[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/black_jack_justice_2572.jpg]]

->''"Once again Decoder Ring Theatre presents another page from the casebook of that master of mystery, that sultan of sleuthing, Martin Bracknell's immortal detective Black Jack Justice."''

One of several online {{Podcast}} series from ''Podcast/DecoderRingTheatre''. This one homages the "mystery noir" programs of the 1940s and 50s.

Jonathan J. Justice, also known as "Black Jack," is a PrivateDetective who, along with his associate, [[ActionGirl Trixie Dixon, Girl Detective]], solves cases for the modest fee of $39.95 a day, plus expenses. While they normally deal with mundane cases (most often watching spouses for [[YourCheatingHeart signs of disloyalty]]), they will frequently get wrapped up in much larger, and more dangerous cases, much to the annoyance of their [[FriendOnTheForce public detective friend]], Lt. Victor Sabien.

The series takes place shortly after the end of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, in an [[WhereTheHellIsSpringfield unidentified city in North America]], presumably further north than Chicago or New York (as going to either is considered going "down"). There are some strong hints that this city is in the United States, but as the writer and performers are based in Toronto, Ontario, this is not certain.
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This series contains examples of:

* ActionGirl: Trixie knows how to use a gun and solves as many cases as Jack does; Trixie is often the rescuer when [[BadassInDistress Jack gets himself into trouble]].
* ADayInTheLimelight: "Cops and Robbers"
* BadassInDistress: One of Jack's many talents is to get into trouble, try to get out of it and get saved by Trixie. Sometimes the roles are reversed.
* BadassNormal: Jack, Trixie, and Sabien
* BrainBleach:
-->'''Jack:''' I'm not the one that was making nice with Freddy's identical cousin.
-->'''Trixie:''' Don't remind me. I'll have to wash my imagination twice.
-->'''Herman:''' Freddy! Is Dolly your girl?
-->'''Trixie:''' Ugh... three times.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: Sometimes the [[PrivateEyeMonologue narrative]] is cut short because someone is wondering why the narrator hasn't spoken or has a weird look on their face. In one case, a very hung-over Jack actually concludes his monologue out loud. ("See what I mean? Oh, was that out loud?") In episode 51, Jack actually refers directly to the fact that it is episode 51 in his opening monologue.
* BreatherEpisode: "Much Ado About Norman" is a hilarious, easygoing misadventure sandwiched between "The Reunion" a twisted family piece, and "Dance, Justice, Dance", perhaps one of the most action packed episodes in the series.
* TheCameo: [[Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000 Mary Jo Pehl]] appears in "A Midsummer Night's Noir" as Anna Castle, star of an extraordinarily cheesy detective movie. Appropriately enough, Jack and Freddie spend part of the episode heckling the movie as they watch it.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: In the first episode the coffee is "not very good, nor very fresh," but in the very next episode Jack is a [[MustHaveCaffeine coffee expert who can and will go out of his way for coffee]].
* CityWithNoName: We never find out just the name of the city the series is based in.
* ClearMyName: Jack is often accused by Sabien (A detective in Homicide) for murdering whoever was murdered in the episode. ("Sabien ''always'' thinks ''I'' did it, and he always ends up with the right guy behind bars.")
* CowboyCop: Lieutenant Sabien ("As for our friend "Ricky..." Someone once told him cops played by the rules. Exceptions are a slippery slope, and he was about to find that out.")
* DarkerAndEdgier: Oh it's less violent and action oriented than ''Podcast/RedPandaAdventures'', but it's pretty clear that there isn't going to be much victory champagne to be passed around either. The city is full of mentally and physically scarred World War II vets, some of whom have turned to organized crime for greed or survival; there's murder, theft, and blackmail from the ivory towers to the darkest alleys to the quaintest suburban homes; And some cases like in "Justice and The Deluge" and "The Beefsteak Botheration" reveal just how terrible and crummy people can be. There are moments of levity, but it's a world where our heroes, the police, and the city undertaker, will never be too short of work; a world not of crusades but of everyday survival.
* DeadpanSnarker: Jack, Trixie, Sabien, and a lot of the one shot characters. [[WorldOfSnark In fact, most of the characters, recurring and one-shot, have traces of this.]]
* DetectiveDrama: The "Closed" variety. (Audience are as much in the dark as the detectives)
* DetectivePatsy: A couple of episodes showed a client attempting this.
* DoNotCallMePaul: [[InvertedTrope Inverted]]. Fredrick Josiah Hawthorne does not like Trixie's nickname for him("Freddy the Finger"). Of course, the fact that he's a [[LovableCoward coward]] and she's [[ActionGirl not]] prevents him from doing much beyond complaining.
* DownerEnding: "Justice and The Deluge", you know things are going downhill when Jack starts the episode bright eyed and chipper on a RAINY day.
