Things Better Left Dead (2019)
I don't normally do this sort of thing.
Normally? You're an exception.
I feel flattered.
Well, we should get inside.
Mm-hm. Or we'll make... We'll make a spectacle.
And the neighbours? What would they say?
Maybe we should wait.
I don't think so.
Something on the...
It's all over the stairs.
Trudy, no! Trudy? No.
Miss Drake, I'm Detective Trevor Ingers.
Officer Shaw is the acting matron.
You two familiar with each other. Thank you.
Officer Shaw will be in attendance on this interview.
Let me start by saying two things: first, my condolences; and second, Toronto's finest will stop at nothing to find whoever is responsible for Miss Clarke's murder.
I appreciate that. Your offices have been dusted for prints. Officers are canvassing your neighbourhood for anything out of the ordinary.
But so far nothing?
I suspect there was a long list of people who might have had an axe to grind with Miss Clarke.
I-I gave that list to your colleagues.
I-I should be out there trying...
What you need to be doing is letting us do our job.
Well, I've seen Toronto's finest do...
Actually, Miss Drake, I think Detective Ingers is right.
Let's see you do your job. Tell me about the events leading up to your discovery of Miss Clarke's...
The events leading up to your discovery of Trudy's body.
It's all in my statement. I want to hear it firsthand, in case something was missed.
We were working an investigation that you are also on.
The Bishop case. That's right.
Verna Bishop showed up at my office. She wanted us to... - Find the person who murdered my husband.
I'm sure you heard about it in the dailies.
We have. You have our sympathies.
Can you tell us what happened? There's not much to tell.
I was out at a meeting at our church, St. Mark's. The housekeeper was running errands and Edgar had come home for lunch.
Was that unusual? No. He did that every day.
I don't know if I can do this.
Just take your time.
Would you like some tea, or maybe something stronger?
Stronger, I think.
So, Edgar had come home for lunch...
The police think he answered the front door and let someone in.
After the door was shut, he turned to lead them in and then...
It's OK, Mrs. Bishop.
The police have been useless.
Please, I need your help.
You have it.
Mr. Bishop was lying right there when I found him, face down. It was a horrible sight; there was blood everywhere.
Mrs. Bishop had to repaint because there was no way we could clean every little bit up.
And you were running errands at the time? Fetching groceries.
I'd left Mr. Bishop's lunch in the oven to keep warm.
You can prove where you were? Indeed I can, but I don't like what you're insinuating.
I'm not insinuating anything; I just don't take anything for granted.
I have been a loyal employee of the Bishops through thick and thin.
And what do you mean by that? Nothing.
Look, we're simply here to clear up this matter.
I don't like to speak ill of anyone, but...
...things have been a little weird around here these last few months. What do you mean by that?
Mrs. Bishop, she's become obsessed with the afterlife.
This man, Kardec, calls himself a medium, he's been coming around at all hours.
And you don't like the supernatural?
Maybe you just don't like him?
Gives me the willies.
He and Mrs. Bishop, they would sit in the parlour all night, holding hands over that infernal spirit board.
Certainly didn't like that.
Now, now, Glenna. No need to tell tales about things you don't understand.
Madam. Sorry, Ma'am.
I was consulting Kardec over spiritual matters. "Spiritual matters"?
I had two brothers: Ellis and Henly.
Neither of them came back from the war.
And then the Spanish influenza got my sister, Lottie.
I just miss them so much.
Just got worse with time.
You were trying to contact them?
I needed to know what happened to them.
And if they were at peace.
So, these sessions with Mr. Kardec...
Just Kardec. He goes by the one name.
Kardec, he helped you to reach them?
That's right. He's a wonderful man.
Did you speak with them?
Not every session, but I did from time to time.
And what did your husband think about these sessions?
I know what you're thinking; he held no ill feelings towards Kardec.
In fact, it was Edgar who sought him out.
Your husband found him? Edgar was a believer in the dark arts. He used many spiritualists over the years to consult the stars about business decisions.
And how did that work out? Well, look at our home.
We're doing very well.
I'll drive. OK.
But you were working this case so you know all of this.
Now let me ask you a question: what do you have?
I don't understand.
Well, you have some new piece of information, don't you?
