A Murder Of Note
The best screenplay what I have written this week. Available to investors as a fun way to make a tax loss.
Xander (have always liked names beginning with X) is a handsome young pianist of extraordinary talent. He is swindled out of his inheritance by his evil cousin Coron (I don’t think viruses can sue.) Coron moves into their dead great-uncle’s spacious apartment, with not only the priceless bibelots but worse still, the unique Steinway piano which had once belonged to the crooked composer, Shyster Kovich. In his, his (punches cliché button) garret, of course, poor heroes like Xander always live in a garret, although they don’t come on the market very often these days, certainly not at a price poor heroes can afford, anyway delighting the passing pigeons with scintillating arpeggios on his barely functional upright, Xander dreams of revenge. He has an inspiration and it is marked by a thick dramatic chord of D over E.
Xander assumes an impenetrable disguise, with the help of a beard previously used by Bingo Little to evade his creditors. He secures employment as Coron’s personal assistant. Stoically he squeezes Coron’s toothpaste, cuts crusts off his sandwiches and roars at his jokes. The worst of his ordeal is to listen to Coron at the piano, a Les Dawson without the talent. Such is his musical ability that he can recognize when Coron has reached the finale, and applauds wildly, scattering murmured compliments about “the interesting tempi, and so many of them”. Not recognizing his cousin, Coron laps up the appreciation.
Xander endures. He has a carefully prepared alibi. At the right moment he batters Coron to death with a former candelabra of Liberace’s. To sustain the alibi, Xander must pretend to be Coron at the piano for half an hour. But the effort is too much for him. After 32 bars he slides into the scintillating repertoire which delighted the pigeons.
Nonetheless his alibi seems to succeed. The police are ready to give up on the case as a murder by persons unknown. But one feature of the neighbours’ evidence puzzles the great private detective … Anyone but Hercule Poirot. Has no one noticed what a klutz he is? The Library is always littered with more corpses than the end of Hamlet before he says “Ow eez it, mon cher Aysteengs, that I have been so blind?” and names the killer. The same for Miss bloody Marple.
Anyway, not-Hercule-Poirot notices that the neighbours all testify that at bar 33 of his last performance Coron suddenly played a lot better. It is the clue not-H-P needs. He or she (let’s see who’s available and for how much?) uncovers the secret of Xander and his plot. He has betrayed himself by his musical standards.
In the last scene we see him in solitary confinement on Death Row. He has been allowed a piano in his cell and is delighting a lonely sparrow with his cadenzas. (Get leftover footage from Birdman Of Alcatraz.)