* EmergencyImpersonation: One of Jack's clients, to whom he bore a passing resemblance, hired him to [[BodyDouble act as stand-in]] for a family "reunion." [[spoiler: Because of this, the [[InadequateInheritor family]], who wanted to [[PassedOverInheritance kill the client for his inheritance]], sent a hitman to kill Jack, instead.]]
* EvilTwin: [[InvokedTrope Invoked]] and then [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] in one episode. [[spoiler: [[InvokedTrope Invoked]] by their client's husband to explain away any crime someone might see him commit in ''The Problem of the Perplexing Pastiche'']]
* ExasperatedPerp: Jack will often use this method to both get his captors angry enough to make mistakes (such as blurting out the truth), and to delay them until Trixie can arrive.
* {{Exposition}}: The [[PrivateEyeMonologue monologues]] aren't the only way the audience is clued in as to what's going on... given, of course, that they can't really see anything. Papers will be read out loud, and the characters will explain what's going on, even if it might be obvious to someone already there. This is [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in some cases. ("Why do you say that?" "A strange compulsion for exposition?")
* FemmeFatale: Jack keeps falling for these. Luckily Trixie can spot them a mile away. Of course, Trixie herself fits the protagonist version of this trope (when she's not playing the ActionGirl), so it's no surprise that she can recognize them.
* FriendOnTheForce: Lieutenant Sabien is nominally this to Jack and Trixie, though the friendship is more VitriolicBestBuds than TrueCompanions.
* GenreSavvy: Surprisingly, Trixie more than Jack, even though he's been at it longer.
* GenreThrowback: It's a series by Gregg Taylor, that's all you need to know.
* GoshDangItToHeck: You like Christmas, right? So do the characters. It's an excellent expletive to use when something isn't going right. ("Aw, christmas!")
* HardboiledDetective: Both of them.
* TheHyena: Sabien, if the humor is black enough, and if Jack is suffering enough.
* IFoundYouLikeThis: Dorothy Evans found Jack outside her home after he was shot. She brought him in and nursed him back to consciousness. [[spoiler: Unfortunately, there was no time to bring him back to health, as her call for an ambulance tipped off the dirty cop that shot him in the first place.]]
* ImprobableAimingSkills: Sergeant Nelson isn't the brightest cop on the force by a long shot, but when it comes to a long shot, he can nail it with a ''pistol''. ("Handguns aren't much of a distance weapon, no matter what you might see in the cowboy pictures.")
* ImprovisedWeapon: Dot whams a dirty cop with a coal scuttle.
* InSeriesNickname: Jack used his nickname because it was good for business. [[spoiler: Jack earned his nickname by being sapped on a regular basis before the [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII War]]. ]]
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Trixie genuinely believes in the law, will seduce, fight, and sleuth her way to the truth... but is a tad unpleasant to be around. [[spoiler: ...except for those poor men to whom she has an interest in at the moment.]]
* JumpingOnPoint: The beginning of each season.
* KnowledgeBroker: Freddy "the Finger" Hawthorne is generally liked by the criminal element, on account that he usually serves as a lookout and will hold or move items on their behalf. A personal friend of Jack, he serves as an informant for the duo from time to time.
* LadyInRed: Trixie ("Hah, speechless. The day I couldn't do that anymore is the day I stop wearing the little red dress.")
* LampshadeHanging: As episode 47 "To the Manor Born" becomes more and more cliched, Trixie gleefully lampshades the living hell out of it.
* {{Leitmotif}}: Jack's [[PrivateEyeMonologue monologue]] is almost always supported by a simple bassline, while Trixie's usually features a more complex arrangement that includes a saxophone. The exception is sometimes at the beginning monologue for the episode (regardless of who tells it), which has its own arrangement.
* LovableCoward: Freddy "the Finger" Hawthorne, who is sometimes Jack's CowardlySidekick. ("Don't kid around about that stuff, Jackie! I'm a marshmallow, and you know it!")
* TheMafia: Jack and Trixie seem to take on, and ''take down'' a family or organization at least once a season. [[spoiler: (The Sullivan Mob and Chick Mason's organization, so far. Marginally involved with the downfall of Rocco D'Angelo's organization and the Giannelli Family)]]
* MustHaveCaffeine: Jack loves his coffee. ("Put the safety back on the Baretta, Trix. I died five seconds ago from a tragic lack of coffee.")
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Played straight with Rocco D'Angelo (aka "Rocky Angel", aka "The Angel of Death") and somewhat [[SubvertedTrope subverted]] with Marty "The Knife" Rand. [[spoiler: Marty got the name from peeling potatoes back in the army, and kept it because it was good for business. He did run an illegal gambling establishment, but so far is on good terms with Jack, who was his commanding officer in the army.]]
* NiceGuy: "Button-Down" Theodore West is the epitome of this trope.
* PenName: The opening identifies the author of the series as "Martin Bracknell," but the stories are actually written by Gregg Taylor.
* PrivateDetective: Jack and Trixie.
