May 1, 2016
Let’s head back to San Francisco Fletcherfans, where our heroine is on a tour promoting her newest book about a gentleman thief. The readers love it, but one person has some complaints.
Dennis has a hell of a story to tell JB, she can tell because he’s flirting outrageously. He points to a book on the shelf – it’s a recently discovered and never previously published story by Mark Twain. Jess remembers it well – the manuscript was stolen, and there was an insurance policy and –
“Who’s story is this anyway?” Says Dennis.
Once upon a time a while ago, a man named Lawrence Erlich announced that a previously unpublished story of Mark Twain’s had been discovered and authenticated by renowed scholar Professor Chandler Fitzpatrick. The owner, Anna Louise Barlow has generously allowed it to be published for the first time, and Lawrence is simply there to help ensure Anna gets what she is owed.
Naturally there is only one place where such a treasure can be insured, as Dennis discovers when he waltzes into work. He is rather surprised to hear that the person applying for the policy is Lawrence Erlich, and decides to take a closer look at the manuscript by setting a fire in his rubbish bin and filching a page while no one is looking.
Dennis decides to head down to the Mark Twain convention where the manuscript is to be unveiled and runs into Lawrence, who it turns out is a master forger and second only to Dennis in the con game (according to Dennis). Lawrence assures him he was better but that he’s been legit for the last 10 years (and is amused to hear that Dennis is now working for an insurance company). Dennis doesn’t believe a word of it, but Lawrence says surely Dennis can appreciate a man turning his life around?
Professor Fitzpatrick finds Dennis in the lobby, and informs him that if Dennis doesn’t stop with his insinuations that the manuscript is a fake then there will be consequences.
Undeterred, Dennis takes the filched pages to his friend Konstantin Stavros to get a second opinion regarding the authenticity. Constantin is unsure – recently discredited by Fitzpatrick he tells Dennis his opinion is worthless.
“Not to me,” says Dennis, and tells Constantin that the professor was the one who authenticated the book in the first place.
Back at the Twain convention Anne and Lawrence are watching people with magnifying glasses examining the book through the glass and Ann is worried. Lawrence shrugs it off and tells her he will see her later. Anne’s daughter Lindsey arrives from London, freshly broken up from her aging rock star boyfriend but coping okay now that a priceless manuscript has turned up in her family’s possession.
At home, Dennis is telling a photo of his late wife Elizabeth everything that’s happened, especially the tearing pages out of a priceless manuscript part. If he’s right, it won’t matter. If he’s wrong he’s sure he can find another job with his qualifications, although what that job might be he’s not sure. He clicks the TV on just in time to see a news report that a fire at the Fairmont Hotel has resulted in the destruction of the Mark Twain manuscript.
Dennis rolls on down to the hotel to suss things out and finds a cop who says the fire was started by an electrical fault. Dennis wonders if it could have been arson and the cop says he hopes so, he hasn’t had a good arson case in months. Lawrence pops up and swears he wasn’t involved – he was at a costume party and still has the giant fig leaf he wore to prove it. Dennis tells Lawrence he’s going to catch him and Lawrence smiles. He believes Dennis is going to try.
At the office, Dennis finds his boss Robert Butler having a breakdown, and casually asks what the reward might be if someone could prove that the manuscript was a fake. Robert blows his stack, but Dennis isn’t after money – he just wants his CD player that Robert confiscated returned to his office so he can blast Mozart at anyone who wanders past.
Dennis goes to check on Constantin’s progress uncovering the fraud and is frustrated. Constantin wonders why Dennis has a bee in his bonnet about Lawrence and what it has to do with Dennis’s late wife. Lawrence, it turns out, made a play for Elizabeth when she and Dennis were going through a rough patch. BOOOOOOOO. Constantin tells Dennis that for now at least, the paper is genuine, the ink is genuine, the writing appears genuine – but not to worry, a warning bell has gone off in Constantin’s mind and until he can work out what that bell is, he can’t be of any more use right now.
Next stop on Dennis’s list is Anne Louise Barlow, but he instead finds her daughter Lindsey at the door, who takes his coat and flirts her little head off. Dennis asks when her mother will be home, and is told she is at the publishers office with Lawrence getting the transcribed manuscript ready for a bidding war with the publishing companies. Ah, so there is a copy, Dennis notes. Lawrence has thought of everything. Lindsey asks Dennis if he’d like something to eat, or drink, or to have dinner with her that evening.
Anne arrives home and is not entirely pleased to see Dennis, but he assures her he’s just there to confirm that the company will pay out on the policy as long as there is absolutely no chance that the fire was started deliberately. Lindsay tells him she will see him at Otto’s Grotto for dinner at 8:30, but Anne declines Dennis’s invitation to join, saying she has somewhere to be.
That night, Dennis blows a kiss to the photo of his wife and heads out to dinner, unfortunately missing an excited phone message from Constantin, who has worked it out. As he hangs up the phone, a car pulls up outside and Constantin peers through the blinds, worried. At the restaurant, Dennis is about to declare himself stood up when Lindsay and Anne both appear in the restaurant, Lindsay having convinced Anne to come, and Anne taking ages to get ready.
After a presumably successful dinner, Dennis goes home, hears the message from Constantin and heads around to his house only to find the place crawling with police led by Lieutenant Catalano who figured Dennis had to be involved with a rare book dealer being shot. Inside, Catalano tells Dennis that Constantin was shot at his desk but managed to crawl over to his bookshelf and retrieve a copy of The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Catalano’s theory – it’s got something to do with *whispers* adultery. Dennis examines the book but finds nothing.
Back at his office, Rhoda fills Dennis in on large discoveries of old paper – the most recent of which occurred in London earlier that year, but doesn’t know how they will ever prove that the book is a forgery, or if/how it is connected to Constantin’s murder. Dennis decides the only thing he can do is say ‘The Scarlet Letter’ to himself over and over until inspiration hits.
Armed with inspiration and his umbrella (which has a lockpick in it, he has Macgyvered the hell out of his umbrella), Dennis returns to Constantin’s house. He sees a figure searching the shelves and turns on a light – it’s Lawrence. Dennis tells him he’s looking in the wrong section and Lawrence pulls out a gun. He swears he didn’t kill Constantin but figures it doesn’t matter now.