Something I'm unaware of? What makes you think that?
Because you don't need me going over this again unless you have something new to compare my story with. So, what am I looking for?
Discrepancies? You're not a suspect.
Well, that's reassuring.
But you still haven't answered my question.
You know I can't discuss specifics of the investigation. That the best you can do?
Officer Shaw, I think there's a call for you.
Oh, sir, I'm sure it can wait. There's a call for you.
I suppose I should see to that.
I might be able to share something, but I'd be sticking my neck out. I'll try not to cut it off.
So, how about we see where teamwork gets us?
I'm game if you are.
I'll only tell you after I've heard your story, though.
No, no way! I don't have to tell you anything, so take it or leave it.
No call? No call.
Now, Miss Drake...
...what was happening between Mrs. Bishop and the mysterious Kardec?
Do you believe in the afterlife, Detective? - Of course I believe in the afterlife.
Or something beyond our existence. Whatever it's called is up to the individual. But I'm not a lunatic. I really don't see much difference between myself and any churchgoer. You attend, don't you, Miss Clarke?
I do. Well, then, you believe in life beyond the grave.
And, uh, what about you, Miss Drake?
What is your church-going attendance?
Uh... spotty since Sunday school.
Mm-hmm? Mr. Kardec...
Kardec. Just Kardec.
What is your relationship like with Mrs. Bishop?
Oh, well, Verna wanted to reach relatives who had passed.
And that involves long nights in a candle-lit parlour?
An intense bond between subject and medium is essential.
I understand how that could be misconstrued, but nothing untoward happened. Her husband was very aware of what we were doing. In fact, he endorsed it.
And that's what you used to contact the spirits?
Mm-hm, yeah. It's a talking table.
Speaks to you?
Through it, we contact another plane, and it's the departed... those on the other side... that speak to us.
Of course they do. Yeah.
I think you're sceptical, Miss Drake.
Would you care to travel with me?
Sure. Why not?
Miss Clarke, if you would give us some privacy?
Sure, I'll just...
I'll make a sandwich.
As I mentioned, an intense bond between...
...medium and subject is needed.
Well, in that case.
What is your question for the spirit world?
Who killed Edgar Bishop? Oh, they won't answer that.
Well, you need to have a spiritual connection with Edgar. So, why don't you ask?
You have a spiritual connection with him.
As does his wife, but for some reason...
Edgar has chosen not to answer either one of us.
And why is that? Hmm... Busy social schedule?
Hauntings? I'll be sure to ask when I do contact him.
Ask another question. I'm not interested in anything other than who killed Edgar.
I would have thought you had a more curious mind.
Well, I'm plenty curious, but I don't think the board has any answers for me.
Maybe Trudy would have better luck at this.
Yes, Trudy, you must.
What is the question you'd like to ask the spirits?
I don't have one. Sorry.
Well, perhaps I could ask one for you?
About? Oh, the detective business.
I find it fascinating, plumbing the depths of the human soul and all that. It's hardly that poetic.
Now, close your eyes.
Ask the spirit world a question. I don't think so.
You did say you believe in the afterlife, didn't you? I did.
Then indulge me. One question.
Alright. But you ask.
If my mother ever found out I was trying to communicate with the dead she'd kill me.
Daniel. Is that a name of significance?
No, not that I know of.
Are you holding out on me?
What exactly was the question that you asked?
What does the future hold for Trudy Clarke?
He sounds like a smooth operator to me. He is indeed.
With no answers as to what happened.
Can you find out how Edgar Bishop was killed?
Of course. And, Mary, can you see what you can find out about Kardec? Sure.
Is that a first or last name? First, last and only.
It's a psychic thing. Makes 'em more mysterious.
And you two did this? Did what?
This spirit board thing.
Yeah, sure. It was for the investigation.
And it spelled out danger?!
And it spelled out danger? I thought it was pish.
And now that she's dead?
I should have listened to the message.
Instead, I just continued on like nothing happened.
Edgar Bishop was stabbed repeatedly from behind.
The weapon had a large, serrated blade.
A hunting knife? No. More like scissors, but different. Pinking shears maybe?
Any idea about the attacker?
The angle of entry suggests they were shorter than the victim, and given the number of wounds, the killer was probably in a frenzy.
