Remington Steele (1982) s01e07 Episode Script

Etched in Steele

Charlotte? Are you married to Charlotte Knight? [Man] Look at her.
She's inspirational, isn't she? - [Women Shrieking] - [Crowd Chattering] Charlotte Knight killed her husband.
- I'm Remington Steele.
- Oh, my goodness.
Mitchell Knight didn't fall in a drunken accident.
Mitchell Knightjumped.
I know whoever wrote the third book killed Mitchell Knight.
- How do you know that? - I can smell it.
- I don't know who did it.
- What? What do you mean, you don't know who did it? You always know who did it! [Laura] Try this for a deep, dark secret The great detective Remington Steele? He doesn't exist.
I invented him.
Follow I always loved excitement.
So I studied and apprenticed and put my name on an office.
But absolutely nobody knocked down my door.
A female private investigator seemed so feminine.
So I invented a superior a decidedly masculine superior.
Suddenly, there were cases around the block.
It was working like a charm.
Until the day he walked in with his blue eyes and mysterious past.
And before I knew it he assumed Remington Steele's identity.
Now I do the work, and he takes the bows.
It's a dangerous way to live but as long as people buy it I can get thejob done.
We never mix business with pleasure.
Well, almost never.
I don't even know his real name.
Charlotte! Charlotte! I know you're listening to me, Charlotte.
Hear me.
I've just read the new manuscript.
What do you want me to make of it, Charlotte? [Man] You know I can't stand still for this.
I won't.
It's as simple as that.
Charlotte.
Charlotte.
! Eleven o'clock and the phone hasn't rung.
Nobody's waiting in reception.
Laura! It's been this way for a week.
Happens every year this time holidays, peace on Earth, goodwill to all men.
Nice thoughts but it really raises havoc with the balance sheets.
Laura, a 10-letter word for "lexicon"? - You look it up? - Course I did.
Dictionary.
How long does this usually last? Till after New Year's.
Have to give everyone's resolutions time to wear off.
What I wouldn't give for a nice, juicy murder.
- [Gulps] - What? [Gasps] [Bernice] "Seen about town Famous sleuth Remington Steele "and publishing kingpin Russell Forsyth.
Can a Remington Steele book be far behind?" - He writes? - When I get through with him he won't be able to read! Where is Dostoyevsky? Chapter One It was the best of times.
It was the worst of times.
Shouldn't that be, "It was both the best and the worst of times"? - Really? - Mm.
Yes.
You're quite right.
- Much more economical.
- [Knocking] - How dare you! - [Chuckles] I, uh I feel the creative juices ebbing.
Perhaps we should call it a day.
- Who is Russell Forsyth? - Russell Forsyth? A most successful publisher and a man of great taste.
He's asked me to write a book.
Mm-hmm.
"Remington Steele's Hmm.
Planning a career in fiction, are we? [Chuckles] Correct me if I'm wrong, Miss Holt but I sense a certain lack of enthusiasm on your behalf.
You haven't had You haven't had 10 cases! Really, Laura, this preoccupation with details I'm going to tell you something listen to it, think about it digest it, try to remember it.
You are not Remington Steele.
I made him up.
You are playing a part for me.
I want you to pick up that phone, call Russell Forsyth and tell him you've had a change ofheart.
- Or shall I? - A book by and about Remington Steele could create a demand for the agency's services where people have never even heard of us before.
Imagine branches in New York, Paris, London.
Why, we could end up in shopping malls.
Think of it, Laura whole families going to the mall buying sneakers, picking up snow tires, leaving clues.
- Dial.
- As it happens Russell's invited me to a party this evening.
I'd truly hate to spoil the frivolity with business talk - but if I must - You must.
- What time will you be picking me up? - Oh.
So, who else is going to be at this party? Actually, it's being held to celebrate the completion of a new manuscript by Charlotte Knight.
- Charlotte Knight.
- Mm-hmm.
Have you ever read any of her books? Every thigh is "creamy white.
" And every breast is "full and heaving.
" Men don't caress their women.
They "seize" them.