And then the truth comes out – Lawrence has always hated Dennis for marrying Elizabeth, and for being rejected by Elizabeth even when she and Dennis were having problems. Dennis smirks, Lawrence goes to pull the trigger and Dennis shoots him with a dart from his umbrella. YES. They struggle and Lawrence manages to get away.
Dennis calls in the cavalry and Lieutenant Catalano is delighted to think that he is finally putting Dennis under arrest. He’s unconvinced by Dennis’s story that he didn’t know the page was still missing until Lawrence turned up looking for it, or that Dennis has only just worked out where the missing page is thanks to the clue left by Constantin. (It was hidden in Gone With The Wind – the Scarlet Letter was actually the Scarlett letter and was to do with a case Constantin worked on something something moving on).
Dennis goes to see Professor Fitzpatrick and tells him everything he knows about Constantin’s research. Fitzpatrick tells him he can’t see anything dodgy about the page. Catalano arrives to tell Dennis they found Lawrence at the hotel and points out the window. Dennis peers out and sees Lawrence’s body on top of an air conditioning unit.
Cut to Dennis clearing out his office on account of being fired. Rhoda is heartbroken but Dennis tells her as soon as he finds another job he’ll send for her, he won’t be sent back to prison. While he’s waiting for the lift he takes a closer look at one of the books in his box – the pages have red binding on them.
Dennis goes back to Professor Fitzpatrick and tells him he knows all – that Lawrence bought the paper from the people in London and forged the book, that Fitzpatrick authenticated it so it would appear genuine. Dennis doesn’t care about that though, he wants the professor’s help to catch Constantin’s murderer, Anne Barlow, the reward for Fitzpatrick being avoiding having his name attached to the scandal. All he needs to do is go to Anne’s house and find the gun that was used to kill Constantin.
Fitzpatrick has lunch with the Barlows and tells them they need to steal the manuscript page back from Dennis. Anne is horrified, does he expect her to go over and seduce Dennis? God no, Fitzpatrick says, Lindsay should do it. Lindsay sighs and says she’ll take one for the team.
That night, Lindsay drives away from her mother’s house and someone breaks in. The gun is retrieved from the pocket of the killer…
The police swarm in and Fitzpatrick puts a gun to Dennis’s head.
Fitzpatrick’s escape is foiled by a well executed thrust of the umbrella that sends he and Dennis tumbling down the stairs, but Dennis is pleased to report that rumours of his death are greatly exaggerated.
Newly reinstated back at the insurance company, Dennis sets off for a date with Anne Barlow, who agreed to withdraw her claim for the definitely faked manuscript.
And they all lived happily ever after.
April 24, 2016
Fletcherfans! Sorry about the break in transmission, the internet around here is a little patchy sometimes but it’s back and I’m back and hooray.
To business! But first, turn it up to 11.
Ross McKay is the new boss of Sutton Place Publishing(along with another bloke, Kendall Stafford), and has a grand plan to make the company great again. And it involves getting convicted double-murderer and former company owner Preston Giles released from prison, because that’s sound business practice.
I KNOW RIGHT? Remember that time, about a billion years ago when JB first became famous and her publisher killed someone because reasons? (and don’t bother going back to read my thoughts on the subject because I have genuinely no idea what I was talking about – the story of my life)
Well, he’s back. My god this is a throwback. Imagine if the writers of Supernatural actually resolved what happened to Dean and Sam’s half-brother Adam who has been in hell for maybe 7 seasons. Or Game of Thrones finally explaining where the bloody hell Gendry is.
Ross takes Preston out for a release-day lunch, and Preston finds the whole biz a little overwhelming. Ross assures him he is a man with a plan, and that plan is to get the
band back together, starting with JB Fletcher.
Ross is convinced that if Prseton nails JB, the rest will come a-runnin. I seem to remember Preston spending most of the first episode trying to nail JB and he got nowhere. Cough cough. Preston isn’t sure, but Ross is. JB was Preston’s discovery and JB owes him, and she knows it.
I don’t think Ross understands things guys.
Back at the office Ross gets a phone call from his wife Linette, who tells him she’s going to be away working for the weekend. And by working it is obvious what she means, as about 10 seconds later she’s making out with Kendall Stafford who tells her that the weekend is off. His wife has signed him up for some volunteer work that she forgot to tell him about. Linette understands, Ross needs her help preparing for an audit. Kendall hopes that’s all the help she’s giving him, and she tells him she’s sure it’s no more help than he’s giving his wife.
I think that’s code.
Back at the Sutton Place office Preston is moving into his office and listening to a list of things his secretary Gloria is afraid of when his arch nemesis Martin Bergman appears to deliver his thoughts on Preston’s reappearance around the office. Preston tells him the financial mess the company is in is entirely his fault. Ross McKay appears to see Martin about something, but is dismissive of Preston’s complaint that he hasn’t been able to reach Ross all week. Ross says he’ll see him soon, and Martin gives Preston a royalty cheque for JB, since Preston is going to try and see her.
Speaking of, our heroine has rewarded herself with a bit of shopping after doing a round of interviews and is heading back to her hotel room for a rest when Preston pops up, much to her opposite of delight.
After some hesitation, Jess agrees to lunch with Preston. He confesses that he was sent to invite JB to a dinner party being thrown by Ross and Linette, where he would ply her with flattery and promises at which point Ross would produce a cheque to seal the deal. Instead, he hands over the royalty cheque and tells JB he’s going to quit the whole thing, it’s too distasteful.
Jess returns to her hotel room to find it ransacked. A hand covers her mouth and she is shoved to the floor, but not before she gets off some scratches because JB IS BADASS. She recovers, but the burglar has taken her bag and legged it. He stops at the door and we see it’s Martin Bergman. The convicted double murderer was right about him.
The next day Preston goes to Ross’s office to resign. Ross reminds him that his parole is conditional on his employment at the publishing house but Preston says he’ll take his chances. At last Ross convinces him to stay for a month and see if he can change Preston’s mind.
Preston’s secretary Gloria tells him JB has called. He rushes over to see if she’s alright but she says she only called him to put a stop on the cheque. Preston offers to deliver a replacement cheque at breakfast tomorrow but Jess gently tells him that she doesn’t think they should see each other any more on account of he killed two people.
