Miss Aggie is the central character on an immensely popular radio soap opera. The actress playing her collapses in the recording studio, and it's revealed that the water jug she drank from was poisoned. The actress survives and seems to be recovering. Her producers try to stifle the police investigation into the crime, claiming the actress poisoned herself to garner the sympathy vote from fans -- her contract was expiring, and she was about to be written out of the show ("Pow! Double pneumonia and she's off the air for a month and when she comes back nobody will remember what she sounded like."), Unfortunately, the killer comes back -- this time with a gun -- and Miss Aggie's departure is indeed permanent. When a hospital attendant is arrested for robbing the body of the actress's prize bracelet, it's revealed that she had left a dying clue for Ellery. Written by
Did You Know?
This episode was the first to air on Sundays, as a one-time special to see if the series would draw enough ratings to be renewed for the rest of the season (the show it replaced, "The Family Holvak," had finished production and ran off a few more episodes in December). NBC, facing a devastating drop in its overall ratings, wanted to keep "Ellery Queen" as "quality" programming if there was any way it could. See more
When the page boy comes in the studio and speaks to Anita Leslie, she asks where the others are and he indicates that they have almost a minute to arrive. The studio clock confirms that fact since it is just at 8:59 AM. As the scene progresses, the second hand on the clock is still correct as 25 seconds elapse, leaving roughly 30-35 seconds to broadcast time. But when the others arrive, with what would seem like 15 seconds or less to go, the clock is back at 8:59 AM. See more
Now, I'm pretty sure I know who killed Vera Bethune. How about you? Was it Lawrence Denver, Miss Aggie's co-star, or Anita Leslie, the young actress who was going to replace her? It might have been Wendell Warren, the announcer, and don't forget Mary Lou Gumm was in the studio that morning. Or... it might have been someone else, someone who wasn't in the studio. It's possible.