One blow to the neck hit an artery... good luck for the attacker, not so much for the victim.
So not a professional? Oof, absolutely not.
So what's his story? Well, he and his wife were toying around with the afterlife.
Now he gets to see it firsthand.
Were they seeing a medium? Yeah.
You know anything about that? Well, when Herb didn't make it back from the war, I would have given anything for just one more minute with him. So you went to one?
What happened? I lost three bucks.
Oh, isn't that cute? They turned death into a parlour game.
Look, just tell us about the scams.
Well, I mean, it is a good time to be running this sort of operation, right? Because you've got millions dead from the war and disease, and people are desperate to talk to their relatives, so...
Yeah. Then they turn to spiritualists for help.
Yeah. We know all of this.
The point is they get close to their mark through misery, right? They give 'em hope, lead 'em on and then they start to con 'em.
And sometimes, you know, it's just nickel and dime, but sometimes it's the whole shebang.
Nice. Prey on the wounded.
Well, it has always been that way, sweetheart.
I hope I'm not interrupting anything.
We're just in the middle of something... Well, I won't take a minute.
Your father needs you to...
Is that one of those talking tables?
That thing is the Devil's tool!
It's just for a case. Mark my words: nothing good will come from having that thing under your roof.
The Clarkes are church-going people. You'd remember that.
How could I forget? I agree with her.
Thank you. Who are you?
Oh! I am Nora.
I am Frankie's mother.
And I'm assuming you're Trudy's. Oh! Pleasure.
I do not agree with what my daughter is getting up to. Nothing good ever comes from these things.
And I have seen some nasty schemes, but taking advantage of a person's grief?!
I mean, that is a step too far. Oh, even for you?
You bet your boots.
Say, Mildred? Mm-hmm?
What say you and I go grab a drink, huh? Talk about what trouble our daughters are. Well, um...
I don't usually drink, but, uh... That's OK.
I do. Just this once, you two better listen to what your mothers are telling you.
And did you? Listen to our mothers?
No, of course not. I meant did you think that Kardec was running a scam?
It seemed likely.
I'm sure you reached that conclusion as well.
So I'm guessing we were wondering the same thing: if it was a con, was it related to the murder?
OK, just because Kardec is trying to fleece the Bishops doesn't mean that he's responsible for Edgar's murder.
True. It's hard to believe that it's a coincidence.
You're right. You know what bothers me?
The fact that our mothers are together talking about us?
Yes, that bothers me greatly.
But a killer shows up in the middle of the afternoon and no one notices? Maybe he got lucky and got in when no one was looking. And how did the killer know that Edgar would be home for lunch by himself?
Right. It had to be someone who knows the house schedule.
Which brings us back to Kardec.
He would have been familiar with the schedule.
So what do you have in mind? Why don't I keep the con man busy while you check out his apartment?
Shouldn't be hard. He seems to be interested in you.
You noticed that as well?
And almost seems mutual.
Mm-hmm? Come on.
I was surprised to hear from you.
Why is that?
Well, after our last meeting, I didn't know what you thought of me.
Charlatan seemed most likely.
In fact, I was intrigued.
My curiosity was so piqued, I ended up getting myself one of those boards. Mm-hmm.
Shall we give it another try?
Do you have a question?
Close your eyes.
Don't let your senses interfere with the spirit world.
Are you thinking of someone who's alive?
Are you thinking of me?
Thank you for the compliment.
I'm just stating a fact.
Hope I'm not intruding.
No, no, of course not.
A knock might have been nice.
I need a moment with you. Now?
Well, I think it's best we call it an evening.
Frankie... it has been illuminating.
Want to see what I found?
So far, I haven't found anything.
Well, not nothing. I mean, I haven't found out anything about this Kardec person.
But, Flo, there could be something to this spiritualism business.
Hmm! Yeah, like I told Trudy and Frankie: three bucks down the drain.
That's how much I was paying the medium I was talking to.
Well maybe you didn't get a very good one.
Thomas Edison says that life is indestructible.
And he has even built a machine that allows him to speak with the dead.
It work? Well, not so far.
But he's not the only one. Arthur Conan Doyle believes too.
I doubt anyone is being disturbed.