Over at Kendall Stafford’s office, Kendall’s wife Millie is begging him to come to dinner and the opera with her that night but he tells her he has to work late. She tells him she’s tired of being his piggy bank and he apologises, he’s just tired. Linette wanders in as Millie is leaving and Millie asks her pointedly if she’ll be working late too. Linette is pissed, Kendall is messing with the Sutton Place Publishing deal, but Kendall is too turned on by her anger to care. EW EW EW EW AND URGH.
At Sutton Place Preston is working late into the night on a presentation for Ross. Martin wanders past to tell him that a new cheque will be sent to JB in Cabot Cove as per his instructions, and isn’t it terrible about the mugging, violent times etc etc. Gloria the secretary, finshed with her photocopying is returning to Preston’s office when she starts screaming hysterically. Preston finds her running down the hallway, and Martin slumped over his desk with a letter opener in his back and a bandage on his hand where it had clearly been scratched.
Preston is naturally arrested on account of he’s already killed two people, and JB goes to see him in holding. He swears he didn’t do it but concedes that he has no alibi and tells JB to go back to Cabot Cove. She tells him not to read her mind, she doesn’t even know what she’s thinking about it all.
Jess goes to see the lead detective, Jack Slocum on the case to thank him for letting her see Preston and he wants to know what Preston told her. She tells him it’s confidential and she’ll be happy to tell him all about that and her lunch with Preston after he gets a subpoena. She spots a crime scene photo of Martin with the bandage on his hand and tells the detective about the mugger but Jack doesn’t care – he has 62 murders to solve and with Gloria willing to testify that Preston and Martin were ready to come to blows the previous day (something Preston neglected to mention to JB) Slocum is happy to have one less case to deal with.
Jess decides to go to the cocktail party after all and is wooed by Ross, while Millie Stafford seems more keen on making passive aggressive suggestions about her husband and Linette. Kendall and Linette appear from the next room looking a little shady and greet JB,
Ross finds JB later admiring the view from his window and asks her if she’s decided to take him up on his offer. She tells him it’s very generous but she will have to talk it over with her attorneys and could he keep it quiet for a couple of days. Ross feels responsible for everything that’s happened with Preston and Martin, but Jess has a funny feeling there’s more to this story than meets the eye (about 10 minutes more I should think).
On her way home after the party JB has a brainwave and heads to the police station, where Slocum’s allergies have not improved. Slocum assumes Jess received his message and returns her handbag, missing her cheque and cash. He’s in a bad mood, having just learned that someone broke into Martin’s apartment and trashed the place.
JB is onto something. It’s blackmail! Martin was blackmailing someone and that someone killed him but then someone couldn’t find what Martin was blackmailing them with and so they broke into Martin’s apartment! Partially convinced, Slocum and JB go to Martin’s office to look for evidence of blackmail and find Ross going through the drawers.
The next day Preston is released, much to his relief. JB is unconvinced, as Ross swears he didn’t kill anyone, he wasn’t being blackmailed, and he had found evidence of Martin embezzling money, which was why he was searching the office. Jess goes to see Linette, who is trying to get her husband out of prison, but has nothing to say on the subject of what Martin might be blackmailing him with. But when JB tells him she won’t enjoy the financial repercussions of Ross’s imprisonment, and she comes clean. Ross and Kendall were involved in a fraud many years ago that Martin found out about and blackmailed them with. Linette swears though that Ross was home with her at the time of the murder. That moves suspicion onto Kendall, but Preston stops JB from calling the police. He has a thought on that but he needs to be sure first. He tells her he’ll call her later and goes back to work.
Later that night he’s still working in his office. Unable to get hold of him, a worried JB gets Slocum to drive over there to make sure everything is okay but unfortunately the killer got there first.
Sick of footing the bill for the blackmail of her husband, Millie decided to take matters into her own hands and bumped off Martin. When she saw the note from Preston to her husband saying he had the papers she took matters into her hands again and demands the papers from Preston. When he tells her they are in a safe place where noone will find them. she says she believes him and shoots him in the chest.
Jess and Slocum arrive just as Millie leaves the building. Slocum holds her while JB rushes upstairs to find Preston dying. He tells her they caught her and manages to say “tape” before he dies. Jess finds the tape recorder and begins to listen to Millie’s confession.
And that’s the end? This might be the darkest episode to date :S
On that miserable thought…
April 3, 2016
This torturous scene is taking place in Wayne’s Workout Gym, the hottest (and I assume only) gym in Cabot Cove and the new place to be for All Da Single Ladies, because this guy:
While the rest of the girls go for an orange juice Eve is back to work meeting with a prospective buyer for the old Sulivan farm, the recently widowed sports car driving Fred Keppard. As they drive out to the farm Eve can’t help honking the horn and waving to all the passers-by, including Our Heroine out for a bike ride with Wayne devotee Nancy (aka Sally Struthers) and Ben Devlin. Ben wonders about the car, Nancy wonders about the man with Eve in the car and JB is sure they will hear all about it soon enough.
Obviously, JB is right and the next time she sees Eve she gets the full lowdown on Fred Keppard’s many great qualities. That all flies out the window when they reach the drug store and JB drops off her film to be developed. Wayne is strolling the aisles and flexing his muscles and Eve can’t wait until she introduces him to JB.
Wayne is delighted, naturally, but says they aren’t strangers – JB was in his bedroom just last night.
Eve tries to lure JB into coming down to the gym for a workout, apparently Wayne has developed the perfect stress reduction program. Jess declines, saying her stress reduction program involves taking it out on her rose bushes.
Eve then asks Wayne when she can book a private – Wayne says he can do her about 9pm at her place.
Wayne departs, leaving Eve breathing heavily. JB points out that not that long ago (literally, minutes) Eve was gushing about Fred Keppard. Eve agrees that Fred is more her intellectual equal etc etc, but Wayne is pure hormones.
Eve and JB depart, leaving Wayne to conclude his business at the chemist. Nancy offers to sell him some discounted aftershave, but her husband Clarence orders her to go open the new box of dental floss. Wayne isn’t in the market for buying, he’s selling – his new line of health cocktails. Locals Joe Hardin and his wife Lily arrive at the counter, and Lily has nothing but praise for the cocktails – she has three a day. Joe (aka Blake Lively’s Dad) has a bone or two to pick with Wayne, in particular about Wayne selling Lily a $99 custom made shower head guaranteed to spray her with vitality. “Well I’m the only one going to spray my wife with vitality,” says Joe.
