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The Girl On The Tram, Synopsis

Inspired by a true story about the fatal tram crash in Exeter in 1917 in which a woman died.

On her walk to work, Carrie witnesses a tram crash where a young woman, Rose, dies. She gives Carrie a curious calling card reading Mr Shute (director of Shute’s Lighting Company), £100, and the whispered words, ‘It wasn’t an accident.’ Enthralled by Sherlock Holmes, Carrie echoes her hero and investigates the crash. Detective Sergeant Robert Jeffries is also investigating the crash with his poker player partner, Constable Frank Smith. They investigate Harry Westlake, the photographer conveniently taking pictures at the accident, who has a shifty wife and a pile of cash in his photography shop.

Carrie speaks about the accident to her colleague, William, the Watson to her Holmes. They meet with John, a ladies’ man and engineer, at the tram workshop. John invites the pair to the workshop, where they discover a wedge in the tram’s braking system. Smith and Jeffries visit the workshop, too, but the wedge is missing. John informs Carrie and William while the police investigate a second tram crash. Jeffries and Smith speak to Carrie, a witness, but dismiss the calling card. During a work errand, Carrie spots John leaving the photographer’s shop. Entering it, she discovers Mr Westlake has been strangled, and she flees the scene as Jeffries and Smith arrive.

Carrie visits Rose’s widower, Sidney. Sidney mentions he’s worked for Mr Shute. Carries visits and questions Mr Shute, who is dismissive. While there, she overhears Shute mentioning the crashes on the phone. She later sneaks into Shute’s house with William and John and swipes blueprints of Shute’s plan to put Exeter on an electricity grid, realising his motive for sabotaging the old-style trams. Now also investigating Mr Westlake’s murder, Jeffries and Smith interview Mrs Brody, a passenger on Rose’s tram, and her husband. Mr Brody, who works for Shute, has a weak alibi the night before the crash. While Smith investigates, he is threatened by thugs, but later seals Brody’s alibi.

Jeffries and Smith examine Westlake’s corpse and discover cotton embedded in his neck. Smith interviews Mr Hoskins, the tram driver, while Jeffries pursues a limping man who harassed Mr Hoskins. The limping man receives money from Mr Shute. The police visit Westlake’s photography studio and find a secret room containing erotic photographs and a book of men’s names. Jeffries and Smith bump into Carrie, William, and John outside, forming an alliance and sharing their discoveries.
John reveals his affair with Mrs Westlake, and Jeffries discovers a door linking the studio and tram workshop. John fell asleep one night during the affair, meaning Mrs Westlake could grant access to the workshop. The five hunt for the wedge and upon discovering it, send it for fingerprint testing. Jeffries and Smith speak to Mrs Westlake again, and she reveals the limping man blackmailed her due to her husband’s lewd photographs and their connection to Mr Shute, who purchased them. The limping man is taken to the station for questioning, where he dies in a freak accident. His prints don’t match those on the wedge.
Jeffries and Smith visit Shute’s factory and discover a new type of electrical tram Shute plans to launch, and cotton matching the type found in Westlake’s neck. The five investigators seek to trap Shute, making him believe the old-style tram is making a comeback and catch him in the act of sabotage. Shute’s accomplice gets away. Case closed, Carrie’s father and employer surprise her with an office for her investigations. Carrie visits Sidney to inform him of Shute’s arrest and Rose’s death being avenged. At Sidney’s house, she discovers a box of wedges, and realises he’s Shute’s accomplice.
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