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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This episode has a couple of strengths. One of them is being set in
1947, with Eve Arden as the victim as Eve was an actual radio star
during that period in history gives it more of a feeling of being real.
The second is a strong guest cast to go with her. The plot is well
designed too though this series pretty much has that strength in all
it's episodes. Arden is obviously wearing what looks to be a wig in
Miss Aggie is an afternoon radio soap opera which Arden stars in. She has manipulated the shows sponsor and the cast into making her the star. But the shows writer's are about to write her out because she is too demanding. Her scheme is to poison herself and create publicity so she can't leave the show. This episode is a great reminder of what the entertainment world was like When radio movies dominated it.
She is in the hospital recovering nicely with her plan until one of her enemies comes in and shoots her. There are suspects plenty and it takes a lot of little things for Ellery to solve this one.
Episode 6, "The Adventure of Miss Aggie's Farewell Performance," showcases Eve Arden (OUR MISS BROOKS) as actress Vera Bethune, best known for the role of Miss Aggie, leading character in a radio soap beloved by millions of listeners, who is making exorbitant salary demands that the sponsors are unwilling to meet. During the current broadcast, Vera collapses in the studio and is rushed to the hospital, a victim of poison. Within the hour she begins receiving the press, as well as the probing questions of Ellery and his father (whom she refers to as that 'funny little inspector'). Some time after midnight, an unseen assailant sneaks into Vera's room and shoots the defenseless actress dead, but not before the victim awakens and recognizes her killer. Both Queens blame themselves for the murder, even though the actress refused police protection, as well as the hospital. Everyone that was in the studio when Vera was poisoned falls under suspicion: fellow actor Lawrence Denver (Bert Parks), actress Anita Leslie (Penelope Windust), the newcomer being groomed to replace the temperamental star, announcer Wendell Warren (Paul Shenar), and organist Mary Lou Gumm (Beatrice Colen), who had a crush on Warren until he started dating Vera instead. Listening in the booth during the broadcast were Mr. Pearl (John McGiver), representative of the Vita-Cream sponsors, and Simon Brimmer (John Hillerman), unsuccessfully trying to make a new pitch for his own radio show, "The Casebook of Simon Brimmer." As usual, the overeager Brimmer fingers the wrong party during a special live broadcast of his own show. Betty White appears as Louise Demery, Vera's agent, who meets Ellery at the hospital, dismissing his profession with the words, "I thought you said he was an author!" Nan Martin and Gerald Hiken play the show's writers, planning to kill off Miss Aggie if she failed to cooperate with the powers-that-be. Nina Roman makes a brief return as Grace, Inspector Queen's secretary, while this would be the final performance of delightful veteran John McGiver, who died on Sept.9 1975, one month before this episode was broadcast on Oct.16.
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