Joe and Wayne start punching on, but Wayne ends up victorious. Presumably because of all those workouts.
Meanwhile, Eve and JB decide to grab a bite to eat when Eve gets wind that one of her sales is about to fall through and she will have to drive over to Rockport that night. She was very upset to cancel her massage with Wayne but apparently not as upset as he was.
They are soon joined by Fred Keppard who has something he wants to discuss with Eve, so JB excuses herself. Fred has a confession to make – he can’t buy the farm, all his money is tied up in a Candian oil venture, and he’s devastated because just quietly a shopping centre is being built next to the Sullivan farm and that land is going to be worth millions.
Eve’s pupils turn into dollar signs. She has money! And what’s more she has clients who have money! She tells Fred that on her return from Rockport later that night they can go through her client files and see who might invest in such a golden opportunity.
The day passes. Wayne is closing up the gym for the night when Fred appears. He’s impressed with his protege’s latest scam, it almost seems legit. Wayne tells him it is legit, but Fred has his eyes on a bigger prize and wants to use Wayne’s status with the Cabot Cove ladies as an in. Wayne doesn’t want a bar of it, but Fred assures him they will talk again. Later that night, Mort is doing a driveby of the gym when he sees what looks like torchlight coming from the gym. He goes to investigate and find Joe Hardin looking suspicious (and holding a shower head #vitality)
Even returns from Rockport in a buoyant mood and calls Fred but there’s no answer at the hotel. While she gets the receptionist to try his room again, she suddenly notices her papers have been gone through on her desk. And Fred Keppard is dead on her floor.
While Mort and Deputy Floyd investigate, JB arrives to console her friend. Eve swears up and down that she and Fred were nothing more than business partners but Mort (and I’m guessing JB) are suspicious, since the door was locked. The CSI team tell Mort that Fred was most likely killed with a shotgun, from 10-15 feet away, which explains why people heard a car backfire around 9:15. Jess tells Eve to pack a bag and come and stay at House Fletcher for a few days.
The next morning, Eve and JB are discussing the case, and the fact that Fred knew Eve wouldn’t be home the night he was killed, when Mort appears. They found Fred’s car 3 blocks away from Eve’s which makes Mort think Fred didn’t want anyone to know what he was up to at Eve’s.
Eve declares Fred wouldn’t have been up to anything her bedroom without her.
Side note. I unironically want JB’s cardigan and I am not kidding.
Mort tells them they are having trouble locating Fred’s next of kin. Eve remembers him saying that he had a daughter at college but that he didn’t tell her the name of his daughter or the college. Mort finds the whole thing suspicious, until a phone call from his deputy reveals the truth – Fred was a conman with a long record.
Eve is devastated – it’s clear to her now that Fred was in her bedroom looking for clients to swindle. Jess asks her who else knew Eve wouldn’t be home that night but she can’t think of anyone. JB can – Wayne Bennett knew after Eve cancelled her massage.
Down at the Sheriff’s office Joe Hardin is awaiting the arrival of his lawyer and having breakfast in his cell with his wife. Talk turns to Fred’s death but neither of them knew Fred – although Lily is quick to mention that Nancy saw Eve with Fred in his sports car the other day. Hearing talk of the sports car makes Fred stop. He tells Mort he was nearly run down by a red sports car the previous night and thinks Mort should go talk to Wayne Bennett, since Joe saw the dead guy leaving the gym.
Mort takes himself down to the gym and is horrified by the estrogen levels in the gym. It turns out Mrs Mort is also a member, and Wayne comments on her progress. Mort knows, he just paid the bill. He notices the juices behind the counter and Wayne gives him one on the house. Mort picks it up between two fingers and says he’ll save it for the car. Outside, he beams to himself. FINGERPRINTS!
That night, Ben is at House Fletcher trying to get the scoop on the situation from Eve who isn’t saying a word about it. Getting nowhere, Ben storms off leaving JB to chase after him since he’s supposed to be giving her a lift to the drug store. When they arrive the store is silent, but Clarence pops out and apologises – he’s been short staffed, Nancy had to go up to Augusta to take care of her sister.
The next day, Eve is back at Wayne’s
World Workout Gym facing the gossips who are full of theories as to why Fred was in Eve’s house. Wayne himself is more concerned with the absence of Nancy La Rue, apparently still in Augusta. Mort appears and declares class dismissed. Wayne Bennett aka Wayne Freeman is under arrest for Fred’s murder, much to the shock of Betty, someone who I’m almost positive hasn’t been in this episode up til now.
Hysterical, Eve calls JB to sort it out so she heads on over to the sheriff’s office where Mort is holding court. Wayne confesses to being in prison but says he wanted to go legit when he came out. Confronted with the news that Joe Hardin saw Fred leaving Wayne’s
World Gym the night he was killed he tells them that Fred wanted Wayne in on the scam he was working with Eve Simpson but that Wayne said no. Asked for his whereabouts Friday night, he says he was home alone watching TV. Mort asks Deputy Floyd to take him back to his cell, and JB offers to have a quiet word with him, to see if he might open up to her. It’s to no avail – clearly lying about where he was the night of the murder, Wayne tells her that all he can say is that he didn’t kill Fred.
JB is at the supermarket, going about her JB business when Betty approaches her. She needs Jessica’s advice.
Betty tells Jess that she doesn’t know why Wayne won’t tell the truth about where he was the night of the murder. He was with her until the sun came up.
JB says she understands, Betty wants to help Wayne. But Betty doesn’t think Jess does understand. Wayne has been Betty’s husband for the last 9 months.
Down at the Sheriff’s office Mort has had just about enough of this. Word is out that Wayne is off the market and there’s a run on the gym to cancel their memberships. Eve and Jessica wait outside Eve’s house for Mort to finish up at the crime scene and through the darkened window they mistake Floyd for Mort.
This gives JB an idea. Maybe that’s what happened the night of the murder. A case of mistaken identity, if you will. Someone who didn’t know that Eve had to cancel her “massage” with “Wayne”.
Mort is not impressed with this new theory. Half the men in town wanted to kill Wayne Bennett.
“Except you Sheriff!” Says Deputy Floyd.