And people don't meet and fall in love.
They have "zipless" encounters and disappear into the night.
How quaint.
Sounds as if you're quite a fan of this Miss Knight's.
Well, no, no, no.
No, I've You-You - I've never actually read any of her books.
- Of course.
- I've just heard about them.
- Mm-hmm.
- Reading is such a chore.
- Yes.
[Doorbell Chimes] Do you see him yet? I don't want to waste a lot of time on this.
Laura, I do think we should wait for an opportune moment.
- I just don't want you beating around the bush.
- Bush beating? Me? - [Scoffs] - Steele! Do keep in mind that these people think you work for me.
See you took me up on my invitation.
Does this mean you're serious about my proposition? [Laughs] Russell Forsyth.
Laura Holt, my most valued associate and an integral part of whatever arrangement we finally agree to.
- Agree to? - Oh, that's another conversation.
I'm just thrilled that both of you came.
Now why don't you go nosh, drink, and then when you're under the influence - I'll come back, and we'll hammer out a deal, okay? - [Both Laugh] - I don't think he got the message.
- Don't think so.
- Just a second - [Slurred Speech] Remington Steele? - Yes.
- Oh, this is a treat.
When Russ told me you might be coming My wife Charlotte reads about you all the time.
- Hmm.
- Charlotte? Charlotte Knight? Are you married to Charlotte Knight? The man behind the woman.
Not what you expected, huh? - Well - Mr.
Knight.
Laura Holt, my associate.
Very much the woman behind the man.
- It's a real pleasure.
I've read all of - Really? Don't be embarrassed.
Nobody admits to reading Charlotte's books.
But they sell three million copies.
Listen, I realize this is hardly the place to discuss business.
But I wonder if I can impose on the two of you to step out on the balcony with me? - [Knight] Thirty-five floors up.
- [Laura] Beautiful.
- Magnificent.
- Idiotic.
Living 35 floors up in Los Angeles But Charlotte adores it.
Look at her.
She's She's inspirational, isn't she? Sometimes I sit for hours just watching her move the way her body rises and falls when she breathes the way it glistens when she perspires.
The man with her is Tony, our gardener.
Can't let the lawn go when you're 35 floors up.
Last year, she wrote him off on our taxes as "research.
'" Good thing I'm not the jealous type, huh? Have you heard about the new manuscript? Between us, I don't think it quite measures up to the first two.
But then, they can't all be gems, can they? I suppose not.
The reason I asked you both to come out here I think I might have a little something you'll find interesting.
As you know, my wife is a famous author with a reputation for writing shall we say, provocative literature.
My wife's first book, Twice Nightly, a work of fiction? Hardly.
The first four years of our marriage.
My wife's second book, Bated Breath? The second four years of our marriage.
The new book, Prone Positions? It's an erotic thriller.
- You know what it's about? - One can only imagine.
It's about a woman who kills her husband.
Mr.
Steele.
Miss Holt.
- I'm concerned.
- Erotic thriller? Husband murdered? May I ask how? He's thrown off a 35th-floor balcony.
Magnificent.
Can we go in now? You think I've had too much scotch.
I saw it with my own two eyesneatly typed right there in black and white.
Mr.
Knight, if you're truly afraid your wife is planning to murder you Leave? Leave Charlotte? I couldn't do that.
I can't leave her.
And she can't leave me.
We're supposed to be a team, you know.
Then how can we help you? That is, if you're asking for our help.
You're right.
Maybe this is premature.
- Yeah.
- Well then I'm sorry to have bothered you.
- ¢Ü¢Û¢Ü¢Û[Jazz] - [Chattering] I do hope you enjoy the party.
I suspect it may prove to be quite revealing.
What an odd little man.
It's hard to believe that he is married to her.
The secrets that bind two people together what a confounding mystery.
I don't like this place.
I don't like these people.
Why don't we just find Russell Forsyth tell him the sad tale of your writing career and get out of - [Man Screaming] - [Women Shrieking] - [Man] What happened? - [Chattering] [Chattering Continues] [No Audible Dialogue] [Chattering] I don't think this is the opportune moment to discuss business.
