Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: A Very Foul Play (2019) Movie Script

[gentle chiming music]
[suspenseful music]
[door creaking]
- Hello?
Anybody here?
[glass shattering]
[woman shrieks]
Edgar? Are you still here?
[woman gasps]
[woman screams]
- Misty, the power's back on.
Are you all right?
Misty! Misty!
[audience applauding]
- Thank you.
We'll have a short
intermission before resuming
with act two of our
murder mystery play.
Do you have your
suspects in mind yet?
And don't forget, we have
a special performance
of the play coming
up in conjunction
with our True Crime
and Mystery Conference.
Get your tickets now because
we are almost sold out.
Thank you so much.
[audience applauds]
[light music]
- If you were to
meet this young man
you'd think he was a great kid.
Straight A student, about
to start college. Pre-med.
You'd never suspect he could
bludgeon both parents to death,
leave their bodies
lying where they fell
and then use their
credit cards to finance
a trip abroad with
his girlfriend.
That's exactly what
this killer did.
It would be six weeks before
the police found the bodies.
Everyone who knew him,
they were surprised
when this young man was
arrested for the murders,
because he was so,
and I quote "Lovely",
according to a neighbor.
So how could he do it?
Well the psychologist
who examined him
later had an answer.
personality disorder.
Narcissists are
self-centered individuals
lacking in empathy.
- But they're able
to convince others
they're the nicest
people, right?
- Exactly.
Even in the midst of
committing unspeakable crimes,
narcissists weave
themselves a fantasy
in which they are such
incredible people,
they're entitled to
anything they want.
And they're entitled to
remove anyone in their way.
So how do we spot a narcissist?
Well, there are nine traits
to help us identify one.
[phone chimes]
- Oh, sorry.
My sister is expecting
her baby any minute now.
And she's on her
way to the hospital.
I have to go.
Sorry, Nick.
Hate to miss your first
talk for us a member.
So interesting.
- Text me a picture of the baby.
- I will.
Oh, Ro have a great time
at the True Crime and
Mysteries Conference next week.
- Oh, you're not going?
Because I just got
some brochures in
the mail if you want.
- I can't. New
baby in the family.
- Bye.
- Bye.
Please go on Professor Miller.
- Thanks. Now back
to the nine traits.
[gentle music]
- "From motive to murder."
What kind of conference is this?
- Oh, it's an annual thing
at a resort in the mountains.
For true crime
and mystery buffs.
There are authors, forensic
experts, all kinds of speakers.
- Ro said that guy who does
that great true crime podcast
was there last year.
- Oh yeah.
And so was the district
attorney who prosecuted
the Green River killer. So cool.
- Yeah. My favorite part
is the mystery theater
the first thing.
They kick things off with
a little who done it action
at the theater
next to the resort.
- Yeah. Real Murders members
get a big discount on rooms.
You should come Davis.
- I wish I could, but I got
a college reunion back east.
Unfortunately I'll have to
miss "Curating true crime
literature for libraries
with Aurora Teagarden."
- Wait, what?
Ro is a speaker
of the conference?
Oh boy!
- I loved your presentation.
It's almost as if you're
a professional teacher
or something.
- Yeah. Well the club members
asked a lot tougher questions
than the usual college freshmen.
- Well we know our stuff.
Although that's a new statistic,
about how many murderers
end up getting caught
because they told
someone what they did.
It's gone up.
- Narcissism has gone up.
Remember trait number eight,
excessive need for
praise and attention.
- Have I told you how
attractive you are
when you speak psychology?
- Have I told you how
much I'm looking forward
to getting out of
town next week?
- Just you and me
and 200 other true
crime and mystery buffs.
- You might've mentioned
you were a speaker
at the conference Ro.
- Oh, it was just
finalized last Friday. Why?
- "Investigating the
small town homicide
with Lynn Liggett Smith, Chief
of Police Lawrenceton PD."
You don't think
Lynn would back out
just because of Ro would she?
- I hope not.
We have two kids
under the age of five.
We need a vacation.
Like we really need a vacation.
[light music]
- Hey there.
- Hi.
- You about ready
to hit the road.
- Yeah.
I'm just getting my visual
aids together for my talk
and then I'm headed
over to get Sally.
- Your presentation is about
how you choose
library materials?
- It's much more fascinating
than you might think.
And I'm going to be talking
about how the police use grammar
and syntax to analyze writings
and identify suspects in
murder investigations.
- Anything you talk about
sounds interesting to me.
- Sounds deadly to me.
- Deadly? Hah.
Lilian that was funny.
Oh, you didn't mean it to be.
- So you ready to hold down
the fort for a few days
without Ro here.
- Sadly, I won't be here either.
But we'll be leaving the
front desk in capable hands.
- Yeah. Lillian's taking a
few days off to meet another
librarian friend she met online.
A male librarian.
- If you insist on
gossiping about me,
at least wait till I'm
not standing before you.
- Lilian, a romantic rendezvous?
- I wouldn't put it
in such course terms.
- Where are you meeting him?
- His hometown.
But that's all I'll say.
My private life is
exactly that, private.
- I think she's more
excited than she lets on.
Here, carry this?
- Sure.
I wish I was riding
up with you guys
but I'll be up right
after my faculty meeting.
Is Phillip going with you?
- No, he's going with my mother.
- You talked Aida into a true
crime mystery conference.
How'd you do that?
[light music]
- I thought this was a
librarian conference.
You said you were speaking about
curating library materials.
- Yes and you said that you
haven't had a decent vacation
in years and you could use
a few days in the mountains.
- Yes, surrounded by nice,
you know, quiet librarians
not murder and mayhem.
What is relaxing in that?
- Look around this place
Aunt Aida. It's beautiful.
What could be bad
about being here?
- You know, we could still
just cancel, you know
I can go home and spend
time with the kids.
- Honey, your mother wants
to spend time with the kids.
It's a free room.
It's a nice view.
- It's Aurora Teagarden,
every time I turn around.
[Arthur clears throat]
Oh and there she is before
we even get to the door.
- Lynn, who would have
thought we'd be speaking
at the same conference.
- Hello Ro, Aida and
Phillip, the latest recruit.
- Gee Smith, you
look like how I feel.
Taken hostage.
- Oh, come on now we're
all gonna have a good time.
It's gonna be fun.
- This really is beautiful.
- See, I told you.
Come on, let's go check
into the conference desk.
- All right.
We'll see you in a bit.
- Yep.
- You will never guess who I
just talked to. Robert Brown.
The author.
He wrote that amazing
book on the Lapidus case.
- Yes. That book was so good.
His research was stellar.
I'm gonna go tell him.
- All right. I'm
gonna go to my room.
- Linda. Hi.
- Ro. Welcome back.
Thank you for saving me by
agreeing to be a speaker
for that last minute
cancellation we had.
- Nice of you to
come to the rescue.
- Oh no. I was happy to.
- Ro, this is Robert
Brown, our keynote speaker.
- Yes. I know. I know.
I was about to
fawn all over you.
The behind the scenes details
in your book were amazing.
- Compliments, my trip's
been worth it already.
- Sorry to interrupt,
but the printer just
delivered our new signs.
Where should I put this?
- Right beside the desk is fine.
Tonight's mystery,
"A Very Foul Play."
We've been running it on the
weekends for a few months now.
Ro, as speakers, you and
Robert will play a part in it.
It's a conference tradition.
Speakers take over from
some of our regular actors.
And I think I see another
of our speakers over there.
- Yes. Our chief of
police Lynn Liggett Smith.
This is Linda, she owns the
murder mystery theater next door
and runs the conference.
- Nice to see you again Linda.
