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The Queen of Palmyra


A private eye chases an enigmatic woman who is a self-declared messiah and the reincarnation of a queen of ancient Rome. She is acquainted with a financier whose young nephew takes her to be on a con job.



Air Dates

  • First Run - April 27, 1978
  • Repeat - October 3, 1978





62     11

10 Responses to Episode 0823

A private investigator investigates a woman who claims to be a prophet and the reincarnation of a Roman queen. A financier's nephew thinks she is trying to swindle him.

Judy S.

A rather humorous episode with an engaging blend of the apparent supernatural and confidence tricks. A wealthy elderly gentleman is approached by a woman who claims he is an ancient emperor of Rome and is in grave danger. The man's obese nephew appears to be looking out for his best interest. Fred Gwynn does a fine job in his role as the skeptical private investigator. Worth listening to.

Ianne Jane

I find it odd that Mr. Carlswell's lunch bag contains a cheese sandwich and 3 "rather large" prunes. When this episode aired California prunes were a sponsor. I'm curious if this was a clever product placement or simply coincidence.


I find it odd that Mr. Carlswell's lunch bag contains a cheese sandwich and 3 "rather large" prunes. When this episode aired California prunes was a sponsor. I'm curious if this was a clever product placement or simply coincidence.


Who cares Tony. Eat your prunes


Rude is thy middle name, Elijah.


This episode shows how con artists are very slick. There are still reports of "psychics" swindling people out of tens of thousands of dollars. But what gets me are the ones that predict the "end of the earth" scenarios. In the mid-1960s my dad was stationed in Ft. Ord, CA, and our house had a view of the Monterey Bay, which I knew was connected to the Pacific Ocean. I was eight years old, and some "psychic" claimed that there was going to be an earthquake and our part of California was going to fall into the ocean. I spent that entire day as a very frightened child. Hence, I have no fondness for the folks who claim that a horrible disaster will befall us all. Fortunately, as an adult I know they are blowing smoke, but they are lower than scum for frightening children.


A very interesting mystery that has the ultimate whodunit. Spoiler alert, I will give the plot away so I urge you STRONGLY to listen to the episode first if you haven't done so, before you read any further. A fat nephew of a rich financier, who goes by the name Fatso, hires a private investigator when con artists are trying to fleece the uncle out of his vast fortune by trying to convince him the world will end and to save his soul he has to turn everything he owns into gold and hand it over to the crooks. Naturally the nephew is very concerned about this. Thus he turns to the PI. Now the crooks are very convincing and would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for the Investigator the nephew hired. Who is the mysterious leader of the culprits ... why the nephew, Fatso! Darn it he would have gotten away with the entire gold if it wasn't for the Private Investigator he himself hired to solve the crime. I was completely fooled by the revelation. Never would have guessed it, which is the hallmark of a good mystery.


Worth a listen for the great acting alone! 3.5 out of 5 stars- very enjoyable.


I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. Sam Dann’s mystery story was entertaining, but also far-fetched. It is entertaining because we have a story about a Private Detective investigating a con-artist that uses names of people from Ancient times to obtain a new life. It is also far-fetched because it’s hard to imagine that a Private Detective would believe a word what these characters have said about themselves. Here we have a con-artist who thinks she’s Queen Zenobia of the Palmyrene Empire in Syria, a wealthy old man thinks he’s the Roman Emperor Lucius Domitius Aurelian, even the con-artist tried to convince the Private Detective that he’s the Roman Poet Publius. If any of that stuff was true, like if they were actual recreations of historic people, wouldn’t they be speaking in Ancient dialects or wear archaic fashion? Also, they said their world would come to an end on February 14th. What reason to believe that it would end on Valentine’s Day? It’s far-fetched, but I’m just glad that the Private Detective solved the case at the last minute and cleared some things up. With all the pretty lies & ugly truths were told to these characters, the best way to title this mystery tale would be “Who Are You In Truth?” In our Host’s Prologue, E.G. Marshall starts with a quote by Henry Louis Mencken. In ACT-1, focus on disputed beliefs of the world coming to an end. In ACT-2, state that the world will end for each of us, but not at the same time. As the plot thickens, a quick history of Lucius Domitius Aurelian and how he’s connected to the story. In ACT-3, Ancient figures are turning up for our main character. After the climax, our Host gives us an adage (a proverb expressing a general truth) about schemes. In his Epilogue, there’s no Resolution. No ending to what happened to our characters further on once the mystery was solved. Only a pensive thought about who we are and who we were. Sound effects of chair leg scraping, unwrapping sandwich bag, door buzzer, pouring water, footsteps, doors, silvery bells tinkling, struggling grunts, and body thud were OK. The music tracks, however, were a nice touch. Some were dramatic, some were mystifying, and some were enchanting. But I will say that the best part in this episode, was the cast: Fred Gwynne (as Charles Fleetwood Carswell), Bryana Raeburn (as Angel Blanche Brady/Zenobia), Jack Grimes (as Fatso/Hubert Ivor MacIlhenny), and Court Benson (as Dudley K. MacIlhenny). These 4 worked great together. As for Fred Gwynne alone, he was perfect to play the Private Detective. Truly, one of the most memorable actors in CBSRMT history. For those that enjoy Private Detective stories, check this one out. As I said before, it’s far-fetched, but the cast made it enjoyable. Until next time…pleasant dreams.


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