You know that this Kardec is most likely a fraud, a "smooth operator," like you said.
Well, that may be so, but the idea isn't.
Thomas Edison, Flo, he's probably the world's smartest man!
Hardly. That'd be Nikola Tesla.
Dr. Thomson. This is Mary... This is not your own personal lounge, Miss Chakowitz.
Perhaps you could find some time in your busy personal schedule to file these.
Hmm... You know, this studying you're doing, it's all a waste of time.
We'll see about that... sir.
"Emma Gillespie, "born in Yelverton, Ontario. Both parents deceased.
"Father called her 'Bug.'
"Alberta Webster, born in Leeds, England.
"Brother drowned in the merchant marine.
There's tons more... all personal details about his clients. He's done his homework.
Things that the spirits would have mentioned.
I knew it was all rubbish. Look at this one.
Kardec's been working with her for the past three months.
She's a seamstress.
Good morning, ladies. How might I help you?
We're looking for Maisy Trilby. Well, that would be me.
It's regarding Edgar Bishop. I see.
Then I suppose you'd like to know why I killed him?
It's because he was a warlock.
Maisy Trilby just admitted she was a murderess without any prompting?
We were as surprised as anyone.
May I offer you some coffee? I don't fancy it myself, it's a bit bitter.
You killed Edgar Bishop?
Yes. I had to. Well, he had it coming.
What do you mean, "he... he was a warlock"?
In simple terms, a warlock is a male witch.
Yeah. No, yes, I know that. That's what Edgar was.
He practiced sorcery, dark sorcery. He killed my husband.
OK. Well, according to the medical report, your husband died of consumption, so I don't... That's what the doctor said.
But how did he get it?
There are many reasons a person can get...
Edgar cast a spell on him. My husband fell ill and died.
Why would he do that? Edgar didn't like him.
Are you sure I can't get you some coffee?
Yes, very sure. Why didn't he like him?
Edgar and Fred worked together. They were once friends.
Then, Edgar started dabbling in the black arts and, well, my husband didn't like that.
What did he do? Fred went to their boss, who was also a very good Christian man, and told him what Edgar was playing around with.
So Edgar killed your husband because he got him fired?
Things got a lot worse for Edgar, these things do.
Word got around, and he was shunned, ridiculed.
So, he never forgave Fred, and he cast a spell on him.
And how do you know that? Fred told me.
From beyond the grave? Yes.
We didn't talk much when he was alive, so I contacted Mr. Kardec, who's very good.
He helped us communicate with Fred, and Fred told me what had happened.
And did he tell you to kill Edgar Bishop?
No. I came to that myself.
So, how did you do it? Oh, well, it was... it was rather simple. I knocked on the front door.
He let me in and when he turned to lead me inside, I stabbed him until he was dead.
With these! Easy.
Oh! Oh, sorry! No! No!
You were thinking...? I...
I don't have anything against you!
And you believed her? Well, it all fit.
It seemed likely: a woman whose size matched the killer's, who had access to the murder weapon, who knew the victim so he would let her in.
So distraught she became unhinged.
She was looking for answers and finds them.
Then, in a fit of rage...
Or despair... Kills the person she believes is responsible for her husband's death.
But you still kept investigating, even though you'd found the murderer.
Because I didn't think she was the only one involved.
Maisy Trilby? I can't believe it.
She admitted to killing Edgar Bishop.
She said the board told her to do it.
Do you know anything about that?
Board's message can mean nothing to me and have a profound significance for the subject.
If I had known...
Frankie, you have to believe me.
Let's get some air.
There are times where I truly feel a connection to the other world.
Other times, I just try and help people suffering.
Does it matter if both give them relief?
Not to me. Maybe to your clients.
What I do is help people.
I try to give them answers.
Hmm... And would those answers come from a little notebook?
You searched my rooms.
Look, you and I are in the same business.
We give our clients answers.
So what happens now?
I was hired to catch a murderer and I did.
You want nothing more with me?
I wouldn't say that.
And then we went back to my office, and that's when I found Trudy.
I wish there was something else, but...
Look, I've given you everything. Now, it's your turn.
What are you holding back?
Officer Shaw, you didn't see this. See what?
Coroner's report on your partner.