- Detective Smith and Chief.
Thank you so much for being
a part of our conference.
I have just the part for
you in our mystery tonight.
- Oh yeah. About that.
Acting is really not my thing.
- No, you'll make a
marvelous inspector.
You're already a detective.
- The audience
really gets into it.
Trying to guess the murderer.
- [Linda] Yes. Monica can
tell you everything you need
to know about it.
She joined our
regular cast recently.
- Can I be in it?
- Linda, my cousin Phillip.
- I'm like really
into mysteries.
- What do you think Monica?
Do we have a part for him?
- Well, Joe's always
asking for a night off.
He could take Joe's part.
- Awesome.
- But what we really need is
someone to play our matriarch.
Tamra's still sick.
- What about you, Aunt Aida?
I mean, you said you
were in plays in college.
- Yes. She's been in
several. I have photos.
- Oh no, no, no.
That was decades ago
and I have no interest
in being part of
a murder mystery.
- Oh, come on Aida.
We hostages need to
stick together. Right?
- Then it's settled.
We meet the theater at 3:00
PM for a quick run through
and then head back
for the show at ...
At 5:30.
I'll see you all at the theater.
- Oh looks like we
have all the weapons
from the game "Clue."
- You think?
- All right, you two,
we have to keep going.
Robert, could you put
those candlesticks
by the vase up there?
- Sure.
- Ro, when you hear your cue,
you will enter over here.
You don't have to
memorize your lines,
you can hold your script.
And Robert you'll enter through
here with Detective Smith.
And our grandam has
made her entrance.
Ellen Winthrop has
gathered the family
to name who will
inherit her fortune.
This play really revolves
around your character Aida,
So if you could just
project as best you can.
- Ah, word gets out that
I'm going to choose an heir.
And for once, no one is late.
- Wow.
- If I'm going to do it, I
might as well do it right.
- Bravo.
[everyone applauding]
- You sure I won't hurt you?
- No, it's rubber. See?
Although I'll act like you
just gave me a mortal wound
and pop a fake blood pack.
[Monica grunts]
- Ah.
Wow. You're good.
- Thanks.
- Monica. What are you doing?
- Brett, what are
you doing here?
- Broken up not even a week.
You already have
a new boyfriend.
- [Monica] Yeah. Well
and what if I did?
- Then there's something
wrong with you.
- Me? You're the stalker here.
- I'm here because my dad
made Linda another offer
and she turned it down.
- Well, she does that.
- Someone needs to tell her
she's going to regret it.
- Look, I don't
know who you are.
But I think you should go.
- Nobody cares what you think.
- [Lynn] Is there a problem?
- Mind your own business lady.
- Care to repeat that?
- No, I'm going.
Okay, I'm going.
- Thanks Chief.
Not that I couldn't
handle that guy, but-
- Of course.
- What is Brett
Stauberg doing here?
Is he harassing
you again Monica?
- He said his dad made you
another offer on the theater.
I don't know how you resist.
It must be a lot of money.
- I will never sell to
Boyd Stauberg. Never.
Now it's time to rehearse
your entrances. Let's go.
- Thanks for defending
me from Brett.
Chivalry isn't dead after all.
- Excuse me. I'm looking
for my girlfriend.
Strawberry blonde.
Incredibly cute.
Have you seen her?
- Nick, you made it.
- Hmm.
- Well?
- I like it.
[Arthur chuckles]
- What do you think?
- I think you're
having fun. Admit it.
Hey Nick.
You two will never guess who
just arrived at the hotel.
- Lillian.
What are you doing here?
- I'm trying to awaken
from this nightmare.
They didn't mention
this conference when
I booked my room.
Your conference!
- So this is the hometown
of your internet friend.
- Oh, I would have
left immediately,
but I haven't met Andrew yet.
Perhaps I should text him.
- Lillian this is a big resort.
I'm sure you can keep
away from all this.
- I'd still be covered in
the tacky film of crime.
I have to go.
- Beg your pardon?
Could you tell me
where the lounge is?
I'm supposed to be...
- Andrew?
- Well, you're even more
compelling in person
than your photo.
[both giggle]
This is my coworker, Aurora
Teagarden and her beau Nick.
They're here for the True
Crime and Mystery Conference.
- It's quite the event I hear.
- Yeah.
- You know, they say
the mystery theater
is an amusing place
to bring a date so,
we could go this evening?
- Oh, I don't think
Lillian would ever-
- I'd love to.
- Great. So shall we
enjoy a libation first?
- Oh yes. [laughs]
- I think Lillian just
met her soul mate.
- Love is grand.
- This should be fun.
- Yeah, I can't wait
to see Lynn up there.
- I intend to give Meryl Streep
a run for her money tonight.
- Has anyone seen Monica?
- Over there.
- Right.
Hey Brett? Is that your name?
You shouldn't have
come back here.
- Phillip, please, I got this.
- If he's bothering
you, then you should-
- You know she was
just using you earlier
to make me jealous.
- Stop.
And you, you don't need
to follow me around okay?
I can take care of myself.
- Monica wait-
- Leave me alone.
- Drama begins before
the curtain even rises.
- Phillip, are you all right?
- Yeah.
[gentle music]
- Take your places
everyone. It's showtime!
- Oh Lillian. Hi.
Come sit with us.
- No thank you.
- You wouldn't want all
of us on your date either.
[audience applauds]
- Thank you.
And welcome to the LB
Mystery Theater Company.
My name is Linda Bennett.
I am the writer and
director of tonight's show,
"A Very Foul Play."
[audience applauds]
Act One sets the scene
for a dastardly crime
based on a true story.
Before the curtain falls,
a body will be discovered
and our mystery launched.
We'll then have an intermission
and you can make your best guess
on who you think
the killer might be.
So pay very close attention
so you don't miss any clues.
Ladies and gentlemen,
"A Very Foul Play".
[suspenseful music]
- Stop dawdling Edgar, come in.
You don't want to
miss the chance
to inherit my grandmother's
fortune, do you?
- I don't know
why she picked me.
- She's eccentric.
You never know.
- Misty Fortune.
Of course you're
the first to arrive.
- Hello cousin.
- Wait. You're the famous
stunt pilot, Amelia Coldheart.
- Yes. I've broken more records
than any stunt pilot alive.
Of course there aren't
many left alive.
[audience laughs]
and you're Edgar Allen
Foil, Aunt Ellen's driver.
- I am.
But what I really want to
do is write mystery novels.
- You want to be-
[audience applauds]
You want to be a writer eh?
You should reconsider.
Ridiculous profession.
[audience laughs]
- Uncle Henry, who
is this you're with?
- An old friend,
Inspector Shirley Holmes,
private detective.
Now there's a profession.
- Ah, word gets out that
I'm going to choose an heir.
And for once no one is late.
- That's you.
- Oh, it's me.
- Would you pardon
me for just a moment.
- I notice a broken
vase on the floor
over there Mrs. Winthrop.
I hope nothing's amiss.
- No. Just a clumsy maid.
And where is Lydia, it's
time to serve the wine.
- I'll fetch it, Aunt Ellen.
- You're all doing such a great
job, especially your mother.
- Yes. I think she
missed her calling.
Why is Brett
Stauberg still here?
- He's like a bad penny
that keeps turning up.
But you have to
get back out there.
- Wine and cheese.
- You didn't bring a
knife for the cheese.
- I have a knife.
- I'd say that's overkill.
[breaker flips]
[Monica gasps]
- That's not supposed
to happen is it, Monica?
- Shh, the stage crew
should get the breaker.
- Is that supposed to happen?
- I don't know.
- What's going on?