So, you're the famous shamus, eh? Dennis Baker, Charlotte's agent.
- Laura Holt, uh, my associate.
- Hello.
Quite an evening.
You two know Mitch well? Actually, we met him for the first time tonight.
- He seemed very - Drunk? That was Mitch.
People would see Charlotte on television, say to themselves "What I wouldn't give to spend a night next to that.
" But it takes its toll.
Like owning Fort Knox you're so busy guarding it, you can't enjoy spending it.
Mitch.
Stupid fool, never could hold his liquor.
He would have had to be a fairly athletic alcoholic in order to fall over that railing - don't you think? - What are you getting at? She'll be all right.
Tony's with her.
- Does everybody know everybody? - Aren't either of you concerned? Mitchell Knight just died in a manner identical to the one his wife described in her new book.
I'm sorry, Miss Holt.
You've lost me.
You mean to say there is no scene of a man falling 35 floors to his death in the new book? In Prone Positions? I wish there was.
That sounds great.
In the book, the people are so busy jumping on each other that nobody has a chance to fall 35 floors.
Here's a copy of the manuscript.
Read it if you can.
I was in the navy, and I blushed.
I see a look in your eye.
Does that mean you know something that we should? Forgive us, gentlemen.
Uh, Miss Holt and I deal in death daily.
Occasionally our imaginations tend to run away with us and we tend to look for treachery where there clearly is none.
Gee, that's too bad.
A little treachery could have gone a long way this evening.
I'm not opposed to calling your book, "Remington Steele's - 11 Most Famous Cases.
'" - Russ.
! They haven't even hosed Mitch's blood off the sidewalk.
You wouldn't negotiate the deal, Dennis? About that, uh, book [Pained Yelp] Yes! Won't it be wonderful? Remington Steele's book.
Who knows? Maybe someday he'll even have his own cartoon show on Saturday mornings.
[Sighs] Look at that! It's already twice its normal size.
We really must develop a more practical signal for you to use - when you wish to silence me.
- You can smell it, can't you? Oh, my humblest apologies.
I suppose your feet have no odor.
I mean the murder.
- Murder? What murder? - The murder of Mitchell Knight.
So that's why you tap-danced on my toes last night.
You didn't want me to cancel that book deal, because you wanted to keep your hand in in this ridiculous murder business.
Charlotte Knight killed her husband.
Laura.
Mitchell Knight fell.
He was highly intoxicated.
Did you see the look in the man's eyes? He was seeing shows that aren't listed in the TVGuide.
She wrote about it, made it part of the new manuscript described every detail, then made sure that her husband saw it made sure it sent him running for the bottle.
And then Charlotte waited waited until she had plenty of witnesses to see just how drunk Mitchell was.
Then she did it.
She pushed or coaxed him over the side.
Laura, Russell Forsyth told you.
There is no such murder in the new book.
I said she was cocky, not an imbecile.
Once Mitchell had read that scenario it would be foolhardy to keep it in there.
It certainly would make things easier if we could find that scene.
Laura Laura, you haven't been listening.
There is no scene, because there was no murder.
I have an idea.
Business is slow.
Why don't we close down for a week or two? Perhaps all four of us could go away somewhere the Caribbean.
How about it? - I've got work to do.
- Work? What work? We don't even have a client! Wanna keep it down in here? There are people trying to sleep in the next office.
Murphy, I'm glad you're here.
Charlotte Knight.
Russell Forsyth.
Dennis Baker.
Find out everything you can about them.
Take it from me, Murphy.
Don't waste your time.
Laura.
Will you agree that if there is no death scene, there is no murder? Nothing personal.
But all I've got is time.
- What are you driving at? - I'm gonna get every single scrap of paper - ever written by Charlotte Knight.
- How're you gonna do that? - My mother Mrs.
Steele? - Yeah? Always taught me, it never hurts to ask.
I'm also gonna pick up four tickets toJamaica.
Pack light.
[Doorbell Rings] Charlotte Knight? I'm Remington Steele.
