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Publisher's Summary

On October 30, 1938, rising radio star Orson Welles boondoggles the American public into believing that Martians have attacked Earth. With his clever adaptation of The War of the Worlds, the great showman proves he can get away with anything - maybe even murder.

Minutes before the fictitious invasion goes live on the air, a dead body is found in the studio and the polarizing Welles is the obvious suspect. Convinced that the star has been framed, Walter Gibson - creator of pulp superhero the Shadow - has exactly one hour, the length of the radio show, to solve the murder. But in show business, appearances are deceptive, and the facts of this case are not what they seem.

The sixth in the series of Max Allan Collins’s disaster thrillers, The War of the Worlds Murder offers up historical high jinks of Welles-ian proportions.

©2005 Max Allan Collins (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about The War of the Worlds Murder

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fun Thriller Expertly Narrated


This was a fun trip back in time to the War of the Worlds radio broadcast. This is a fictional crime set in a real world event and the insights into life at that time, as well as Orson Wells career are fascinating. The murder is interesting, but the real fun is the running description of the actual broadcast, intersped with reactions from different people that is the heart of the book. A great deal of fun and wonderful narration by Dan John Miller make this a fun read/listen.

1 person found this helpful

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Brilliant!

Experiencing the real circumstances and factual events that occurred when the iconic “War of the Worlds” piece presented by the Orson Wells’ Mercury Theatre hit the airways in 1938... is priceless. Having such an extraordinary front row seat to this astounding event is amazing. And... being presented this astonishing piece of history through the Max Allan Collins style ...is just brilliant!

We loved every minute of this story. The murder, the players, the timeframe in the 20th century, and the “War of the Worlds” event. Wow!

Narrated superbly. Written sublimely. And atmospherically gripping. And excellent work!

1 person found this helpful

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War of the Worlds

Only Max Allan Collins could have written this great book. If you love Orson Welles, you will love this mystery that takes place on the night of the famous Mercry Theatre on the Air broadcast. This is my favorite of Max’s Disaster Mystery Series. If you like the Shadow and old time radio it’s sure to be yours too. Dan John Miller does a great job as always.

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Great historical mystery

This is really a love letter from Max Allan Collins to Orson Welles and his crew of actors, writers, producers who put on the infamous "War of the Worlds" radio show in 1938. It's dressed up in a bit of a shaggy dog story, but its still fun. It's not the best of this series, but for those interested in pulp writers and radio, it's wonderfully engaging.

1 person found this helpful

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Entertaining & Fun!

For anyone who enjoys or is fascinated by the era of early 20th Century radio and the 1938 broadcast of "War of the Worlds", this is a must listen.


Max Allan Collins flawlessly blends personal experience, actual historical events and creative imagination for an attention-grabbing, fantastic story. Starting with his attendance at a writers conference, Collins connects with Walter Gibson, best known for his work on The Shadow, it then segues into Gibson relaying a story of when he met Orson Welles & the Mercury Theater players. Gibson tells "a story within a story" on how he was privy to behind the scenes drama & murder of the famous CBS Radio Halloween broadcast. The reader/listener feels like they are there as Collins includes several excerpts from the broadcast as it unfolds.


Dan John Miller is the perfect narrator for this setting. He does rather well with providing a variety of voices for all the characters & has a firm grasp on capturing the nuances of Welles' & Hausman's voices.


An audio version of a story set during one of the most famous radio broadcasts of all time is the perfect pairing. I wouldn't hesitate listening again. Highly entertaining!

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Hoax within a hoax

Meticulous historical research as always. But this is the worst of the series. It is a hoax within a hoax and the worst hoax is on the reader. The only thing you feel after reading it is - why did I waste my time with this thing. Very disappointing.

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  • 12-08-16

Best One Yet

I have thoroughly enjoyed all of this series but this one is the best. I love that the author changes his style to match that of the featured author that is the protagonist. And the narration has been excellent throughout. But this narrator truly became the characters. I kept forgetting that Orson Welles and John Houseman are deceased and couldn't be actually participating. I'm really going to be sad when I finish the series and have no more to enjoy.

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It was free and I still feel tempted to return it

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The entire story was disorganized and did not meet the expectations given by the title.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

This story could have been organized with a clear point and clear characters. It had the promise, just no follow through.

What three words best describe Dan John Miller’s voice?

Better than Average.

Was The War of the Worlds Murder worth the listening time?

Probably not. I've been forcing myself to let it play through.

Any additional comments?

N/A

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Unique style

I love the Max Alan Collins Disaster series. This one is really good but just a bit different than the others. I will now have to listen to the actual broadcast of Orson Welles.

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Ran Out Of Heller Books Soooo...

Any additional comments?

I would highly recommend that before you read or listen to this that you first pick up the MP3 or Audible file of the actual radio broadcast of Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater from 1938. The two together are great fun.

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