[breaker clicks]
[tense music]
- Everybody stay calm.
- No. Something's wrong.
[switch clicks]
[audience applauds]
[foreboding music]
That isn't stage blood.
- She's dead.
[audience gasps]
[ominous music]
- We've had a
breaker flip before
but never during a performance.
I kept thinking one of the crew
would go back there to reset it.
I finally set it up myself.
- All right. Thank you.
- You do not have to answer
any questions
right now, Phillip.
- Oh, that's right. I'm
getting you a lawyer.
- Why? I didn't
do anything wrong.
- We know that.
But the police here,
they don't know you.
- No, I need speak
to them. We all do.
How else will they find out
what happened to Monica?
- We already know what happened.
Monica Swanson was stabbed
to death right there.
And you, Phillip Pifer
were seen by over a hundred
witnesses holding the knife
that likely inflicted her wound.
- I didn't kill her though.
[Aida and Ro both
speaking at the same time]
- Detective Reynolds.
Lynn Liggett Smith, Chief
of Police Lawrenceton PD.
I think that I can help here.
- I've been told
who you are Chief.
You don't have
jurisdiction here.
- I understand that I don't
have any authority here
but I really think I
can be of assistance.
- You, come with me.
- Phillip don't say anything.
We're getting a lawyer.
- Aunt Aida said her line.
I pulled the prop
knife from my pocket
like I was supposed to.
Then the lights went off.
I didn't know what to do
so I whispered to Monica.
"Is this supposed to happen?"
- Monica? The girl who
told you to leave her alone
in front of the whole cast
right before the show started.
- That's not what
happened. She was-
- Go back to what
happened on stage.
- I asked her if this
was supposed to happen
and I heard her say, "No."
- So you located her in the
dark, by the sound of her voice.
- You're making
a big leap there.
- You'll get your turn.
- I was waiting
in total darkness.
Then someone knocked into my arm
and made me drop the prop knife.
I reached down to find
it. I picked it up.
The lights came on and Monica
was lying there, with blood.
I didn't understand.
Her character wasn't
supposed to die
until the end of the act.
And the knife in my hand,
it wasn't the same one.
It was different.
- That's true.
I saw the prop knife in his
hand when the lights went out.
I heard some footsteps
go by me in the dark.
I heard something
fall on the floor.
- It's not your turn yet.
- Have you talked
to Brett Stauberg?
He was backstage lurking
all day, harassing Monica.
- Phillip never even met
this girl until today.
- It took them all of 60
seconds to get my name, number
and ask me if I'd seen anything.
- Same here.
"We're sending you
back to your room.
wait to be contacted."
- These people are not
impressed with my badge.
They won't let me go back.
And Lynn's not
answering her phone.
- Ro's not answering
hers either.
- Well, should we
wait here for them?
- They're pretty adamant about
us all returning to our rooms
and sitting tight until
they get our statements.
- I want to find out
what these three know.
- Okay.
- Thank you.
- I keep thinking it
must be a mistake.
That lovely girl.
- I still can't figure
out how it happened.
- Well, I'm determined to.
I can think of a
possibility or two.
- All right, Brett.
You want to tell me what
you were doing here tonight?
- I was waiting for Monica,
like I always did when
she had a performance.
- From what I hear you two
were no longer an item.
- We broke up and got back
together all the time,
everyone knows that.
- And yet, she loudly
told you to get lost
right before she went on stage.
- That's just her way
of teaching me a lesson
embarrass me or whatever.
- Linda and I saw him
walk towards the back
where the breakers are, just
before the lights went out.
- Yeah, I was leaving.
I was halfway to my
car, when I thought "No.
Monica asked me to come so
I'm gonna wait for her."
So I came back in
and that's when I saw her
lying here on the stage.
Everyone crowded around her.
- So you're saying Monica
invited you here tonight?
- Yes, she texted me. Look!
- Brett! Put the phone
back in your pocket.
- Who's that?
- Boyd Stauberg, the
bane of my existence.
- Mr. Stauberg, sir,
I'm gonna need you to
wait outside while we-
- Wait while we what Detective?
- Grill my son without
his attorney present.
- Dad.
I agreed to talk to him.
Someone killed Monica
and I want to help.
- You can help by
keeping your mouth shut,
going outside and
getting in my car.
- Now hold on.
We're not done here.
- We're well past done.
I understand you have
a kid, right here.
Seen standing over the victim,
holding the murder weapon,
yet, he's not in cuffs. Why?
No answer.
Okay. I'll call your
boss and ask him.
Brett, we're going.
[somber music]
- Read the kid his
rights. Put him in cuffs.
- No, no, no, no.
- You can't do that.
- Detective Reynolds, a
word in private first.
I would extend you
that same courtesy
if you were in my jurisdiction.
He's letting us take
Phillip back to his room.
- Oh, thank goodness.
- But he's assigning an
officer to keep tabs on him.
- You went out on a
limb for us. Thank you.
- They're telling
us we're free to go.
I'm scared.
And I have a conference
full of guests.
- I don't blame you
but we know that Phillip didn't
kill Monica, which means-
- The killer is
still on the loose.
[soft music]
- Since they asked
you not to leave town
until they get your statement
we can try again,
dinner tomorrow night?
- May I call you
and let you know?
I do know that I am
glad to have met you.
- You have no idea
how much I hate this.
That they suspect me.
- Come on, let's get
you to your room.
- It's going to be okay Phillip.
- Yeah. We'll
figure it out. Okay.
- Goodnight.
- Goodnight.
It was so dark in there.
I could only see dense shadows
but I know that
someone moved past me.
I could hear it. I felt it.
Phillip didn't do it.
- No one believes
Phillip did it.
- Well the police seem to,
they almost arrested him.
If it wasn't for Lynn...
We can't let them
arrest the wrong person.
We have to make sure they
catch the right person.
- Then that's what we'll do.
[solemn music]
- Aurora!
They just dragged
Phillip out of his room.
They're arresting him.
- What!
- Come on, let's go.
- Excuse me, Detective Reynolds.
What do you think you're doing?
- I'm doing my job.
- Ro.
- A job I should
have done last night.
- Obviously it's not right
that Phillip was arrested,
but I have to say, I get it.
- Yeah. So do I.
After a murder, the police
department feels a lot
of pressure from different
directions to make an arrest.
- Yeah. The mayor,
the district attorney.
To not arrest a suspect
seen by that many people
holding the murder weapon
it could be seen as a
dereliction of duty.
- No, I don't see how
going after an innocent kid
is helping anything.
It puts the focus
on the wrong person,
gives the guilty person
time to cover his tracks.
- I just talked
to Bubba Rankart,
he's arranged for a local
criminal attorney that he knows
to meet us at the
police station.
- See ya.
- Okay. So they've
officially announced
they've canceled the True
Crime Mystery Conference.
- Okay.
- Makes sense.
- I'm so sorry.
I was half hoping the
police would make me cancel,
when they actually did.
- Yeah, I'm truly sorry, Linda.
- I needed the revenue from
this conference to keep going.
Now I'm refunding
registration fees.
It's gonna ruin me financially.
Though I guess that
was inevitable.
The theater's already
having a slow season.
And now with the police
shutting it down completely
for the foreseeable future
I probably will have to
sell to Boyd Stauberg.
Boyd always gets what he wants.
- Linda I just. I'm so sorry.
- Thank you.
If you'll excuse me, I
need to help these people.
- Please let me know if there's
anything that I can to help.
- Thank you.
- I feel so bad for her.
- Well, I'm disappointed too.
Now I won't get
to hear your talk.
Tell me what author wouldn't
love to unravel the mystery
of how to get libraries
to order their books.