Oh, my goodness.
You are, aren't you? Let me just get rid of a couple of things in here We'll have a chat.
Okay? Hmm.
It certainly is wonderful of you to see me now.
Especially now, in your hour of grief.
Grief.
Right.
Let's be honest with each other, Mr.
Steele.
It must be more than apparent to you that I an far from devastated by Mitchell's passing.
I had noticed a certain casual indifference.
I just assumed you were putting up a good front.
[Laughs] Really? Isn't that sweet.
Don't misunderstand.
I'm not made of stone, Mr.
Steele.
I loved Mitchell.
I loved him very much.
It just wasn't the love of a woman for her man.
Am I making myself clear? As a bell, Mrs.
Knight.
As a bell.
What's the matter? Do I make you nervous? Let me tell you why I'm here.
[Clears Throat] Perhaps you've heard.
Russell Forsyth has asked me to write a book.
[Giggles] Isn't that thrilling? - We are going to have so much in common.
- Yes.
Well I was just wondering, if I'm not being too personal I don't think that's possible.
Just how do you do it? Do you mind repeating that question? How do you do it? Do what? Write.
What kind of a question is that? "How do I write?" I write, uh, wonderfully.
No, no, no, no, no.
[Laughs] I mean, uh do you use a pencil and paper or do you type? Do you know what every chapter is gonna be about before you put it on paper or or do you make it up as you go along? That really is why you came here, isn't it? [Chuckles] Huh.
[Sighs] [Doorbell Buzzes] I just want to make this clear from the outset that I think this is a terrible waste of time.
Good to see you too.
Brought popcorn and diet soda a little salami, cheese You really want to spend an evening doing this? - Bring on the papers.
- Uh-huh.
[Chuckles] I never knew you wore glasses.
I don't.
Got 'em in college when I had a crush on my calc professor.
Thought it would make me look brainier.
- Mm.
Did it work? - [Laughs] Wouldn't you like to know.
All right.
Let's read.
Not read.
Listen.
Charlotte Knight doesn't write at all.
She dictates.
- Dictates? - Into one of these a tiny tape recorder.
Works on batteries.
That way, wherever she is whenever an idea strikes - And all these are - Each one is a chapter.
- Chapters.
- Shall we begin? Let's.
[Charlotte] Chapter Seven.
He couldn't get over her.
Velvet thighs and a crimson smile Well, no one's jumping out of windows in that chapter, are they? "Velvet thighs"? Oh, my.
Shall we, uh, press on? - You know what I mean? - Yes.
By all means, press on.
- [Recorder Clicks] - And he stood thereall ofhim.
His body was a dare a dare she decided to take.
- What say we break out the salami? - [Giggling] What is it you think you're protecting me from? Who? Me? Protecting you? Why, I wouldn't presume to do such a thing.
[Food Wrappers Rustling] - Remember the calc professor? - Mmm? - The glasses worked.
- Did the trick, did they? Mmm.
So why don't you turn the tape back on, and let's get this over with, okay? - Okay.
- [Recorder Clicks] And at that moment they knew more about each other than either had thought possible.
They didn't need [Voice Deepening] Words, only time and each other.
[Deeper] First one rung and then another.
And then he reached it her window.
And it was as if she had known.
- Hmm.
- For just the slightest [Muttering] Batteries.
[Man] Barely enough for anyone on the street below to see anything.
- [Gasps] I'll be out in a minute, Mother.
- Listen.
[Man] His face pressed to the glass - Disgusting.
- No, no! Listen, listen! - [Man] And he watched her - Sounds like Mitchell Knight.
Day after day, studying her the way her body would rise and fall every time she took a breath the way it glistened when she would perspire.
It is Mitchell Knight.
He wrote the books.
Where does that leave us? Nowhere near the Caribbean.
[Knight On Tape] And he watched her, day after day studying her the way her body would rise and fall every time she took a breath the way it glistened when she would perspire.
As I was explaining to my associate, Miss Holt.
I'm sure there's a logical explanation for all of this.
From these tape recordings, it would almost appear that Mitchell Knight is the writer.