“Thanks Floyd.” Says Mort, exasperated.
Mort begins to develop a theory that Joe Hardin is the killer until Floyd nails it again by pointing out he was already in police custody. But that’s enough to get Eve and JB thinking. Nancy knew about the appointment and she’s been missing for the last two days.
COULD IT BE…
Sorry guys. Not actually true.
When Mort, JB and Floyd go to see the La Rues at home and drill Nancy for her whereabouts the night of the murder, and she swears up and down she wasn’t even in town. She gives them the name of the hotel she stayed at and Floyd goes to give them a call and check it out. JB thinks its weird that Nancy stopped at a hotel an hour away from her destination but she says she was tired and waited til morning. When Jess comments on a bruise under Nancy’s eye the truth comes out. Clarence had been drinking and hit her so she took off before he could kill her.
Floyd returns with the news that Nancy had only checked out of the hotel that day and Mort decides she’s off the hook. He was clearly barking up the wrong tree.
“Not the wrong tree,” Says JB, “The wrong branch. We both were.”
Not satisfied with his wife’s pleas that she wasn’t sleeping with Wayne, Clarence took matters into his own hands. Also a shotgun.
And on that note,
March 27, 2016
Salutations and Happy Easter Fletcherfans! I hope the Easter Bunny was kind and left you eggs, unlike the sore throat (s)he left me. Although to be fair I think I acquired this throat screaming at my football team on Friday night. So yeah, don’t feel too bad for me, I brought this on myself.
But never mind all that, because we are back in New York again Fletcherfans, where JB is in town to attend a political fundraiser for
BJ Hunnicutt Drew Borden, and making a pit stop at Beaumont Jewellers to get her watch repaired. While she’s there, she sees a wealthy woman, accompanied by her chauffeur, look at a bunch of necklaces and then pinches a diamond and ruby necklace when the shop assistant’s back is turned. She doesn’t escape Our Heroine’s notice though, but when JB reports the theft to the shop assistant, Charles Lockner, he tells her that there was no diamond and ruby necklace, and that there is no other stock missing either. Seems definitive, since he hasn’t actually checked.
The jewel thief, Sheila Finley, is driven home by her chauffeur, who she then drags into the back seat for some quality time, if you know what I mean. Her delayed departure from the car does not go unnoticed by her husband, Porter Finley, or one of the maids.
But never mind all that, because BEHOLD YOUR HEROINE IN ALL HER GLORY
As they leave the hotel and head to the fundraise, JB tells Drew the story of the stolen necklace that wasn’t.
A reaction only topped by Jessica on hearing the names of their hosts for the evening – Mr & Mrs Finley Porter The Third.
At the party, while JB is glad-handed by Porter Finley The Third, the family chauffeur – Rocco Pastolino – is out in the garage smoothing things over with the previously mentioned maid, Margaret Gable. It would appear they are blowing this cake stand in a few days and heading off to somewhere with palm trees, so Rocco begs Margaret to be patient until then.
Inside, JB is staggered when she’s introduced to Sheila, aka Mrs Porter Finley, aka the chick what stole that necklace that time. She tells Drew, but he’s believing her even less now – Sheila is worth about 40 million dollars on her own.
After introductions all round, Sheila leaves her husband and Drew with D.L Beaumont (proprietor of Beaumont’s Jewellers) and escorts JB on a tour of the room, complimenting people on earrings that are apparently one of a kind before excusing herself to disappear with Rocco.
Time out. JB’s earrings are insane.
Sheila reappears to give a short “Give Drew All Your Money So He Can be DA” speech, but is concerned when her husband quietly gets Drew and Jessica out of the room. She finds them again in the garage, looking at the body of Rocco. While they wait for the police, JB takes Sheila upstairs to compose herself, and spots a pin just like one her mother used to have that JB lost a while ago. Sheila tries to give it to her, but JB refuses. She also tells Sheila that if the police ask, she will have to say that she saw Sheila go off with Rocco just before he was murdered.
Downstairs, the lieutenant in charge, Lieutenant Stuyvesant, is fangirling over Drew. He stops long enough to ask Sheila about her disappearing act with Rocco and she tells him they were in the pantry, there was a problem with party supplies (almost definitely code). Stuyvesant is happy with this and defers all questions until such time as he’s thought of them. He wrangles a lunch date with Drew to discuss a possible transfer to the city, away from the boredom and to be where the action is. JB tells him Mort Metzger moved to Cabot Cove for precisely that reason. Ha.
The next day, Jess returns to Beaumont Jewellers to get her watch and to follow up about the stolen necklace. Charles Lockner passes her over to DL Beaumont himself, who assures JB that the necklace wasn’t stolen and he should know, he designed it.
Jess reports back to Drew with DL’s weird statement about the necklace not being stolen, and he tells her some news of his own – he’s found an old police report detailing how Sheila Kowalski (her maiden name) was booked for grand theft in Palm Beach for stealing a necklace. JB worries that the Finley’s might be in trouble but has a plane to catch. As she’s set to leave her hotel room, she finds the clip she admired in her handbag, just as breaking news comes on the TV – Sheila has been arrested for murder.
Jessica goes to the Finley estate to return the pin, and is begged to stay by Porter until Sheila returns. Jessica tells him what she knows about the necklace and Porter produces a receipt – the necklace was bought and paid for the previous day. Jess suspects there is more to the story and Porter comes clean. Porter has an arrangement with Beaumont’s Jewellers wherein they send the bill each time Sheila pinches something from the store, but he doesn’t think it has anything to do with the murder. Jess isn’t sure, but wonders why Sheila was arrested in the first place. Porter tells her the police think she was jealous that Rocco was planning to skip town with Margaret Gable, but Porter refuses to believe Sheila did it.
Sheila appears at that moment, temporarily released. She confesses all to JB on a stroll around the grounds – how she and Rocco dated at school, but then her father struck it rich and packed her off to finishing school in Switzerland and it was just impossible to stay in touch, the money just got in the way. So Sheila married Porter whom she loves and would never leave, but was lacking in the drive department, sex and otherwise. The otherwise part didn’t bother her so much but…
Sheila swears she didn’t know about Rocco planning to skip out with Margaret until the police told her, but even then she would have taken a tyre iron to Margaret, not Rocco. Jessica tells Sheila she needs to come clean about her stealing and Sheila shrugs. It’s a left over from when she was a kid filching candy bars, and that no one gets hurt.