Not to mention that I'm sure
you would have been offering
some theories about
last night's murder.
- Yeah, well maybe next year.
I'll see you later Robert.
- Oh you will.
- I should meet my mother
at the police station
to see Phillip.
- Oh, I'll go.
I can put on my reporter
hat while I'm there.
See what I can find out.
- Okay.
- Good.
'Cause we need to go
see Boyd Stauberg.
- Yes. We need to find
out who really did this.
And right now he is an
obstacle, or a suspect.
Here are three, no
four different stories
about Boyd Stauberg and his
strong arm business tactics.
How he used the legal system
to push out a homeowner,
an allegation of bribes
to the zoning board.
- When the word ruthless
is in the headline.
- Look, I'm sorry, but
there's no way around it.
Brett's got to submit
to an interview.
- My son did not
kill Monica Swanson.
- Maybe not, but Brett had
a rough history with her.
He was at the scene.
He's got to answer
some questions.
- You have someone in custody.
- Because you went
crying to the mayor.
Look, I know you're trying
to protect your kid Boyd,
but don't worry I'm
not gonna railroad him
into a false confession.
I mean, frankly, I don't see him
pulling off a crime
that complicated.
- Hi, excuse me.
- May I help you?
- Yes. I'm Sally Allison
from the Lawrenceton Times,
I'd like to talk to
Detective Reynolds please.
- Sorry. He's not here.
- Do you know when
he'll be back?
- No idea.
- Do you know if he's going
to have a press briefing
about the murder that
happened last night.
- You can sign up for
press briefing alerts.
We send out texts with
details when we have them.
- Okay. How often is that?
- Once a week usually. I
really have to be going.
- Oh okay. But...
- Have they tried to talk
you into answering questions
without a lawyer present?
- No.
It's like they locked me up,
now they just keep walking
past me like I'm not even here.
It's weird.
- I think they know that
Phillip did not kill Monica.
They're just using him
as a sacrificial lamb.
- I know who can help.
Ro and the rest of
the Real Murders Club
members who are here.
- What?
If you had stayed away from
that group in the first place
you wouldn't be in this mess.
- I'm guessing you
don't like that idea.
- No I don't.
But I also know my daughter.
- We sat at a table on the
right side of the stage
and we got there just
before the show started.
- Did you notice anyone
suspicious lurking around,
looking impatient, waiting
for the show to start?
- No, no, nothing like that.
The curtain rose and they
were just a few minutes
into the play when
the lights went out.
Everyone seemed to think
it was part of the show.
- So you were both
sitting at the table
when the lights went off?
- Yes, that's right.
- Okay. Before we
start naming suspects
I think we need to talk about
how this murder happened.
- We know how it happened.
Monica, knife, theater.
- Yes. But was it planned?
Did someone turn the lights off
in order to carry
out the killing?
- Or did someone decide
to take advantage
of a circuit breaker
being tripped?
Do we know if the police found
prints on the breaker box?
- Oh, Detective Reynolds
isn't saying anything
about what they might have?
- No, I think it
had to be planned.
First there's the knife.
- Yes Ro, that knife
is a problem all right.
- [Ro] Arthur, take a seat.
- You all don't mind if
Lynn joins us do you?
- Oh.
- Lynn, we're
thrilled to have you.
On a temporary one-time
only basis I'm sure.
- Exactly.
- Detective Reynolds has
cut us out of the loop.
We're not sure if that means
he's compromised
by local politics.
- Oh I think he may be.
We overheard Reynolds
talking to Boyd Stauberg.
and it was clear that Boyd
has influence with the mayor.
- And how the investigation
is being conducted.
- Well, maybe like, like
Sally said, just this once,
it makes sense for us
all to work together.
Especially since Phillip
was wrongly accused.
- We really appreciate
your insights Lynn.
If the local police
are hindered in any way
from solving this crime.
- [sighs] You were
discussing the knife.
- Yes. There is no way that
someone could spur of the moment
come up with a real knife
to replace the prop knife.
- Let alone know the right
moment to shut down the lights,
commit the crime and
then make the switch
that set up Phillip.
- About that switch, if
Phillip had the prop knife,
then got stuck holding
the real knife-
- Then where'd
the prop knife go?
- Yeah.
- Detective Reynolds
is interviewing
everyone who was at
the theater that night
over at the station right now.
- They searched everyone
on stage, cast, crew.
They searched the
entire theater.
- Brett Stauberg wasn't onstage.
Of course he says he wasn't in
the theater when it happened.
- Yeah. But does anybody
actually believe that?
- [Ro] Did the police
question him too?
- Here we go, suspect
number one, Brett Stauberg.
- Brett has a clear motive.
He's a spurned ex.
And he's seen that
play numerous times.
He would know when
the right moment came.
Although he was genuinely
upset over Monica's death.
- He could have been upset
with himself, overdoing it.
- Or maybe he's upset because
he figured his father did it.
That's the guy who's at the
top of my list, Boyd Stauberg.
- Yeah. Boyd could
have grown tired
trying to talk
Linda into selling.
And we know that the
city already approved
his proposed plans
to turn the theater
into a luxury condo complex.
- How do you know that?
- Research skills.
- Well, it could be that
sabotaging Linda's theater
with the murder of the girl
who just dumped his kid
checked several boxes for him.
- But he wasn't at the theater.
- The guy's rich.
He could've hired
someone in the cast.
- Somebody who already
didn't like Monica-
- Okay, stop.
This is excruciating.
The real issue here is that
we know nothing about Monica.
We don't know who
was in her life,
who she got along with, who
she didn't get along with.
- Yes. But that would only
be the issue in connection
with the people who are on
the stage, in that theater.
- Then every member of that cast
has to be put on
the suspect list.
- Oh no, not Robert
Brown I hope.
He's such a good writer.
- Yes him and Linda Bennett too.
She was there.
- But does that make sense,
for her to sabotage
her own theater?
- Lynn's right.
If we knew more about
Monica, then we'd know who
would make sense to add
our list of suspects.
If this was our case-
- Lillian?
What is it?
- I think I might have another
name to add to your list.
My friend Andrew, at
the theater last night
he disappeared just before
the lights went out.
And just now when the police
asked him about it, he lied.
[somber music]
- Yes, I'm not from the
local police department,
but I'm doing some foot work
and it's come to my
attention that you-
- That I lied, when
I gave my statement.
I was afraid I wouldn't
get away with it.
- Hmm mm. Care to explain?
- After all I've heard
about your Real Murders Club
I guess I shouldn't be
surprised to see you here.
- Well, I'm
surprised to see you.
Did you know Monica?
- Me? No, but I am a true
crime writer after all.
Don't often get a research
opportunity like this.
Who knows, this case could be
the subject of my next book.
- But shouldn't we both feel bad
showing up at Monica's
mother's house.
- Where else are we
going to find her friends
and family all in one place.
- But now's not the time to
ask them a lot of questions.
- I haven't asked any.
I just stand and listen to
what people say about her.
[gentle music]
- What is Boyd
Stauberg doing here?
- The plot thickens.
- I'm sorry. Mr. Stauberg
is out at the moment
and I don't expect him
back until this afternoon.
- I guess we can come back.
Do you see what I see?
- [Arthur] That's
Monica Swanson.
- Excuse me. When
was this photo taken?
- Oh, that was at our company
retreat almost a year ago now.
- The woman in the
photo, Monica Swanson.
Why is she in the picture?
- Was she Brett Stauberg's date?
- That was before
they were dating.
Monica used to work here.
She was an intern
for Mr. Stauberg.
The photo further down is
after they started dating.
