By J. Spurlin:
The ventriloquist Noel Abbott is performing at a children's hospital when his dummy, Archie, begins saying unpleasant things. Noel knows it's time to get help, but he doesn't seek a psychiatrist. His next stop is the home of the woodcarver Victor March, who is crestfallen to see his one-time protégé gone mad. He learns too late the young man is also homicidal. When the police show up, they have no reason to suspect this personable entertainer is the one who murdered the kindly Mr. March. But Kate Columbo, an intrepid reporter for a neighborhood newspaper, notices a few things the police don't.
Angry that her handsome husband is divorcing her for Patty, her partner in her high-end catering business, Sybil is determined to have her revenge on both of them. She substitutes lumpfish caviar for beluga in order to make the allergic Patty so ill that she's helpless to prevent Sybil from arranging a crash between her car and a speeding train. Unfortunately for the killer caterer Patty has given persistent and inquisitive local reporter Kate Columbo access to their operation for a human interest story.
Retired Scotland Yard Chief Inspector I. A. Morly is the author of a best-selling book on perfect murders and a popular lecturer on the ladies' club circuit. However, one of his cases, the killing of a prostitute, is was really committed by Morley himself although officially it's attributed to a presumed dead prime suspect whose body was never found. The innocent man turns up in America determined to make Morley pay for his crime. In the ensuing struggle, the accused murderer becomes Morly's second victim. Although the wily sleuth plants red herrings to confuse the police, he hasn't reconvened with the dogged and persistent Mrs. Columbo.