Except Mr Pastalino, says JB. Ouch.
Jess checks in with Stuyverson, who is checking out the car and wondering whether he should follow up on his request for a transfer. He finds a bow that had fallen behind the wheel of the car, and Jess recognises it as coming off Sheila’s. shoe.
While Stuyverson drums up the courage to ask about it, Jessica does ask about it. Sheila tells her she went to confront Rocco in the garage about why he’d been so cold towards her the last few days, and he got angry and shoved her against the car. But he was still alive when she left. She begs Jessica to stay the night, and JB agrees.
JB takes it on herself to have a chat with Margaret the maid, who tells her she and Rocco were running away to Rio Di Janeiro, and were going to buy a little house. JB asks where the money was coming from and Margaret tells her Rocco had some saved and was expecting more – some sort of investment plan he had, with regular payments.
Later that night, a masked figure breaks into the house and chloroforms Sheila. Job done, he accidentally steps on the cat’s tail, knocking over a lamp and waking up Porter and JB. While they knock on the door the thief breaks into Sheila’s jewellery box but leaves empty handed when Porter manages to unlock the bedroom door. Stuyverson is called but is of no help. Fortunately for everyone, JB spots an earring on the ground similar to the one Sheila had been admiring at the party the other night (and honestly, I didn’t pay attention the first time. Who knew the earring would be important??)
JB takes the jewellery to another jeweller who identifies all the pieces as fakes, except the diamond and ruby necklace she pinched in front of JB. Jess has a funny feeling she knows what’s going on now and hatches a plot using Margaret Gable as bait.
It would appear that Charlie-boy had a scam going with Rocco where he would steal Sheila’s jewellery and give it to Charlie, who would give it to his uncle in Boston. His uncle would make an exact replica, which would find its way back to Sheila’s jewellery box while the real one was sold. When Rocco got greedy and asked for money, he received a tyre iron to the head from Charles instead.
Boom. Case closed. Now I’m going back to bed to drink more
Until next time, Fletcherfans!
March 20, 2016
First of all, thank you to everyone who played along watching ‘A Story To Die For’ last Monday. If you haven’t seen it, I completely recommend it for some boss level sass from JB, and the chick from Cold Case with Meg Ryan’s hair among other things. I will storify it and put the link on Facebook soon.
But now, to business. Our heroine has just returned from her morning constitutional when her phone rings. It’s a lady by the name of Phyllis Thurlow, who has some bad news – her husband, Daniel Hannigan has passed away. Jess is saddened by the news and asks if there is anything she can do. Phyllis says just being there will help and promises to call back with the arrangements. Before she hangs up she asks JB if she’s read any of Daniel’s research – most of it, JB tells her. Phyllis says they will talk about it when JB arrives.
Phyllis hangs up and JB looks at the folder on her desk.
JB travels back in time to when she first met Daniel Hannigan, not long before he died. He tells her he’s writing a murder mystery “not one of those frothy confections you whip up…”
It’s a true crime, in fact, with a true miscarriage of justice. Phyllis’s brother Martin is in prison for a crime he did not commit – the murder of his wife.
BOOM FLASHBACK FLASHBACK (FLASHCEPTION)
They all travel back in time to watch Martin go into his house, well drunkard. He fights with his wife (as observed by a nosy neighbour) then a short time later we see a light flicker, then glass break. 10 minutes later, the police arrive to find Lydia the wife lying dead on the floor next to a shattered breakfront. (Yeah I had to google it too, mostly because I thought they kept saying breadfront but it’s some type of cabinet #themoreyouknow).
Daniel tells JB that there were no other suspects investigated in the murder, mostly because all the doors were locked. But, Martin passed a polygraph test, hangover and all (fair effort) but the results were ‘conveniently’ lost and a second test was never done. Daniel asks JB to take his notes and see if she comes to the same conclusion he did – that Lydia was killed by her brother Eric, and the whole thing was covered up by their father, Richard Thompson Grant.
And now the kicker – Daniel tells JB that he won’t live long enough to write the book and asks JB to write it for him.
Jess travels down to Philidelphia and meets Phyllis at the funeral home but is soon joined by Bradley Folkes, Deputy Police Commissioner, who just so happened to be in the area and in a miraculous coincidence was one of the investigating officers of Lydia’s murder back in the day. He offers to take JB to lunch, which Phyllis does not seem pleased with but Jess assures Phyllis that a chat with one of the detectives in charge of the case would be most helpful.
Over lunch, JB drills Folkes for information, and in particular wants to hear his thoughts on Daniel’s theory that Lydia caught her brother Eric breaking into her house to steal money and he killed her. He tells her that he heard the theory, and if there was any truth to the rumor he would have arrested Eric on the spot – he has no time for drug addicts, he says with a scowl on his face. To conclude, Daniel Hannigan was a brilliant writer but he was ill and as far as Folkes is concerned, the illness clouded his judgement in regards to the case.
“Or, he didn’t bow down to those who wanted the case forgotten”, says JB.
“Like Richard Thompson Grant? Ask him yourself, here he comes now.” Says Folkes.
Richard Thompson Grant sits himself down for a chat, and tells JB that if Daniel had published his book, Grant would have sued the pants off him. Jess thinks that sounds like a threat, Folkes assures her that it wasn’t but Grant says damn straight it was. He wants the little lady to know what she’s getting herself into if she decides to go ahead with the book.
Folkes apologises, and JB understands. She suspects that when Richard Thompson Grant makes a request, he is very hard to refuse.
Meanwhile, the man himself has gone to meet his son who has just flown in on the private jet from Atlantic City with his thing on the side, whose name is apparently Madeline. Madeline is quickly shoved back on the plane despite her protests that she wants to see the Liberty Bell, and RTG fills his son (who is being played by Not Quite Will Arnett, or in more factual terms, Luke Spencer from General Hospital according to IMDB) on the news – Hannigan’s death has not killed off the book. Eric swears that he didn’t kill his sister, and his father tells him he believes him. He’s had to.