[phone rings]
Excuse me.
- I've got to talk to Linda.
[foreboding music]
- That's Monica's mother.
- I can't hear what he's
saying to her, can you?
- What are you doing here?
I told you what
was inappropriate.
- I just went back
to the theater.
- You did what?
- I have to talk to her mom.
Tell her how sorry I am now.
- How's that going
to sound, hmm?
Coming from the man she dumped,
the man that many
people think killed her.
- Who thinks that?
You said you believed me.
- Son, listen to me.
I know you didn't do this.
And if you hadn't gone
back there that night
no one else would
think it either.
- Monica asked me to go.
I have to tell her mom that.
- Brett.
- Wow, did not expect to
hear all that did you?
- Andrew, you gave me a start.
- You told your
friends that I lied
about not leaving the table
that night at the theater.
- Well, they're not
really my friends
and I haven't told
the police yet.
- I can't tell you how
much I admire you for that.
- You do?
- Yeah. Well, you're a person
of true moral scruples.
I'm obviously not.
- You're not?
- No, or I wouldn't have lied.
I was so embarrassed.
I get so nervous sometimes.
And my heart races
and I get lightheaded.
And that night I was just
so bowled over by you.
At the play I thought
I could sneak away,
do my deep breathing
exercises to calm down.
- Goodness. Why didn't
you say something?
- Why didn't I say something
to the police officer,
it's 'cause, 'cause you
were next to me and I,
Don't know. I didn't want
you to think I'm weak.
But I didn't realize
I'd be putting you
in such a such a moral quandary.
I mean that it would cause
you to think that I'm...
Can you forgive me?
- No.
- The last time they saw
Linda, she said she was headed
over to the theater to pick
up some files from the office.
- Maybe we can catch her there.
[suspenseful music]
- Hey, that's Robert Brown.
- It's unlocked.
- Well then that must mean
Linda is already in there.
- Where is he?
- Back there?
- I'll find the house lights.
- Robert.
[dramatic music]
- I have no idea how
that got into my coat.
- Aah!
[lights smashing]
- Ro!
- Are you hurt?
- No, no I'm fine.
- I'm sorry. I was startled.
I'm so sorry.
- Linda no! Fingerprints.
The prop knife fell
out of Robert's coat.
[tense music]
- I swear on my royalties.
I have no idea
where that came from
or how it got into my coat.
- And yet you almost killed
the person who saw it fall
out of your coat.
- That was an accident.
I told you I was startled,
first by the noise I heard
when I was grabbing my coat,
then by the sound of the
door opening behind me.
My adrenaline...
I just backed into
the wrong spot.
- I don't see why we
shouldn't give him
the benefit of the doubt.
- Thank you.
Now I haven't seen
or touched this coat
since before the
show the other night.
I left it in behind
the fly system.
- Have you been back in
this theater before today.
- No, I was trying
to avoid being here.
I just wanted to get what I
needed for my office and leave.
- If the coat was here
since the other night,
it would come up in your crime
scene photos wouldn't it?
- All right, what I want to know
is why you came
looking for it now.
- I heard the Stauberg boy
say he'd come by the theater.
So I thought if he got in, I
could get it, get the coat.
It's a $1,500 coat.
- Back up.
You're saying Brett
Stauberg came by here today.
- Yes, that's what
he told his father.
He was here.
It could be, he was the one
who slipped that
knife into my coat.
- Coming by here and
actually coming inside
are two different things.
- No one was supposed to be
in here, including my staff.
- That includes you too Linda.
- Brett must've come
inside because the door
to the theater was
open when I arrived.
- Well, I don't see how.
Unless well, Monica had a key,
I mean maybe he
got ahold of hers.
- Monica Swanson had
a key to this theater?
- Yes, several of my regular
cast members had a copy.
- So there are keys to this
place floating all over town.
Let's get this
dusted for prints.
See what we come up with.
In the meantime, you're
not to leave town
until I give you the okay.
- I'm not going anywhere.
- Detective wait.
I don't know how that prop
knife got in that coat
but I do know that my cousin
Phillip didn't put it there.
- Says who?
- When would he
have had the chance?
- We'll see how the
investigation plays out.
- No, you can't
keep holding him.
There are too many
other suspects
and not just Robert, there's
Brett Stauberg, his father.
You must know that
Monica worked for him.
- Like I said, we'll
see how it plays out.
Excuse me.
- Ro! Ro! Hold on.
We should call Lynn.
- Okay.
- I have to tell you again how
sorry I am to my clumsiness.
I hope you can forgive me.
- I don't trust that guy.
- Well, I knew Monica had been
an intern for Boyd Stauberg.
She told me it was a
miserable experience.
Said the only good
thing she got out of it
was meeting Brett.
Of course, that was before
she broke up with him.
- Did she say why she
ended things with Brett?
- Not really. We
weren't close that way.
But I heard them arguing once.
Brett wanted her to
go out for dinner
with him and his father.
She didn't want to go.
Said she couldn't even be
in the same room as Boyd.
- And what do you think of him?
- Boyd is not a good person.
Every building he's
put up is there
because he drove
someone out of business,
stole someone's dream
and now he's probably
going to get mine too.
- Why hire Monica when
you knew she interned
for someone working so hard
to put you out of business?
- You can't blame the rabbit
for wandering into
the wolf's den.
At least she managed to get out,
but I fear that might
be why she was killed.
Stauberg revenge.
Brett or Boyds, I don't know.
Maybe it's all the same.
I really have to
get back to work.
- Linda.
- Yes.
- How well do you
know Robert Brown?
- Very well.
We've been friends
for a long time.
- Has he attended
many of your plays.
- Yes. He's been to
the theater many times.
Why do you ask?
- Because I think he
may have intentionally
just tried to harm Ro.
- Hm, why would he do that?
- Let's let Linda
get back to work.
I am fine. Really.
- I know, that just scared me.
I really did not
want to lose you.
- The DA has agreed
to have Reynolds
give us regular updates.
- Thank goodness.
- And he agrees that the
case against Phillip is weak.
- They're going
to release Phillip
into your custody, Chief Smith.
- Finally reason prevails.
- That means you're
responsible for him
and for anything he might do.
- Sure.
- He's not going to do anything.
He never even did anything
wrong in the first place.
- As part of the agreement
Phillip is not to
leave the hotel
until Detective Reynolds is
satisfied he poses no threat.
- Fine. He's not going
to go anywhere, right?
- No.
[gentle music]
- Thank you, Mr. Watson.
Thank you.
- Oh, okay.
Yep. You're welcome.
- [Ro] Linda said that Monica
had only worked at the theater
for three months and
she wasn't friends
with anyone else in the
cast, but she was pretty sure
that it was Boyd or
Brett that killed Monica.
- Oh, I don't
think it was Brett.
He was heartbroken at
Monica's mother's house.
His father on the other hand.
- Is no one else
bothered by the fact
that Robert Brown had that
prop knife in his pocket
and he almost killed
Ro when she saw it.
- It was an accident I think.
- Well, I'm bothered, but
he didn't even know Monica.
What motive does Robert
Brown have to kill her?
- What motive indeed?
- Hi. I'm sorry.
I didn't...
I'm gonna go sit down.
- Ms. Teagarden.
I'm still feeling awfully bad
about what happened
at the theater.
- Yes. Well I'm still standing.
- I'm glad, but I'm
very shaken by it all.
I'm completely unnerved being
in the thick of a murder case
rather than a detached observer.
It's difficult not to
get carried away by fear.
- Oh, I feel for you.
- Thank you.
Maybe all this will shake
me out of my writer's block.
