A murder in Los Angeles County fuels ‘Unlicensed’ podcast’s fictional mystery

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After taking their listeners on a supernatural journey through a fictional desert town on their previous podcast, “Welcome to Night Vale,” this writing team is now using the real neighborhoods around Los Angeles for a new detective noir series.

“It was really fun to get to write a mystery. It was a brand new challenge for us and I’m hoping we’re able reach a new audience,” said Jeffrey Cranor, who along with writing partner Joseph Fink launched their latest podcast, “Unlicensed,” earlier this month with a pair of Hollywood actors voicing the lead roles.

“We’re just really excited for people to get to listen to this story that I think turned out better than I ever expected,” Fink added.

Fink and Cranor launched the “Welcome to Night Vale” podcast a decade ago. It was based in a surreal desert town and focused on conspiracies and strange, supernatural happenings. The series reached more than 300 million downloads and was published as a series of novels in 2015.

“Unlicensed” is the duo’s first new podcast since and it takes listeners in a very different direction from their previous work.

“It definitely falls under a thriller, L.A. noir. It’s dramatic and has elements of humor and quirkiness and strangeness, but it is set in a realistic world unlike our first podcast,” Cranor explained.

The 12-episode series, which can be found on audible.com and the Audible app, follows Molly Hatch, a character voiced by Molly Quinn, who previously starred on ABC’s “Castle.”

Hatch is recently divorced, two years sober and not sure what direction her life will take next. On a whim, she decides to answer an ad to be an assistant to a private investigator based in Azusa. The private investigator is Lou Rosen, voiced by Lusia Strus, who has appeared in films like “50 First Dates” and TV shows like TNT’s “Claws.”

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