The folks over at InnerTube noted the uncanny similarity between the real-life conflict between attorney-turned-pseudonovelist Robert Tanenbaum and his ghostwriter cousin Michael Gruber and a classic episode of COLUMBO.
Had this been a plot for a Television show, Tanenbaum would have shot and killed
Gruber before he had the chance to reveal the secret to a reporter from The
Romantic Times. (Okay, so maybe it wouldn’t have been much fun for the
familiar? It’s the plotline for the first episode of ‘Columbo’ as a series
(third ‘Columbo’ outing overall if you count the two pilots). "Murder By The
Book" starred Jack Cassidy, who would have been the Tanenbaum-type character,
and Martin Milner as the Gruber stand-in.
Not that he ever had murder in
his heart, but Tanenbaum sounds like he would have made for the perfect
antagonist to Lt. Columbo. He was not only a lawyer and (alleged) author, but
also a teacher and a mayor! It sounds as if his social standing would have been
quite a formidable challenge to the attempts by the shabby, fumbling little
detective trying to investigate him.