Get me back in the good
graces of my publisher.
- Well, that's a noble goal.
- Enjoy your meal.
You are not going to chalk
up what happened today
as Robert being clumsy, are you?
- Sally can't see his motive
to commit murder, but I can.
- Well, you can't believe
that he's doing all this
just to get material
for a new book.
- No. But remember my talk.
I can believe he's
a classic narcissist
capable of committing
unspeakable crimes.
[ominous music]
[light music]
- Hey, where's Lynn and Arthur.
We need to talk
about next steps.
- Well, they went for a
walk to get some fresh air.
- Fresh air sounds wonderful.
What do you say Phillip.
- Lynn said I can't
leave the hotel,
that I have to stay parked
here so she knows where I am.
- Oh, it's a briefing alert.
Police are actually gonna
give a press briefing.
I will call you after.
- Yeah. Okay.
- Hi Lillian. Bye Lillian.
- Bye.
- Well she didn't
stop and talk to you.
Do your friends still
think that I'm the one who-
- Oh no, I explained it
was a misunderstanding.
Please. Don't worry about it.
- Since you're
stuck here Phillip,
why don't you keep an
eye on Robert Brown?
If he comes out of his room,
keep track of where he goes
and who he talks to you.
- Nick!
He can't afford to
get any more involved
than he already is.
- I don't want to sit
with the word "suspect"
hanging around my neck either.
I need to clear my name.
- It's not a bad idea, mother.
There's no risk in Phillip
sitting there with
a book observing.
- All right, well then I'm
going to be sitting right here
with my book too.
- What are you guys going to do?
- I think it's time
we take another trip
to Stauberg Development.
See ya.
- At this time, we
are processing various
hairs and fibers
found on or near the victim.
But as the stage was full of
people contaminating the scene
we're not sure where
that will lead us.
- What about
particular suspects?
- No, we're not prepared
to discuss suspects yet.
I'm sorry that's all we have
time for at this moment.
We'll notify you as soon as
we have more information.
Thank you.
- But Detective Reynolds.
I have another question.
He didn't tell us anything
we didn't already know.
- Yes, sir. I'll let them know.
Mr. Stauberg had to go
down to the warehouse.
If you'd like to make an
appointment for another day.
- Well, do we really want
to keep coming back here?
- I mean, he's just going to
tell us that he hasn't seen
Monica since she
left the company.
I'm sure the police have
already asked you that,
if Monica has been back since
she left the intern position?
- Right, and the police
already know the answer
I'm sure they've asked a
bunch of people around here
the exact same question.
- Oh yeah.
They'd compare answers,
make sure no one lied.
- I didn't lie.
I told them that she was here
last week, that she always
brings some cookies from
this bakery he likes.
- You're not enjoying your book?
- Jail was more
interesting than this.
[suspenseful music]
There he is. Robert Brown.
He got some water.
That's it.
Now my battery's almost dead.
I'll have to go get my charger.
- Okay. Well I'll man your
post till you get back.
- Excuse me, Mr. Stauberg.
We need to talk to you
about Monica Swanson.
I was with her on stage
when she was killed.
- I've got business
to attend to,
but you're free to
make an appointment.
- No, this can't wait.
Now that we know Monica never
stopped working for you.
- Monica's internship
here ended six months ago.
- And yet she still showed
up here on a regular basis.
Brought you cookies?
Sounds like someone
kissing up to the boss.
- She's dating my son,
wanted me to like her.
- And yet she was
working pretty hard
to convince Linda Bennett
that she didn't like you.
I think that you told her to
get a job with the theater
and encourage Linda
to sell to you.
- And I think you have a
very vivid imagination.
- Oh I do.
I do.
And I imagine that Monica
might've grown tired
of playing double agent,
you know, tired of the whole
Stauberg bag of dirty tricks.
- Maybe she was
threatening to tell people
about your business practices.
Maybe the press,
maybe the police.
- You people are barking
up the wrong tree.
But be sure to tell
Detective Reynolds that one.
I bet he gets a laugh out of it.
[suspenseful music]
- Phew, didn't realize
how much I needed that.
Maybe we should bring the
kids back here sometime.
- Yeah, or maybe we could
keep it just for us.
- Oh, there you are.
Phillip's missing.
- What? What do
you mean missing?
- He went to his room
to get his charger
and then just never came back.
And now he's not in his room.
He's not in the restaurant.
He's not in the lobby.
What if the person who's
trying to frame him
for Monica's murder
came looking for him.
- Mother. Why is Phillip
texting me not to be mad at him?
- Wait, you've heard from him.
He's okay?
- He texted her 30 seconds ago.
- Yeah. All he said
was "Don't be mad."
- Wait, he just texted again.
- "I've taken a taxi to meet
Brett Stauberg at his house."
- What! He left the hotel.
After I vouched for
him, I gave my word.
- All right. Let's just
try and catch up with him
and we'll bring him back okay?
- Mother, Nick and I
will stay here with you
and I will try to
get ahold of Phillip.
I'm sure he had a
very good reason.
- Oh, he better have
an amazing reason.
- Remind me to never
get her mad at me.
[suspenseful music]
- Front door's wide open.
- That's not good.
- Really wish we
had our firearms.
- Hello? Phillip?
- [Phillip] In here.
- Phillip, are you okay?
- I checked. He's dead.
- It's one of the
candlesticks from the stage.
- [Lynn] Phillip, you
need to step away.
- Come on.
- [Lynn] Detective.
You need to slow down.
- [Arthur] Look
Phillip is a witness.
You heard what he said.
- [Lynn] Brett Stauberg
invited him here.
- Brett slipped a
note under my door.
He said he knew
who killed Monica.
And to meet him here
at this address.
- [Lynn] Yes, he left the
hotel, but he had a good reason.
- [Arthur] He saw Brett
running out of the house,
then went inside
and found Boyd dead.
- Enough.
I am not conducting my interview
with my suspect
in this driveway.
Now you need to leave,
go back to your hotel.
- There are security
cameras mounted everywhere.
It's not gonna be hard
to corroborate his story.
- If you say one
more word. Just one.
I'll have you in cuffs next
for interfering with
my investigation.
- We're not trying to interfere,
we're trying to explain
to you what happened.
- It's okay. It's okay.
We understand.
We will be available if
you have any questions.
Look we're going to call
the attorney Phillip.
It's gonna be okay.
- So you think Brett
killed his father
and is setting Phillip up
to take the fall again?
- We won't know
until Brett is found.
- I know the first
thing I need to find:
that note that Brett slipped
under Phillip's door.
- I never should have
let him out of my sight.
I knew he was so
determined to help us out.
- Well I think he was
making a noble effort.
- Noble yes, smart, no.
He never should've gone
to meet a murder suspect
all by himself.
- And who do you suppose
taught him moves like that?
- Phillip said he left
the note on the desk.
I don't see a note.
- Bed's made.
- Trash is empty.
- Housekeeping must
have just been here.
Excuse me. We need
to talk to you.
- We just want to
look in your trash.
- Is this the trash
from room 512 in here?
- No. You need to ask
the manager first.
- This is very important.
- Oh, what's this?
- No, you're gonna
get me into trouble!
- Yeah, but we just have to
find one little piece of paper.
- Stop! This is
against the rules.
- Aurora!
- Oh, I'm sorry.
I did not mean to upset you.
- Very, very, very sorry.
- So we'll take this note
to Detective Reynolds.
That'll prove that Phillip
was telling the truth.
- I'll call the lawyer and
tell him to meet us there.
- And hopefully we can convince
Reynolds to treat Phillip
as a witness and not a suspect.
- A very unlucky witness.