Steele.
Stop it already.
It's not necessary.
You got us.
Mitchell is the Mitchell was the writer.
We had this machine made.
He could dictate and then, when you played it back on a regular machine the voice was higher sounded like a woman.
Hopefully, like Charlotte's.
So, you got us, Steele.
- Damn, you're sharp.
- [Chuckles] Then you didn't write any of the books? It was Mitchell.
It was all Mitchell.
I represented Mitchell Knight for 17 years.
If he made $3,000 a year writing, it was a banner year.
Then, seven years ago, I sent Russ Mitch's manuscript for Twice Nightly.
It left a stain on my fingers.
Garbage.
Pure garbage.
I read the first 35 pages and threw it away.
But that night I went to a party.
Dennis was there, Mitch was there and so was his new wife, Charlotte.
Remember that night, Charlotte? Charlotte did everything she could to persuade me to purchase her husband's manuscript.
Oh, we spent a lot of time together.
She could go on and on.
She'd talk about that character and this character and didn't I like this little plot twist.
And it worked.
I was entranced.
Out of his mouth, it sounded like pornography.
But, out of her mouth, it was erotica.
Charlotte was a natural for the talk shows very visual.
It seemed like a wonderful idea.
So you created a fictitious person to sell the books to the public.
Which brings us to a rather delicate point in the conversation.
Charlotte Knight is more than just a lady who writes acceptably dirty books.
She's a whole industry.
Loose talk could put an awful lot of people out of work.
Look, isn't there something we can do to help you see your way clear to, uh forget all this? Does it matter? Does it really matter whether or not the Charlotte Knight that we see on television or read in the magazines is the same person who writes the books? Of course not.
What's important is the myth.
I've heard a rumor that Thomas Edison didn't really invent the lightbulb.
Some man who worked for him did.
And for that matter, William Shakespeare a lot of scholars don't think he really wrote all of those plays.
But does that matter? What matters is what gives the public pleasure.
And iflonely people all over the world prefer to think that this beautiful, sensuous woman writes those vividly evocative books then I say, what a beautiful secret to be asked to keep.
I think you can rest assured Mr.
Steele and I understand your problem.
Better than you know.
However, we're still left with one unfortunate complication.
- What's that? - Mr.
Steele is convinced - that someone murdered Mitchell Knight.
- I am? [Clears Throat] Convinced.
Convinced.
Am I really? Absolutely.
Positively.
- May I ask why? - I can still smell it.
Of course you can.
- Any calls? - Ha! - Would you like to know what I think? - About the murder? About you.
You know what you are? A workaholic, that's what you are.
No! Really? Terrible vice.
You ought to try it sometime.
It just drives you crazy that there are no mysteries to solve no clues to ponder, no suspects - to, uh, suspect.
- Ha! Speak for yourself.
I have a mystery to solve.
I have clues to ponder.
I have suspects to suspect! Oh! Yes, indeed! Nothing frightens Laura Holt like a little time on her hands! Oh, heaven forbid that she has a second to stop and think and feel and perhaps perhaps actually get close to some of the people she works with! I heard fighting, so I knew Mom and Dad were home.
Murphy, in all the time that you have known Laura have you ever come into this office and found her sitting here doing nothing? - No, I can't say that I have.
- Because you haven't.
Because she's always doing something.
Because she's always thinking.
- Because she's always making little lists! - Get out of my office! Check her top drawer.
I bet it's chock-full of lists.
- I'd really rather not.
- Out! - I bet you're one of those people who never forgets a birthday.
- Can I go now? I bet you know what clothes you're gonna wear to work the day after tomorrow.
- That's it! I'm going.
- That's it, is it? That's it, then.
Go! Go! Go home! You'll probably do something useful like line your shelves! - Darn your stockings, huh? - [Whistles] Laura, Laura, Laura, Laura, Laura Wait.
Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.
Last chance.
Go away with me.
- What about the case? - Laura, there is no case.
- How can you say that? - In order for there to be a case, there has to be a mystery a circumstance, an occurrence that remains unexplained.
