Murders Don't Have To Be Perfect by Tom Stohlgren | Script Revolution

Murders Don't Have To Be Perfect

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100pp

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Logline: 
When a bride is poisoned on her wedding night at her parents' exclusive winery, a darkly-twisted sommelier sniffs out the killer before the sheriff arrests the innocent groom or other deserving suspects.
Synopsis/Details: 

Darkly sophisticated TINA RYAN (20s-30s), a sommelier-in-training, works the tasting room at an exquisite winery and B&B, as guests gather for the wedding of the owner's daughter, MANDY YARBROUGH (30s). Mandy is a wealthy heiress and wino, but all the guests have brought extra baggage. The handsome groom, EVAN WRIGHT (30s), has a history of drug use, and the best man, CHARLIE TURNER (30s), a closeted-gay NSA agent. Winery owner, JERRY YARBROUGH (60s), a brutish cowboy, and JENNY (50s), his Amish-dressed wife, enter the tasting room despising their daughter's choice for a husband. The groom's obnoxious parents include a disgraced philandering Hollywood producer, BRANSON (60s) and washed-up actress, SHERYL (50s), a monument to plastic surgery. The town psychiatrist, Dr. MILLIE JACKSON (30s), who treats half the wedding guests, is the maid of honor. The lecherous pastor of a bankrupt church, RACHEL PENDLETON (40s), who knows half the guests from the local A.A. meetings, is asked to conduct the ceremony.

The smoke from nearby wildfires forces the motley group into the tasting room, where Tina attempts to delight them with fine wines. However, rookie SHERIFF STEPH WINDSOME (30s) stops by with bad news: the wildfires have closed the roads; everyone is safe on the winery grounds, but trapped, as is the sheriff. Jerry forces Evan to sign a pre-nuptial agreement to keep their wedding present, the winery, in his daughter's sole ownership. After a brief ceremony on a smoke-filled patio, Mandy hears about the prenup and is furious with her father. Evan exits the bridal suite to fetch hot coffee for his bride from the tasting room, he confides in Tina, and returns to find Mandy is dead. The sheriff returns to find chaos, a possible suicide, accusations of murder aimed at Evan, and a heavily contaminated crime scene. The sheriff is without a coroner or crime scene team, so he enlists Tina to help him solve the case. Everyone had the opportunity, and almost everyone had a motive. During a break from intense questioning in the tasting room, the pastor is found dead. Tina sniffs a wine glass and detects aconite poison; nearly impossible to detect and it leaves no trace after two hours. Tina and the sheriff return to the bridal suite and she sniffs the scent again. But, who did it? The raging wildfires in the area force the group down into the air-filtered wine cellar. There, Tina may be able to sniff out the killer. Charlie is outed, Jenny is off-the-wagon, and Rachel and Millie wanted Evan for themselves. Tina secretly deduces that the killer must be Sheryl, who is getting away with murder, until "sophisticated" Tina concocts a perfect murder of her own.

Submitted: February 10, 2020
Last Updated: February 10, 2020
Times Downloaded: 3
Last Downloaded: February 25, 2020

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The Writer: Tom Stohlgren

By day, Tom Stohlgren is a Senior Research Scientist at the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO 80523, and Affiliate Faculty. He wears Hawaiian shirts every day to teach classes, advise graduate students, and conduct research part-time. He received a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of California, Davis. Tom is recognized as one of the top ten most productive scientists in the world in the field of biological invasions. He is invited around the world to lecture. He has published over 200 scientific papers and a textbook on methods of assessing plant diversity. In his copious spare time, Dr. Stohlgren is a novelist, screenwriter, and... Go to bio
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