- Oh, we know the police
are looking for Brett.
- Oh, Oh, I completely
forgot to tell you.
So I grilled a reporter
at the press briefing
who knew Monica.
He told me that Brett used
to take her to this one
particular Stauberg
Development construction site.
They'd bring wine and food and-
- A construction site?
That's an interesting
place for a date.
- Apparently it was really
scenic and romantic.
- A romantic construction site?
- Well it's more like
somewhere he would go to hide.
- So how do we find a list of
Stauberg construction sites?
There's probably at
least a dozen of them.
- Well, they would've
had to file permits
with the city before
any construction
and the best place to
search the city's database-
- The library. I'll go.
I need a quiet place to
work on my story for Macon.
- Okay.
- Okay.
- Book Browse. Erudit.
Must be nice to have
a big city budget.
May I help you?
- Lillian?
Well, I hope he didn't quit our
library and take a job here.
- Oh, I'm simply watching
the reference desk for Andrew
while he takes books to a
patient too sick to come in.
- Oh, well, if I'm not mistaken
a non-employee behind the
desk is against the rules.
This new romance
of yours Lillian
has turned you into
quite the rebel.
Don't worry. I
won't tell a soul.
I just need to take a look
at the city permit database.
Do you think you
could help me out?
- Yes.
- Hey Ro.
Hi. Yeah, this is taking
longer than I thought.
It seems that this database
is only searchable
by permit number.
- How many have
you found so far?
- [Sally] Five.
- Well, what kind of information
does it give for each site?
- Well, there's a lot
of technical stuff.
- Does it give any kind of
description for the development?
- Let me see.
Yes. Yes.
I have an office building, a
shopping mall, wedding venue.
- Wait. A wedding venue?
That's romantic and scenic.
Do you remember
the picture we saw
of Monica and Brett at
the Stauberg office.
- The one where it looks
like they're standing
in front of some kind of
chapel that's being built.
- Yeah. The scenery was gorgeous
and there was a sign
in the background.
It was something terrace.
- Woodlands Terrace.
- [Ro] Yes, that's it.
- Yeah. I've got it right here.
It was completed
about a month ago.
- Okay. Send me that address
as soon as you can, Sally.
- You got it.
- And there's Phillip
getting out of the taxi.
Just like he said he did.
I think someone intent
on committing murder
isn't going to arrive
in a taxi, do you?
- And there's Brett
Stauberg leaving in a hurry.
- Oh Phillip, if only you
wouldn't go in the house.
- Seems this video along
with the note found
in Phillip's room
corroborates his story.
- To the letter.
- Yes. And his prints were
not on the candlestick
used to kill the victim.
- So you can let him go?
- Well, I can't hold him for
the murder of Boyd Stauberg
but that doesn't mean
I should let him go.
- Come on.
- It's for his own protection.
Look, we got a killer out
there who likes leaving
Phillip behind to
take the blame.
I think we should
look into why that is.
And since I can't trust Phillip
to stay put in the hotel,
I'd like to keep him
here a little longer.
- Can we fight that decision?
- We can.
- But he's hoping you won't.
- He'll at least be safe here.
I'll call it a processing delay.
- [Brett] I knew
someone would find me.
Did you call the cops?
- Yes, but we were hoping
that you would tell us
what happened to your father.
- Karma, I guess.
- [Nick] Did you kill him Brett?
- What? No.
He was lying there
dead when I got home.
I thought he'd be at work.
- Why did you ask Phillip
of all people to meet you?
- He has no idea what
it's like living here.
My dad, everyone's
afraid to go against him.
Monica thought that this
Phillip guy was okay.
Seems dumb now to think
that he would be able
to help me figure out
what to do about...
My dad was so mad at me
for going back to the
theater that night.
I knew that meant that he
was probably the one who-
- You believe your
father had Monica killed.
- I don't want to believe it.
But he told Monica, he gave
her this big job at the company
if she could get Linda to sell.
And then she started
to like Linda
and suddenly she got all mad
at my dad for pushing her.
That's why she broke up with me.
She lumped me in with him.
I think she threatened my dad.
Like said, she'd go to the cops
if he didn't leave her alone.
And my dad, he doesn't let
that type of stuff slide.
- Who do you think he
got to do it Brett?
- There was this
guy, an accountant.
He cooked people's books.
He was in prison for awhile.
My dad helped him when he
got out, he gave him money.
He made him respectable
in exchange for favors,
accounting usually,
but sometimes...
- Sometimes what?
- I don't know.
You'd never suspect this guy.
He, he seemed like
a straight arrow.
He got a new name, a new job.
- What's his name?
- Now? Andrew something.
He works at-
- At the library.
[suspenseful music]
- Your friend's
been here a while.
- Oh, I wouldn't
call Sally a friend.
More of an acquaintance.
- She's searching for
construction permits
for Stauberg Development.
What would she be doing that?
- Oh, probably something to do
with that horrid murder case.
She and her friends
are never happy
unless they're
neck deep in muck.
[phone vibrating]
Andrew you're acting nervous.
- Would you mind keeping an eye
on the desk a little longer?
- I'm not sure that
I'm comfortable
breaking the rules again.
- Andrew's last name
isn't Wakefield.
He was in prison for six years
for various white
collar crimes related
to his former career
as an accountant.
- His cellmate once
worked with Boyd Stauberg
and introduced them.
- And the police believe
Andrew killed that young woman
for this Boyd person
while I sat at the
table waiting for him.
- They believe that his
date with you was a cover
for being at the theater, yes.
- It seems he used you again
to cover the reference desk
while he went to kill Boyd.
He was clocked in the
whole time. Perfect alibi.
- And the police believe he
committed this other murder?
- Well, they're still piecing
together their evidence.
Although his fingerprints
aren't on the murder weapon
and the security
camera at the back
of the Stauberg residence
had been disabled.
- But Brett said that's
one of the favors
Andrew would do for Boyd.
He'd arrange for
former prison buddies
to do things like
disable CCTV cameras.
- You're telling me I aided
and abetted a cold-blooded
killer, but I just can't
believe that of him.
I can't believe he
would take another life.
- I'm so sorry, Lillian.
- So it turned out to be
the mild-mannered librarian
no one would have suspected huh?
Not exactly a
riveting character.
Maybe he has an interesting
background to mine.
[pensive music]
- All checked out.
Oh, and don't be surprised
if the next time you invite
me on a trip I say, no.
- Well, since the
conference got canceled
I have to come back next year.
- Oh, at least I've time
to talk to you out of it.
We'll see you in Lawrenceton.
- Bye guys.
- Drive safe you two.
- What are you thinking?
- About Lillian. Just
feel so bad for her.
- Yeah. It'll take her
some time to trust again.
- I don't know.
She's always so sure
of our own opinions
which is why it's bugging me
that she's so certain
Andrew can't be guilty.
- Hi Ro, Nick, have
you guys seen Robert?
- He was here a
little while ago.
- I was packing up my
boxes from the convention
for next year and
I came across this.
It's a manuscript. I'm
sure it belongs to him.
- Well, why don't you just
leave it at the front desk?
- Good idea. [laughs]
I should head back to my office.
I've got hundreds of
online orders to process.
It turns out having
a real murder happen
in a mystery theater
is good for sales.
- Well never underestimate
the lure of true crime.
- Preaching to the choir.
Of course. Right when
I'm in such a hurry.
- Oh Linda, it's okay.
We're not in a rush.
I will drop this
at the front desk.
- You are saving me again.
Look forward to seeing you
at the conference next year.
And I'm guessing we're
going to have a lot
more people attending.