Over at the funeral home the wake has kicked off and the whisky is flowing, which it should be at all good wakes. Jess finds Phyllis talking to her nephew Stephen (played by Jiminy Cricket from Once Upon A Time, which I haven’t seen) who is furious that his aunt is still trying to dig this all up, and storms off. JB needs to talk to Phyllis urgently – an article has appeared in the paper that day all about how JB is going to finish Daniel’s book, and she knows Phyllis is responsible for it. As a rousing rendition of Danny Boy strikes up amongst the whisky crowd, JB and Phyllis go into the next room to talk. JB has a problem – she’s read all the notes and while she agrees that the case against Martin is circumstantial, there’s no real proof that Eric did it either. She just doesn’t think she can continue. Phyllis begs her to look at the evidence again, she’s sure JB missed something.
The next day JB is going over old newspaper reports when Stephen Thurlow comes to see her to beg her to leave the case alone. She curiously asks him what he remembers of the night but since he was 3, obviously the answer is not much. She asks him if his uncle could have killed his mother in a drug induced haze and he says “I’m not a psychiatrist, I’m a college student.”
Jeez, JB. I love you, but cool your jets.
Armed with more questions than answers, JB goes to see Folkes at the police station. Her main question is who is this mysterious drug pusher known as JR that rumour had it was the person Eric Grant owed money to. Folkes tells her that since he took over the case a couple of weeks in, that line might have been dismissed by the previous detective, Detective Kravitz, who was transferred to South Philidelphia and left the force 8 years ago.
Folkes gets a phone call from the front desk, saying that a note arrived about Daniel Hannigan’s death. It’s brought up to his office, and he reads it to JB – apparently, Daniel Hannigan was poisoned to shut him up.
Word filters through to RTG about the note and he is less than impressed. Even less impressed is Stephen, who has recently come to the conclusion that people are keeping things from him. He demands to know if his grandfather knows who JR is, and RTG tells him that he doesn’t. He checked it out, after he put Eric in an overseas rehab place, but JR disappeared. The fact that Eric went to Lydia on the day she died begging for money was a complete coincidence.
Later that night JB goes to see Detective Kravitz, hard at work at his new job at a pub. Now, are you all imagining Lenny Kravitz as a cop? Because yes.
Over a cup of coffee, Kravitz tells JB that he got transferred after a couple of days on the case, at which time Folkes volunteered to take over. JB wonders if the transfer was a coincidence, but Kravitz tells her he had the same theory Folkes did. If Eric had been involved, Folkes would have been all over it. It turns out Folkes’s son Eddie was an undercover drug cop, straight out of the academy (seems unlikely but alright) and was killed in a raid.
As they go to leave, shots are fired at the bar. Word gets back to Commissioner Folkes who rushes to the scene, but everyone is fine, (Kravitz) and suspicious (JB). Considering how badly the shooter missed JB, if the shooter was in fact aiming at JB, has made her wonder and she asks Folkes if the report has come back on the digitalis levels in Hannigan’s blood. He tells her it hasn’t come back, but she says it doesn’t matter. Hannigan wasn’t poisoned, and whats more she thinks she knows who is responsible for the note and and the gunshots.
It doesn’t take long for Phyllis to cave in. She was so desperate to keep JB on the case that she sent the note and shot out the window. She apologises but swears that her brother is still innocent.
The next day the memorial service is held for Daniel, but JB phones ahead and leaves a message for Phyllis that something has come up and to proceed without her. Jess is in fact over at the home of RTG, where Eric is telling JB that he is innocent. Jess is about at the end of her tether and starts concocting a scene where Stephen comes downstairs to see his mother, trips over the lamp and then when Lydia tries to stop him falling over she slips into the breakfront. RTG tells her that’s ridiculous, and more ridiculous the idea that he would a)interfere with a police investigation and b)allow an innocent man to rot in prison.
JB asks Eric about the mysterious JR but Eric has nothing for her. That was all he knew him as, he bought drugs off him and he owed him money. He drove a blue Porsche and wore a bullet around his neck on a chain, a souvenir of a time when a cop shot at him in Chicago in 1967. JB pounces on this tidbit and goes to see Folkes, but gets his wife instead. While she tries to get Folkes on the phone, JB looks at some family photos on the mantle, including one of his son Eddie. Or as he’s formally known, Edward Bradley Folkes Jr. Who likes to wear a bullet on a chain around his neck.
At the cemetary, JB finds Folkes and confronts him. No wonder he volunteered to take the case.
It would appear that Eddie Folkes had gone bad while being undercover, had gone to the house to get money, and accidentally killed Lydia. He went to his father the next day who got himself onto the case and threw Martin Thurlow under the bus.
To conclude, DEPRESSING. So to end on a lighter note, please enjoy this video of a baby wombat named Derrick running along a beach on Flinders Island in Tasmania.
March 13, 2016
It’s a dark dark night in San Francisco (probably) and a man is breaking into a large expensive house to steal a very expensive car from his (presumably) soon to be ex-wife.
Why does this matter, I hear you ask? Because Our Heroine would like to take some time out of her busy day to talk to you about the sanctity of marriage, to wit: young people just don’t take it seriously any more.
*coughs* Elizabeth Taylor but *coughs*
This whole pep talk, is Jess’s way of saying STORYTIME KIDS, I’M TAKING A WEEK OFF. It’s time to talk about Truman Calloway, aka this guy:
As it so happens Truman is on the phone to the woman I mentioned earlier whose ex-husband made off with her car and (as it turns out) pushed it off a cliff. Oh, rich people problems. Truman advises her not to go to the police, instead contact her insurance company directly. He’s actually in the middle of a very important meeting with a new client, a man who wants to divorce his wife (a Greenleaf of the Wisconsin Greenleafs for those playing along) but only wants a lump sum of about 3-5 million, of which he’d give Truman about 10%. Truman tells him he mispronouncing a third, and says he’s not sure he wants to take the case. It’s a lot easier to put neglected wives on the stand than fortune-hunting beach bums.
Meanwhile, the woman, Amy Sue, has taken Truman’s advice and gone straight to her insurance company, where she sits in the office of the claims investigator and bawls her eyes out, much to the claims investigator’s confusion.
Dennis promises to take a look at the case, mainly to get the crying woman (who has confessed to only taking the car in the divorce settlement to try and make her ex husband Ed not want the divorce any more) out of his office. He goes to have a chat with Ed the car thief, who has a lot to say on the subject of divorce lawyers but agrees to write a cheque covering the cost of the car for his ex-wife. Job done.
