Monday, June 25, 2012


The Greatest Collection of Them All

The collection is 23 million dollars of impressionist paintings. It has been exhibited for the last year at museums around the country. The exhibit was set up by Gloria Hamilton for the benefit of the Heart Alliance. The paintings are crated up in New York and locked and sealed into wooden packing cases and then strapped and sealed into a truck from Trotter Van Lines.

The paintings are driven to Boston in the truck with a security car in the front and the back. There is a reception waiting for them in Boston. As soon as the crates are unloaded they are taken inside and opened by the chairman of the museum, Mr. Trotter. The first crate he opens is empty and he yells for them to get the truck back. The truck is a couple of blocks away but the security men chase it down.

When all the crates are opened there is one small painting left, a Brock, with an odd sized frame. Mr. Trotter’s son (played by Jamie Farrell) runs Trotter Van Lines and gave Gloria the use of the truck for free. He drove his father out of the business because he was spending too much of the company’s money on cultural donations. Boston Insurance has 6.5 million dollars of the 23 million dollar insurance on the exhibit.

Gloria Hamilton did the entire exhibit as cheaply as she could, and the insurance has a one million dollar deductible that the heart fund would have to pay if the paintings aren’t found. So She is trying very hard to find the paintings on her own. Eventually she joins forces with Banacek, and falls for him, of course

Old Polish Proverb

A Wise Man never tries to warm himself in front of a painting of a fire.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Ten Thousand Dollars a Page

The Tyson Museum is under construction. It is mostly finished and they are setting up the exhibit for The Book of Hours. This is a rare illustrated manuscript from 1562. It is in a room by itself . There is a camera focused on the book and sensors on the book pedestal. If the book is moved then iron doors seal off the room and alarms sound for police to come. There were some successful tests on the system, so the book is put in the exhibit.

A security guard is watching the camera and there is some glare, he thinks it is a fault in the circuit. Suddenly the alarm sounds and several police cars show up. When they open up the sealed room the book is gone.The manuscript is owned by a wealthy, old man who says the book is his most precious possession and he will do anything to get it back. there is a ransom demand but he just gets ashes back.

Old Polish Proverb

Just because the dress is satin doesn’t mean it comes off easy.


Thursday, June 21, 2012


To Steal A King

Mr. and Mrs. Markham checked into a security suite at the Stafford, a Boston hotel. They have a briefcase with 10 coins in it. The collection is called the 10 kings. It is being auctioned the next day and Mr. Markham expects it to net 2.5 million to 3 million. It is insured for 2.3 million. They put it in a special safe in the suite. Only Mr. Markham has the combination and it is on a time lock. The next morning, he goes to the safe and opens it and the 10 kings are gone.

There are 3 bidders for the auction; Ms. Clark (Brenda Vacarro) working for the Amsterdam Bank of NY, the Garson brothers, rich, eccentric collectors and Matt Donniger. Donniger is a rich cowboy from Nebraska ( Pernell Roberts) obsessed with proving his family history, he believes Mr. Markham cheated him at an auction. Ms. Clark is a charming liar who helps Banacek on the case.

Old Polish Proverb

A wolf that takes a peasant to supper probably won’t need any breakfast.


Friday, June 15, 2012


4 A Million the Hard Way

A Las Vegas casino is showing a million dollars in a rotating display as a publicity gimmick. Margot Kidder plays Linda , a photographer. It is her job to take pictures of people with the money. It is in a sealed dome in 5 stacks of 1,000 dollar bills. Only the head of the casino, Mr. Leland and the casino owner, a Howard Hughes type can get into the display.

Linda is photographing a couple and suddenly someone wins on the oversized slot machine, Big Betty. She rushes over to take a photograph, but the man doesn’t want his photo taken. He is with a woman, probably not his wife.

So she goes back to the money and starts to take a photo. But the display is empty. Banacek is called in by the casino owner. There is already an insurance investigator there who tells him there is no evidence of tampering on Big Betty.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


3 No Sign of the Cross

Broderick Crawford plays Mr. DeRetzo. He is an old gangster living in Mexico, he is elderly and sick and wants to get into heaven. He thinks the way to do this is to bribe the church.

DeRetzo has the Cross of Bayone; a thousand year old gold, jewel encrusted cross worth a million dollars. The cross is about 18 inches high, and a foot across so I would think it would weigh a lot, but people carry it around like it weighs very little. So maybe it is just gold leaf or the producers didn’t stop to think that that gold is very dense and it would actually weigh about 70 pounds!

There is an insurance agent, Waynemouth who had devised a plan to get the cross safely from Mexico to the Archbishop of Los Angeles. A priest and a cop start from his hacienda and after they cross the border they are met by an American cop and priest and they transfer the cross to them. Of course they check each other’s IDs first.

The transfer goes off without a problem, but the package when opened does not contain the cross. Banacek gets on the case and finds out that the area that the cross passed through in Mexico is very isolated. There is only a very small town named Libel and a small, isolated farm owned by a man named Selmo. He is a woodcarver and he has an adult daughter , Cecilia, with polio. They came in to some money and are in Mexico City to visit a shrine hoping for a miracle so Cecilia can walk. They were away during the cross's disappearance.