[pensive music]
- Aurora Teagarden are you
reading a writer's manuscript
without his permission?
- Mm hmm.
- So what is it?
Is it a draft of
Robert's new book.
- I need to get this
to Lynn and Arthur.
And I also need my computer.
I need to do some digging
into Robert Brown's past.
- I just want to go on record
that what you're planning
is not a good idea.
- Nick, remember what you said
in your talk at Real Murders.
Narcissists who kill have
the need to tell someone
how smart they are.
- But it doesn't need to be you.
It could be me.
You know how often my
students confess things to me.
- All right, here I
am. Let's hear it.
- Aurora received a manuscript
box from Linda Bennett
who said she'd found
it here at the resort.
She assumed it belonged
to Robert Brown.
- Robert Brown?
- It's the story about
a murder of an actress
who's stabbed to death
in the middle of performing
at a mystery theater.
After the lights
unexpectedly go out,
with a knife that's
picked up by another actor
who ends up getting the blame.
- Then a real estate
developer gets bludgeoned
to death in his own home.
- So Brown has been writing
about everything
that's been happening.
- This is 400 pages long.
There's no way it was written
in the few days
since the murders.
- Which means these
killings were planned
for weeks before they
were carried out.
- This manuscript is a blueprint
for premeditated murder.
- So how does the story end?
- It doesn't. It's unfinished.
- We found a set of fingerprints
on the candlestick that was
used to kill Boyd Stauberg.
They match the set of prints
that we found the other day.
- Let me guess Robert Brown.
- So that's it then.
- Here's the thing.
I don't think Robert
Brown is guilty.
- What?
- But I think I know who did
kill Monica and Boyd Stauberg.
I just don't have proof,
which is why I need you
to put a wire on me so I can
get the killer to confess.
Are you sure you
can't see anything?
- No. I'd never guess
you wearing a microphone.
I don't see why I can't do this.
- Because you're
not a librarian.
You don't speak the language
of books and authors.
- I'll be listening
the entire time.
If it all goes south, you
can count on me. Okay?
[knocking on door]
[suspenseful music]
- Hi Aurora.
- Linda.
Thank you for meeting with me.
- I was happy to. What
can I help you with?
- I need to talk
to you, about this.
- Okay sure. Come on in.
[ominous music]
I didn't think I was going to
see you again until next year.
- [Ro] Well I didn't
feel right leaving
until I knew what to do
with this manuscript.
- [Linda] I've made us
some tea. Let's sit.
- [Ro] Thank you.
- [Linda] I thought you
were gonna leave that
at the front desk for
Robert to pick up.
- I was, until I realized
that Robert didn't write it.
- Oh, I just assumed.
I found it in the main
ballroom where Robert
had all his materials sent
for his keynote speech.
- Did you read it?
The manuscript?
- No. I just glanced in the box.
Did you read it?
- Well, it was hard not to
after you dropped it
right in front of me.
- I felt bad about leaving you
and Nick to pick it all up.
Cream and sugar.
- [Ro] No, thank you.
- So, why do you think
it isn't Roberts?
- For one it's fiction.
Robert writes
nonfiction, true crime.
- Hmm. Well, he did tell me
that he was having a hard time
finding the right case
to write about next.
Terrible case of writer's block.
Maybe he decided to
try a hand at mystery.
- How'd you know, it was a
mystery if you didn't read it?
- What else would
Robert write about?
- She's doing a good job.
- You called Robert
a dear friend.
He must have been if he confided
his writing troubles to you.
- We go pretty far back.
- At least a decade right?
In fact, when you dated.
Oh, I'm a librarian.
I know how to do an image
search through archived files.
And something tells me that
while you may be friends now
your romantic relationship
didn't end well.
Only a bitter breakup would
make you try to pass off
that manuscript as Robert's
and try to frame him for murder.
- I don't know what
you're talking about.
If it's not Robert's,
it's someone else's.
Three other writers were going
to speak at the conference.
- I'm a librarian.
Do you know how many
times I've helped students
run their assignments
through grammar software?
I can use that same software
to compare grammar and syntax
to match the author of a
paragraph, a page, a book.
And the writer of this is
the same writer as this,
"A Very Foul Play"
by Linda Bennett.
You dropped that manuscript
in front of the
wrong person, Linda.
- That wasn't the plan.
I was going to leave
it in Robert's room
so that the maids could find it.
But then you had to
hunt down Brett Stauberg
and he had to point
to the wrong person.
Andrew Wakefield is not the
one I wanted to bring down.
So, I had to accelerate my plan.
I picked the person
most likely to be nosy
and want to read
that manuscript.
I see I've underestimated you.
You've also underestimated me.
- We have to get
her out of there.
- I'll take the stage entrance.
- We'll take the front.
[tense music]
- You came in here to confront
me, knowing I used the match
to this candlestick
to kill Boyd Stauberg.
- That's how you got
Robert's prints on it.
You had him carry
those candlesticks
up here during rehearsal.
- That's right.
You see, I don't let
anyone stand in my way.
Not Monica Swanson
with her hidden agenda.
Always undermining me,
trying to get me to sell.
Not an entitled bully
like Boyd Stauberg
who was trying to rob me of
this theater and my legacy.
And certainly not Robert Brown,
who, the minute
he tasted success,
he just dumped me like
yesterday's garbage.
Not you Aurora Teagarden.
- Linda locked it
after they went in.
- Luckily I got a key.
- You are not
going to undo weeks
of planning and effort and risk.
- Ro!
- Back here.
I'm wearing a wire Linda, the
police have heard everything.
- Then I've got nothing to lose.
[tense music]
- Ro!
- Up here!
[tense music continues]
- Right there.
- I don't have a clean shot.
- You need to get up there.
- There's nowhere to run.
[Linda groans]
- Ro! Ro! I got her. I got her.
- You okay?
[light music]
- There they are!
- Oh thank goodness
you're all right.
Oh, what were you thinking?
Wearing a wire to
confront a killer.
- You promised you
wouldn't tell my mother.
- I didn't.
I told Sally thinking
she could come back here
and help me talk you out of it.
- Well, and I told Aida
because you didn't expect
me to worry all by myself.
- Well as you can see I'm fine.
- Yeah you are.
I wasn't worried.
Well, not that much.
I knew you'd get what
the police needed.
- Yeah, she got that and then
some, she was incredible.
- I have to say Ro, that
was some helpful work.
- Thank you, Lynn.
And I have to say,
you'd make a great member
of the Real Murders Club.
- Yes, she would. But she won't.
- Oh no.
This out of town adventure
doesn't change
anything back home.
I expect all of you club people
to stay out of police business.
- Yep.
- Had to tear myself away
from my computer to thank you.
I was told it's your
sharp eye that saved me
from taking the fall for
Linda Bennet's crimes.
- Never giving up on
the truth is important.
- So is truth and
accuracy in writing.
In fact, I was wondering
if the good detectives here
might have a few minutes to
give me the law enforcement view
of the case, which will be
the subject of my next book.
- Oh, sure yeah, we can do that.
- Why not?
- I wonder what's going
to happen to Andrew.
I'm sure he's in
pretty hot water
over what he did for Boyd.
- Oh yeah, the police will
definitely be questioning him
especially after
what Brett said.
At least I can tell Lillian
that Andrew wasn't the
killer when we get home.
- That sounds so nice. Can
we all finally go home?
- I just have one last thing
I'd really like to do first.
- Okay.
- Why did you wanna
bring me back here?
Wait, you're not about to-
- Not yet.
But I would like you to
take in the surroundings
just to get used to the idea.
So what do you think?
- Oh, I could definitely
get used to the idea.
[upbeat music]