- Who told you that? - You.
Mitchell Knight fell - He was drunk as a skunk in a funk! Next case! - You're wrong! About Mitchell Knight or about you? I know Charlotte will be upset that she missed you.
- Oh - Do you know what you're looking for? Uh, well, physical, um - uh, evidence.
- [Chuckles] Got ya.
I, uh, just find it hard to believe that a man would trip and fall over a 31/2-foot wall.
Ever since Mitchell Knight's death, I've-I've had this feeling.
That people are keeping things from you.
That, uh, all is not as it appears to be.
That there's a deep, dark secret somewhere.
Pick a cliche, any cliche.
Thank you for letting me look around - and tell Charlotte I'm sorry I missed her.
- I'm sorry.
Now listen, I, uh I've never met a female private investigator before.
I was just trying to be funny.
Harvard isn't known for turning out comedians.
- You went to Harvard.
- Well, somebody's got to.
Now don't be so quick to run away.
How often do you meet an Ivy League gigolo? Is that what you are? A gigolo? Well, that's what some people like to think.
Like I said before, "Whatever gives the public pleasure.
" I'm not the public.
Then I'm not a gigolo.
I graduated with an M.
F.
A.
In 1977.
I wrote a novel for my thesis"Lamplight.
" A mutual friend introduced me to Charlotte and, uh, she's been something of a mentor.
And matter of fact, she's persuaded Forsyth to publish "Lamplight.
" And I've been living here revising it for the last six months.
How did Mitchell feel about that? [Chuckles] Mitchell didn't feel much of anything.
Mitchell was pickled most of the time.
Actually, he read the book, was moved by it.
Uh.
I don't think it was his cup of tea.
In my book, when two people meet, they talk.
This thing is really under your skin, isn't it? Mitchell Knight's death? I suppose I react to a mystery the way you do to a half-written chapter.
I've been known to simply throw the first half out.
Are you suggesting I throw away my questions about Mitchell Knight's death? I'm suggesting that you're asking the wrong questions.
You're right.
Mitchell Knight didn't fall in a drunken accident.
- He didn't? - But he wasn't murdered either.
This may be difficult for you and me to appreciate.
But in his own mind, Mitchell Knight was a very accomplished man.
Except, absolutely no one knew it.
Can you imagine what it must have been like working very hard, but having someone else win the plaudits? Miss Holt, the answer to your mystery is very simple and also very tragic.
Mitchell Knight jumped.
[Doorbell Chiming] [Doorbell Chiming] - I realized you were right.
- You were right all along.
- Of course there's a case.
- There is no case.
What? [Knight] Prone Positions, Chapter One Okay, okay.
Chapter One.
Damn, damn, damn! - What am I supposed to make of this? - The Shining.
- What? - Did you see The Shining? Did anyone see The Shining? Jack Nicholson plays a writer who agrees to become the caretaker at a lodge that's inaccessible all winter long.
Unfortunately, he falls victim to cabin fever, becomes a stark raving loony.
He wanders around with a hatchet and does a lot of jokes about The Tonight Show.
You see everything, don't you? At one point in the film, he sits down to write.
The camera slowly circles him as he types, and then we see it.
All he's written is one line, over and over again.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
" He was blocked.
He couldn't write anything else.
So maybe, just maybe, our ghostwriter had a ghostwriter.
- Exactly.
- That doesn't change the fact that there's no motive for killing Mitchell Knight.
All those people stood to lose by his death.
Don't you see? You were right all along.
But, Laura, I know there's a case here.
Based on what? Based on this tape? Okay.
He was blocked.
Maybe they even hired someone else to write the third book.
- What does that prove? - It proves they didn't tell us everything.
These people These people are creating fictions foisting frauds on the public exploiting talented underlings for the aggrandizement of a figurehead who contributes nothing but a winning personality and good looks.
Trust me, Laura.
It's my area.
And that's why you think there's a case? It's more than that, much more.
I know whoever wrote the third book killed Mitchell Knight.
- How do you know that? - I can smell it! - So we have no motive.