Skip to the cause of death.
"Stab wound caused by a serrated blade.
Pinking shears." But that's impossible.
Maisy Trilby was in jail by the time Trudy was murdered.
There must be some other connection.
You understand now why I wanted to hear every detail?
I have to go.
I might still make it to Trudy's wake.
I'm sorry about your friend, Frankie.
Thank you for coming.
My mother. Oh, Frankie.
I'm so sorry about your friend.
This is Kardec.
Oh, yes, my daughter has spoken of you and...
Hmm. I can see why.
This is a funeral, Mother. What? Yes!
Mrs. Clarke... Not another word.
I never wanted her to be a detective.
This is your fault messing with spirits! I told you nothing good would come of it. Oh, I didn't...
I said, "Not another word."
She's dead because of you.
Frankie, are you all right?
I need to attend to my friend's mother.
Mildred. Oh, Frankie, I am so sorry. I don't know what came over me.
No. There's no need to apologize.
So, um... was it good enough? Ooh!
Did I do OK? Was an excellent performance.
The slap was a very nice touch.
Thank you for suggesting it.
Yeah, thank you for suggesting it, Nora.
It was extremely believable.
So what about our other actress?
Why don't you ask her yourself?
So how did I do? It was such a convincing act.
You're gonna have to take it easy for a bit.
It's not every day that your heart rate rate and blood pressure are lowered to "good-as-dead" levels.
Ah, the board was not kidding when it warned me of danger in the future. Hm, comes with the territory.
Yeah, easy for you to say; you weren't the one in the coffin.
Please tell me it was worth it.
I got to see your mother hit Frankie.
That was something. Just...
Since you "expired," here is what you missed, starting with the details I forgot to mention to the police.
Don't tell me you're buying that Maisy Trilby story.
Give me some credit. Of course not!
But the police are. Yeah.
Seems to be like a scam to me. See? I called it, didn't I? Didn't I? Gloating is not becoming.
My daughter just hates admitting that I am ever right.
Fine, you're right. Happy? Not a terribly sincere admission, but I'll take it.
Hello, ladies! Hey!
Look what my friend on the Ottawa force sent me.
Are we ordering food? Uh, not me.
No. I could eat.
So? Oh, yes!
Kardec's real name is Gerald Nelson.
Small-time con artist, in and out of jail regularly.
Thank you. Near the end of the war...
Thanks. ...he changed his name to Kardec.
Suspected for a number of frauds, but never charged.
And all the plaintiffs are women. Really? Sounds like he's got a rather dubious charm.
So what about Verna Bishop? You think she was immune to his charms?
Judging by the way her eyes lit up every time she talks about him, I would say so.
And what about him? Oh, well, I think he's in love with her money. Yeah. Aren't they all?
You know what? I'm gonna have the hot hamburger, please.
Ooh! Yes, that sounds good. I'll have that too.
And fried onions and French fried potatoes, please.
What do you got? A hollow leg? Well...
So, if Verna and Kardec were lovers, there was only one thing standing in their way.
Edgar. And Kardec had the perfect way to get rid of him:
Maisy Trilby. Alright, I'll buy the fact that you think Kardec is charming, but enough to convince Maisy to commit murder?
No, no, he didn't. Her husband Fred did.
Oh, of course. From beyond the grave.
She's a susceptible woman, deeply grief-stricken.
Kardec plants the idea that he was cursed by a warlock.
Over time, she comes to believe it and then decides to avenge his death.
So why would Verna hire us? As long as the case is open, they're always gonna be under suspicion.
So, they needed us to find Maisy, close the case...
...and because we're good, we did.
And now they're off scot-free. You know, on moral grounds, I hate this con, but on a professional level, I've got to admire it.
So what now? We prove we're better than good.
I'll deal with Kardec.
Maisy Trilby? I can't believe it.
I'll keep him busy with a romantic evening out.
Let's get some air.
While we're gone, Trudy and the team will come into play.
I'll get Kardec back to the office where we'll discover the poor, late Trudy.
Trudy, no! She's dead.
Flo will need to handle some paperwork down at the morgue.
Oh! And we'll need a liberal-minded funeral parlour as well.
That was your mother's doing. How you like that?!
