Of all my brilliant ideas (MacGyver the Musical and the Spock Slap just to name the other two), blogging my thoughts on watching every single episode of Murder She Wrote is definitely in the top three. I thought I was alone in my adoration of the work of JB Fletcher, but then one of my best friends bashfully admitted to me that when she was pregnant her favourite thing to do was to sit down in front  of the TV with a cuppa and watch Murder She Wrote.

“Pregnant?” I exclaimed. “I once considered chucking a sickie so I could stay home and watch it with the neighbours cat!” (True story).

The more I investigated, I realised I wasn’t alone. There were plenty of others just like me who secretly loved the adventures of Jessica Fletcher ! It turned out I had nothing to be ashamed of, apart from walking down Bourke St at 2am humming the theme song of Murder She Wrote just to prove a point I’d already forgotten.

So with that, let’s begin. And a good place to do that is Episode 1, The Phantom Menace The Murder of Sherlock Holmes.

The first ever episode of Murder She Wrote was a two part special, and brought an end to the dark days when Cabot Cove was just a little dot on the Maine coast, and not the crime capital of the universe (until Mount Thomas overthrew it in the late 90s).

This episode is barely set in Cabot Cove though. Instead, our heroine is thrust into Big Bad New York City after her wimpy nephew Grady shows her book to his piece of fluff, and she manages to get it published. (This is the view I have formed of Grady after one episode, and is in no way due to him being an accountant).

After the book is published, and (naturally) becomes an overnight sensation, JB is off to NYC to meet with publishers and journalists. But not before a makeover montage.

Life Lesson #1: There will always be people who think smearing mud on your face will solve your problem.

While in NYC, JB gives a whole bunch of interviews, and shows those uppity journos just who’s boss. Our heroine is then invited by her publisher to a fancy party, conveniently hosted by Grady’s boss, to apologise for the behaviour of those big city media types who have been so terribly rude. Only on arriving at the house for the weekend is she informed that it is a fancy dress party.

Life Lesson #2: There will always be a spare 1980s Godmother Costume for those who dare to seek it.

At this point, I would have been happy for just about everyone at the fancy dress party to get bumped off, but my particular favourite was Humpty Dumpty who was introduced to JB as a ‘master punner’ and carried around a pot of ‘wallflowers’. If any character deserves to be killed off, it’s a punner. Later I discovered that Humpty Dumpty was actually Leonard from Community and all the kings horses and all the kings men couldn’t put my mind back together again.

What it is, soul brother! (If you don’t watch Community, then I can’t help you)

Whilst at this soiree, the Evil Stepmother from Snow White spills champagne down her dress and JB insists she help to clean her up. Life Lesson #3:  Lemons, milk, soda and eggs “will get the spots out of a leopard.” I don’t know about you, but the next time I see someone spill champagne I’m going to be ALL OVER IT. Thanks Mrs Fletcher! Crisis completely averted, the guests beg the token musical friend (a wannabe Broadway producer) to serenade them while they dance the night away.

Cut to a convenient shot of a clock, and it’s 6:30 in the morning. Humpty is passed out on the couch (typical), and our heroine is out on her morning run again (no hangover for JB Fletcher!) before the serenity is destroyed by an inconsiderate corpse floating in the pool, completely ruining the morning of Grady’s girlfriend. The police are called, and the chief has THE AUDACITY to snark her book and then ask for her help.

JB Fletcher gives the Chief of Police a Care Bear Stare.

Jess gently sets the chief on the right direction, but then bales back to New York. The big city has left a sour taste in her mouth and she’s eager to get back to Cabot Cove, although she’s sorry to leave her publisher. LOVE IS IN THE AIR.

Or at least it is,until Jess is boarding her train and Grady’s bit off fluff turns up to inform her that Grady has been arrested. Now me, I would have said “Serves him right, wimpy git,” and gone back to Cabot Cove to have a quiet shandy with the Chief. Not our heroine though. She bolts from the station, goes straight to the police and shows them how it’s done.

Even from Episode 1, JB Fletcher has to wrangle the police into line…

Grady unfortunately gets bailed, and they go off to have a council of war to plan their next move. At this point I think the New York detectives are giving Grady WAY TOO MUCH CREDIT, but that’s just me. If you ask me, they should have arrested his bit of fluff Kit for referring to sex as ‘bedroom Olympics’. Mrs Fletcher, on the other hand, has other ideas. She’s just spotted the Evil Stepmother across the room…

And with that, the To Be Continued sign appears. And so it will, dear reader. So it will.

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