- The motive depends on the guilty party.
It's important that we remain flexible, Laura.
- No suspects.
- Oh, on the contrary, three Russell, Dennis, Charlotte.
- Any one of them could have done it.
- Or not done it.
- Exciting, isn't it? - In fact, we really don't have a case.
Nonsense, Laura.
If I've learned nothing else from you I've learned to trust your instincts.
You smelled a case.
That's good enough for me.
But I don't smell it anymore.
That's because now I'm on the scent.
- [Doorbell Rings] - [Sighs] I'd love to know how you were able to get Russell, Charlotte and Dennis together.
Well, Steele, it's about time.
The man calls and tells me he wants to nail down his book deal.
Asks if he gets a party like the one I threw for Charlotte.
I put it all together and invite over the world and what happens? - The man is a half hour late.
- [Laughs] Yes.
Yes.
- Playful little bugger, isn't he? - Mm-hmm.
Could I have everybody's attention, please.
- Now the reason I've asked all you freeloaders here - [Laughing] Aside from the fact that I keep hoping that you'll return the favor someday is that I'd like you to meet an exciting man who's going to be writing his very first book for Forsyth House.
I guess it's no secret.
The man is Remington Steele.
And the book, "Remington Steele's Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you so much.
I, too, am excited at the prospect of sharing my most, uh exciting and intriguing cases with the reading public.
Take for instance, the case of the late ghostwriter.
It's about a writer who falls [Guests Murmuring] What the hell are you doing? About 20 minutes.
Depends though.
This looks like a tough room.
It all started at a party a party very much like this one.
and so I quickly deduced whoever it was who wrote the third book also murdered the ghostwriter.
Suddenly Suddenly, a baffling mystery fell into place.
For there was but one person who fit the bill.
A woman who longed for the day she could enjoy all the spoils ofher fame and not have to share them with the man she regretfully regretfully called her husband.
The woman who, in fact, wrote the third book then pushed her husband off the 35th-floor balcony to his death hoping to bury the secret of his ghostwriting forever.
I am speaking, of course of none other than Charlotte Knight! [Guests Murmuring] All right.
I didn't write the books.
Shoot me.
But I also didn't kill my husband.
Mitchell made me who I am.
Mitchell made me Charlotte Knight.
Without Mitchell, I was nothing.
Besides, if I could have written the third book I could have written the first two too.
That makes sense, doesn't it? [Murmuring] Of course it does.
Which is why I quickly dismissed Charlotte as a suspect and turned my attention to a man who had been part of this charade all along! The man, in fact, who had negotiated the unprecedented film and paperback deals on the third book an especially important negotiation because he knew he would receive the lion's share of the money since he, in fact, authored the third book.
I am speaking, of course, of Dennis Baker.
- Are you crazy? - Ha! I didn't kill Mitchell Knight.
Mitchell was one of my closest friends in all the world.
Which is why I didn't negotiate the deal on the third book.
If he wasn't writing it, I didn't want anything to do with it.
You didn't negotiate the deal on the third book? So I certainly didn't write it.
Of course you didn't.
The man who wrote the third book didn't need an agent.
He would only be negotiating with himself Russell Forsyth.
[Murmuring] This is not going to bode well for your next book deal, Steele.
Knight was sick and tired of writing under his wife's name.
He wanted to go public.
Expose the whole fraud to the world! Write under his own name.
But you couldn't allow him to do that.
Because you knew Charlotte Knight was Forsyth House's biggest success.
So you wrote the third book, then killed Mitchell Knight to keep the secret, hmm! The day before he died, Mitchell Knight signed Charlotte's name to a brand-new three-book deal, Steele.
- He did? - He was thrilled about it.
- He was? - Sure! His block was broken.
He couldn't wait to get back to the tape recorder.
Really? [Clears Throat] Uh, would you excuse me for a moment, please? [Guests Murmuring] - All right.
Who did it? - Who did what? Laura, I seem to be missing the final pages of this chapter, and an awful lot of people are waiting.
- I need an ending, fast.
- I don't have an ending.