Great, you're rubbing off on her.
Hey there! Everything went as planned, without a hitch.
Well, let's get some killers.
Oh! Are my friends in danger?
Miss Drake, I'm so sorry to hear about your partner.
Thank you. And what can I do for you?
I need to speak with Kardec. Is he here?
Yes, but we were just about to try and talk to Edgar...
Please, please! I need to say goodbye to Trudy.
Her death was my fault. Surely, you understand.
Yes. Yes, I do. Please, please come in.
I can try, but... you're not a believer. You said as much yourself.
She was my best friend.
I need to know what happened to her. I...
I have to try.
Mrs. Bishop, can you give Miss Drake and myself some privacy?
Everything works better when we're alone.
Why isn't it moving?
Perhaps she has nothing to say.
Trudy always had something to say.
Trudy doesn't have anything to say.
We can try again as often as you like...
...but tonight is not going to be the night. I'm sorry, Miss Drake.
You know, this is all my fault.
Nothing in life is anyone's fault.
It's destiny. Pure and simple.
This has been an awful day.
Would you mind walking me home?
I'm sorry I couldn't be more help.
I just needed to get you away from Verna.
She is the weak link in your plan after all.
So if Verna actually believes all of this rubbish you're spouting, what's she going to think when "dead" Trudy visits her?
What do you want?
I come for you.
Me? Why me?
I have a message. Message? What... what message? From your family.
Are they alright? Did they suffer?
They're at peace, but they worry for you.
For me? Why?
Tell me what they know.
It's Edgar, isn't it?
They know what we did.
How do I join them?
Tell me, please. Redemption.
Do what must be done.
...and you join them in the afterlife.
Please connect me to the police.
You run a good con, Frankie.
Well, I learned from the best.
I wish I didn't have to do this.
Just how interested in the afterlife, are you?
That's what I thought.
Do you have any idea how much trouble you're in?
The way I see it is we worked together on this, and now Verna Bishop and Kardec are safely behind bars.
"We worked together"?
Sure. Under the supervision of the Toronto Police Department, the Drake Detective Agency was able to entrap Kardec and solve the murder of Edgar Bishop. We all look good.
You give us all the credit? I have no problem with that.
And what do you want in exchange?
Go easy on Maisy. She's not in her right mind.
Don't even bother.
Mama, how did you find this place? Nora told me about it.
Don't worry, I won't make a habit out of coming here.
Frankie, would you mind...? I'll excuse myself.
When I saw you lying in that coffin, it was everything I feared about you being a private eye.
Mama, we talked about... Ah, da, da, let me finish.
But, as I looked down at you, I realized how proud I am of my daughter...
...and that you need to live your own life.
Thank you, Mama!
You're going to buy me a drink or what? Wha...?!
Since when did you... I am known to have one on occasion: Christmas, Easter, your birthday. OK, wait, that's three.
Haha! You sound like a regular rummy.
And now I'm going to get ossified with my daughter.
Ah?! Let's see that!
I knew I should have never let you hang out with Nora. Haha!
You're doing good, Trudy...
...but don't think I won't give you a good tracing when you deserve it. I don't expect any less.
Mm-hm. Excuse me!
Yes, ma'am? I would like to buy my mother a drink. Coming right up.
I don't know if I like this. What? You're afraid the spirits are gonna reveal some deep, dark secret you're hiding from us? You don't have to talk to anyone, Mary. I just want to find out how Herb's doing. Hmm...
You know, when you're done, I think I'll look up my grandma.
Shall we give it a go?
You girls still fooling with that thing? Uh...
Good, good! Scooch, scooch. Oh, OK.
Let's find out what horse looks good for the fifth tomorrow. No, no! Flo wants to talk to her husband. What? Really?
Well, I tried it once before and failed, so why not give it another go?
You sure? It's worth a try.
Yeah, but if you think you can talk to him through this thing, who's to say he hasn't been watching you all this time?
Hmmm.. I-I didn't think about that.
Yeah. Yeah, I wonder if he's been watching you while you've been out on all your dates?
Maybe... maybe you should go first.
You know? No. I don't even want to hear the tongue-lashing my grandma will give us if she sees what we've been up these past few days.
You know what? I have everything I need right here, in the real world.