Burlesque producer Sam Packer is found dead of an apparent heart attack but he leaves behind a video to be shown at his funeral in which he states that no matter what it looks like, he will be murdered. Packer, in the video, asks radio mystery star Simon Brimmer to solve his murder. Packer's widow, knowing that Simon can't figure out his butt from third base, goes to Ellery and asks for his help.moreless
Journalist Susan Alexander hires Jim to help her prove that Dave Kruger is innocent of the murder of his wife Cheryl ten years previously. On the way to the prison Susan reveals she was almost forced off the road by a mysterious car. Jim is set to quit as he does not do bodyguard work and he is unarmed, much to Susan’s surprise. Jim meets Dave and questions him, convinced Dave has hooked Susan and had someone try to kill her to keep her interested, but Dave places Susan’s safety over his own freedom. Jim and Susan meet Sergeant Becker, who finds that the original case file has gone missing – which spells a conspiracy. Susan takes Jim home, but someone shoots at the pair. She shows Jim the transcript of the trial, and they meet with his lawyer Newcomb, who is in a retirement home after suffering a stroke. His memory is puzzled about the case, claiming Cheryl’s mother offered to file an appeal that never happened because she died. They visit her last address and posing as an estate agent and buyer meet her niece Shirley Atwater, who will not sell. Posing as Assistant Coroner’s they meet Patrick Elber, the original Coroner from the case who did the autopsy on Cheryl and her mother (a strange coincidence). Returning to Shirley’s they find she has been killed, and the police reveal she was actually Cheryl Wilson, who was said to have been murdered by Dave years before… Dave’s innocence is now proved, but who killed her? The trail leads to her cousin Roy Piece who is partners with Elber for the insurance money. Going to the boat slip, a high-speed boat chase ensues to catch the real killers…moreless
A wealthy heiress dies. She jumped off the balcony of her elegant home (or did she?). Was it suicide... or was it murder? The twist: she was reading one of Ellery's own murder mysteries at the time and she died exactly the same way as the victim in the book.moreless
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