Riley Greenleaf is a publisher and Alan Mallory, a successful writer, is his principal asset. But Alan Mallory has decided to change publishers. Riley threatens to kill Alan. Then he hires Eddie Kane, a Vietnam veteran, to murder Alan and to leave evidence that the killer is Riley himself, who has an excellent alibi. But a key will betray him. Written by
Baldinotto da Pistoia
In his second of three appearances as a guest murderer on Columbo, Jack Cassidy plays a publisher who's about to lose his best money maker, writer of steamy trash Mickey Spillane. Good thing he's insured so that when he does arrange Spillane's demise, he's well insured.
He's also well alibied for Cassidy doesn't do it himself, he hires explosives expert John Davis Chandler to do it, saying he will publish his how to make a bomb book if he does the deed. He even has evidence planted that could link him to the crime, but then Cassidy deliberately gets himself into a minor vehicular accident to give himself a great alibi. Almost anyone else, but Peter Falk might have bought it on face value.
Cassidy's scheme was a little too well planned for someone who is informed finally that Spillane was leaving. Someone as volatile as Chandler could not be kept on a leash for any length of time. That makes this one of the lesser Columbo stories.
Even with that John Davis Chandler steals this one as the explosives man who isn't wrapped too tight.
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