A glamorous night at the Academy Awards ends in tragedy.
Nicole and Nigel Martini created a sensation when they discovered a treasure trove of home movies taken during the filming of the 20-year-old cult classic A Winter’s Night. So when they arrive on the red carpet with their bow-tied dog, Skippy, they’re naturally interviewed by a reporter for HNS! Television. Nigel’s company finds and restores films thought to be lost, and the extensive footage shot by the producer’s teenage daughter is a real coup. Sending Skippy home with DeDee Evans, a recent hire who’ll babysit him, Nic and Nigel get ready to enjoy the show and the star-studded party that follows when they’re approached by a man who claims to represent someone wanting to buy the tapes. After they refuse and move on to the surreal world of the Hollywood elite, both are struck by the uneasy relations among several of the actors who appeared in A Winter’s Night, whose young star, Melanie Summers, was found tragically dead—some say murdered—on the set. Oscar-winning Christina Franklin’s long-running romance with co-star John Cummings has come to a bitter end, and now he’s dating a none-too-bright ingénue. The sniping of these three, along with the director, producer, and family members, is only a prelude to the real trouble heralded by an inaudible call from DeDee, whom, when Nic and Nigel arrive home, they find badly beaten by whomever stole some of the films from their home. When the detective assigned to the case writes it off as burglary by a bunch of kids, Nic, a former New York City homicide detective (Murder with a Twist, 2015, etc.), prepares to investigate herself. Since the reason for the current crime lies in what happened two decades ago on the set of A Winter’s Night, Nic and Nigel have an even better reason to search the remaining footage for clues.
Kiely’s modern-day Nick and Nora Charles provide plenty of clever repartee as they delve into a mystery full of Hollywood heavyweights with motives for murder.