Back at Truman’s office, Truman is just ducking out for a lunch meeting when he bumps into his newest fiancee, Joyce, back from an acting audition and demanding to talk. He tells her he is late for his lunch meeting so she hops into his limo while from up in the office, Truman’s secretary Karen watches it all unfold. In the car, Joyce is unhappy about signing a pre-nup, but Truman tells her it’s the same pre-nup all his ex-wives get – 10 grand a month and a million dollar insurance policy. All his ex-wives except his first one, Charmaine, who only got 250 grand but Truman was poor then. Joyce thinks Truman doesn’t love anything except his money, but Truman tells her he was in love, once, though he didn’t know it at the time.
At lunch, Truman goes over the divorce settlement of a couple of actors with the lawyer for the husband, former cop Joe Briscoe. It’s Joe’s first big settlement and he’s concerned that Truman is trying to screw him out of a big payday. He tells Truman that if the settlement doesn’t go through, he’s coming for Truman. Truman is unconcerned, he’s heard it all before.
“Not from me,” says Joe, who storms off.
Before Truman can call for the cheque, a woman sits down in Joe’s seat. It’s his first ex-wife, Charmaine.
Charmaine tells him she’s been going to phone for some time, but it was too important. She needs to talk to Truman about Jason.
Later that night, a security guard patrolling Truman’s law office sees an open door, goes to investigate and finds Truman on the floor stabbed to death.
There’s a shock.
The next morning, Dennis the menace is on his way to work when he hears news of the murder on the radio. At his office, his secretary Rhoda tells him Amy Sue is waiting for him in his office. Amy Sue is worried – Ed turned up drunk at the house the previous night, telling her he still loved her and that they only weren’t together because of Truman Calloway and declares he is going to find Truman Calloway and kill him. Amy Sue called Ed at work that morning but the police had already been and arrested him and Dennis did say if there was anything he could do…
“Yes I did say that.” Says Dennis, thoughtfully. “In an offhand sort of way.”
Down at the police station, Lieutenant Catalano (previously seen here) is outlining the case to a claims investigator from New York, Marcia McPhee (aka Kira from Star Trek Deep Space Nine). As Marcia leaves, Dennis’ presence is announced to Catalano, who informs the desk sergeant that he doesn’t have time for insurance investigators and to tell Dennis to write him a letter.
Downstairs, Marcia bumps into Dennis who is delighted to see her – Marcia assumes Dennis is there to hand himself in for a theft and is flabbergasted when he informs her that he’s a claims investigator now (as part of his probation). He’s keen to drill Marcia for information but she’s not having a bar of it – though she does tell him that she doesn’t think Ed killed Truman, her money is on the first ex-wife Charmaine.
Dennis sees Ed, who tells him he did go and see Truman to punch his lights out but when he got there Truman was already dead, face down on the floor. He turned him over, which must have been when he got blood on his hand but he didn’t kill him. He offers to sign the release form for the car, but Dennis tells him that can wait, and that Dennis is there at the request of Amy Sue who firmly believes in Ed’s innocence and that it’s a pity the way their marriage worked out.
Dennis’s next stop is Truman’s law office, where he runs into Joe Briscoe coming out. Inside, Truman’s secretary Karen is confused by Dennis’s questions as she’s just given all the information to Marcia McPhee. Dennis concocts a story about Marcia’s purse being stolen and requiring a duplicate copy, and Karen sighs and starts compiling.
Dennis puts Rhoda to work on trying to find out who Truman had seen in the 48 hours prior to his death and returns to the restaurant where Truman had lunch with Joe Briscoe. For the price of 2 Andrew Jacksons, Dennis finds out from a waiter that Joe threatened Truman and that Charmaine had sat down to talk to Truman after Joe left. In an amazing coincidence, Charmaine is just leaving the restaurant at that second, so Dennis turns the charm on again helped by a pair of ladies gloves that he borrows from a passing table. The subterfuge doesn’t work but Charmaine does agree to have a coffee with Dennis, much to the annoyance of Marcia who is scoping them out from a phone box nearby.
Later that night, Dennis arrives home to find flashlights moving around in his office. He sneaks inside and catches the culprit.
In the true spirit of generosity, Dennis tells Marcia what Charmaine’s conversation with Truman was about – her son, Jason, who needs money to go to medical school. Predictably, Truman shot that down, and Charmaine claims that was the last time she ever saw him. In the spirit of team work Dennis offers to team up with Marcia, since they both have the same goal of proving Ed innocent but Marcia want’s no part of that.
The next morning Dennis is sitting down to breakfast when he gets a visit from Joe Briscoe, who is less than pleased that Dennis has been asking questions about him. He tries to stand up to Dennis who promptly takes his gun off him and wants to know why Joe went to see Truman’s secretary Karen. It would seem that it was to try and poach clients, but as it turns out that Karen was Truman’s between-wives girlfriend.
At work, Rhoda fills Dennis in on her investigations from the list. She’s managed to track everyone down except a ‘Johnny Trixler’ from Wisconsin, who met Truman to divorce his wife, the Greenleaf. Except there is no such person as Johnny Trixler or a family called Greenleaf.
I think we all know where this is going. Cut to Charmaine’s hotel room, where she gets an unexpected visit from her son Jason, aka Johnny Trixler who tells her they didn’t need Truman then and they don’t need him now. He just flew in from O’Hara an hour ago.
Armed with a copy of Jason’s photo, Dennis pays Jason and Charmaine a visit at the hotel and confirms that Karen identified Jason as Johnny Trixler. Jason confesses to going to see Truman but swears he didn’t kill him. The police turn up and take both mother and son away for questioning, thanks to a tip-off from Marcia who considers the case closed.
A chance spotting of a newspaper article at work sends Dennis on the right track. He goes to see Karen the secretary, and tells her he can prove she was at work at the time of the murder. In response, she reaches for her bag but Dennis steps in.
The classic tale. Karen got sick of being Truman’s thing on the side, and when he chose Joyce over her she took matters into her own hands.
Stay tuned tomorrow for Murder She Blogged Epic Tweetathon Part The Third: A Story To Die For. Follow the hashtag #MSBStory on Twitter and see what fresh nonsense I can come up with!