* PrivateEyeMonologue: The narrative normally jumps back and forth between Trixie and Jack. Occasionally, if one of the other recurring characters has a DayInTheLimelight (or Jack and/or Trixie are for some reason unavaliable for narration), they will get in on the act as well.
* RealityEnsues: It doesn't matter how big of a fish you are in the pond, bullets work just as well on you as they would anybody.
* RomanticRunnerUp: While he's never actually gotten anywhere with her (yet), Button-Down Theo does maintain a romantic interest in Trixie. She doesn't mind that so much because he doesn't press the issue beyond the occasional flirt, and because he's a "useful contact" at Braithwaite's, a rival, and much larger, detective agency.
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney: A few of their clients, a few of the people they face, even Trixie in one episode.
* ShellShockedVeteran: Jack was in Infantry during [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII the war]], as well as a number of the other men in the city; this helps the duo gather information from other veterans of the war, and it also [[TookALevelInBadass helped toughen him up from his early days]]. However, Jack doesn't like to talk about the war to those who have never seen it. Even his monologues don't go into much detail on the topic.
* Literature/SherlockHolmes: Most episodes have a least one reference to the detective, particularly one episode which was set in roughly the same time and location. [[spoiler: Of course, it was a DreamSequence brought on by exhaustion from lack of sleep due to the current case, and it [[IWasHavingSuchANiceDream kept getting interrupted]] by the telephone.]]
* SnarkToSnarkCombat: The majority of Jack and Trixie's conversations are either this, or back-and-forth banter where they're both snarking at a third party. Clients and police officers tend to react with confusion and/or annoyance (or in Sabien's case, barely-concealed rage and usually an order to quit the circus act).
* StockPhrase: At least once in every single episode, the agency rate is mentioned. ("thirty-five dollars a day, plus expenses") [[spoiler: Recently, this has been increased to $39.95/Day, plus expenses.]]
* TapOnTheHead: [[spoiler: Frequently being on the receiving end is how Jack earned his nickname, "Black Jack," before the [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII War]].]]
* TooDumbToLive: Sergeant Nelson can come across as this, though he does occasionally display HiddenDepths.
* TookALevelInBadass: Before [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII the war]], Jack would get sapped a lot[[spoiler:, enough to earn him his nickname]]. After the war, it became much harder to get the drop on him.
* VitriolicBestBuds: Jack and Trixie are a mix of this and PlatonicLifePartners. They're constantly sniping at and insulting, and trying to get the better of one another, and yet they stay together as partners and, when the chips are down, have each other's backs.
** Both of them collectively have over the course of the series developed this kind of relationship with Sabien. At one point Jack {{Lampshades}} this, musing that some days Sabien wants to get him arrested, other days they go out fishing together.
* WhereTheHellIsSpringfield: The name of the city Jack and Trixie call home has never been mentioned.
** Since the writers and performers are based in Toronto, Ontario, there is a possibility the city is in Canada, but the series has kept this vague enough to be based anywhere in the north-central part of the North American continent (within the temperate climate area, but not as far as the permafrost).
** So far, "The City" does not refer to Chicago, New York (whether it refers to the city or state is unclear), Ann-Arbor, Albany, Detroit, Ohio, and Arizona, as these places were explicitly mentioned in dialogue and/or monologue, describing where people or groups of people, are, came from, or went to.
** Episode 47 ("To the Manor Born") makes a direct reference to the protagonists being within the USA, but since the protagonists are well outside the city during this episode, it's not certain if "The City" is a US city, or if it is close to the US/Canadian border. No mention of border crossings strengthen the possibility of a US city.
* WholePlotReference: A few episodes as re-imagining of Literature/SherlockHolmes stories.
* WillTheyOrWontThey: [[AvertedTrope Averted]]. Jack and Trixie both have very strong alpha personalities; this causes a a lot of friction that prevents any romantic connection from forming. So much so, that both they and others have commented that they'd be more likely to kill one another.
* WithFriendsLikeThese: You'd think that Jack and Trixie would have gone back to working solo, considering just how much they seem to dislike one another, but they still remain partners. Of course, they also seem to enjoy bantering with one another, so it can sometimes be difficult to separate actual spite from cynical humor.
* WorldOfSnark: Basically, in this series you're either a DeadpanSnarker or a constant target for {{Deadpan Snarker}}s. Or both.
* YourCheatingHeart: Jack and Trixie are often hired to "get the goods" for husbands or wives who believe their spouse is cheating on them if, heaven forbid, there are any goods to be got.
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