (1976) ISBN 0-13-932616-2
  • On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio (1998) ISBN 0-19-507678-8

Listen to

External links

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