I don't know who did it.
[Shouts] What? It's all right.
It's all right.
Nothing's wrong.
[Chuckles] I'll, uh I'll be with you in a minute.
What do you mean you don't know who did it? You always know who did it! I told you.
I didn't think there was a case.
You think I would've dragged us all the way up here accused all these nice innocent people of murder made a blooming idiot out of myself if I didn't think that when everything went awry you'd be there to jump in? I don't ask for much, Laura.
[Exhales Sharply] Uh, ladies and gentlemen, my associate, Miss Holt has, uh, pointed out to me that I would be doing myself and Forsyth House a huge disservice by divulging the ending to this case at this particular time.
[Groans, Chattering] - However, I do pledge to you, the answer to this crime - [Typewriter Keys Clacking] Shall be contained in the pages of my new book and I encourage you to go out and buy a copy and discover for yourselves the solution to this fascinating mystery.
The solution to this fascinating mystery.
[Crowd Chattering] - Feeling pretty low, huh? - Mm-hmm.
Why don't we just sign those book contracts then and call it a night? Do you really think Forsyth is gonna want to publish my book now? - You're still Remington Steele.
- Mm.
Tony, darling? Could we borrow your typewriter? Russell has some final clauses to type into a book contract.
I heard you typing away in here.
Couldn't you spare even a minute for the party? Deadline pressure.
Making revisions.
- A lot? - Well, one big one and then a lot of small ones that were affected by the big one.
All right.
Let's get this all down in a memo.
Does anybody here type? The only Remington these nails have ever touched didn't have keys.
Miss Holt type [Groans] You don't have to tell the whole world.
[Chuckles] Never could type.
But surely, someone All right.
Sixty-five words per minute.
Fire when ready.
Didn't Mitchell Knight say the scene he read describing his death was neatly typed? Yes.
Not dictated.
Typed.
Which would explain why there are no tapes at all for the third book.
Tony wrote the third book, didn't he? Yes, indeed.
Tony wrote the third book.
[Chuckles] What does that prove? These people were in a jam.
The stores expected a book for the holidays, and there was no book.
So we made a deal.
They promised to publish my book if I wrote their book.
They also promised not to tell anyone that I wrote it.
I'm a serious writer.
I have my reputation to think of.
[Chuckles] Mystery solved.
Case closed.
The case of who wrote the third book, perhaps but not of who killed Mitchell Knight.
[Chuckles] Laura, I thought we'd been through this.
No one killed Mitch.
Certainly not me.
What possible motive could I have had? With Mitchell out of the way, you would write the Charlotte Knight books.
Could be worth millions.
Me, write sleazy Charlotte Knight novels for the rest of my life.
I'm a serious writer, Steele.
Of course you are.
Here you are, finally about to get your novel published.
- Is that why you killed him? - What? He said it would be a revealing evening.
Mitchell Knight planned to tell, didn't he? Walk out into that party and tell the world you wrote a tawdry little sex thriller.
Good-bye New York Times.
Good-bye Pulitzer committee.
Good-bye Dick Cavett.
What kind of revisions are you working on? Could it be you had to replace a scene involving a man being thrown from a balcony? - You can't prove that.
- No.
But I can.
I have a copy of the original manuscript in my office.
I've been meaning to read it.
- [Grunts] - [Cries Out] Lucky I had no feeling in that foot anyway.
[Chuckles] [Laura] She watched him.
Watched him even as he refused to look up and see her.
For she was the one [Gasps] Who watched the watching "wound" here.
You did that just a lick too well.
Could it be that deep down inside you were born to write hot and steamy novels? Person should always have a little something to fall back on.
- What are you doing? - Reading about us in the local paper.
- Ask me what I'm doing.
- What are you doing? - Nothing.
- Ah.
- How do you like it? - I don't know.
It's not as easy as it looks.
I have this burning desire to balance my checkbook.
Have to fight it.
I find it helps to take a stroll at the height of the business day.
- Really? - Truly.
Irresponsibility is not a sickness.
It's an art.
Stick with me.
I'm a master.
[Mews]