It's a happy Sunday and winemaker Adrian Carsini is at his vineyard with four fellow wine connoisseurs. Leaving the room under the guise of getting a new bottle of wine that is breathing in his office, he listens in on the intercom as his tasters discuss and agree making Adrian the wine industry's Man of the Year.
Election day is rapidly approaching and Senate candidate Nelson Hayward is only too aware that it's going to be a tight battle against his opponent. In order to help, his Campaign Manager Harry Stone has arranged a plan to boost the votes - a phoney series of threats on Hayward's life, convincing enough to ensure Hayward gets a huge amount of police protection and, of course, lots and lots of publicity.
Author Allen Mallory, creator of five best selling detective dramas, has been courted to join Jeffrey Neal’s publishing house when his contract with Riley Greenleaf expires in a few weeks time. Allen can’t wait to leave. At a party hosted by Neal, Greenleaf arrives apparently drunk and tells Mallory that if he leaves Greenleaf, he will die.
Johnny Cash plays country music singing evangelist Tommy Brown with sell out shows, but who rarely sees the money as his evangelist wife Edna funnels it all to pay for what she promises will be the greatest temple in the whole of America built for the Lost Souls Crusades. She promises to reveal that he slept with under-age singer Mary-Ann in motels if he quits.
Having just murdered his wife, Hugh Caldwell phones his friend Mark Halperin. Meeting Mark at the club where he is gambling, Mark tells Hugh to remain there and to phone his house at half ten. Meanwhile Mark goes to Hugh's house, cleans up and sets the scene up as a robbery, trying to make it look like it was related to a string of robberies in the are.