Back in the Cove at last, and not a minute too soon! This week JB is gadding about Cabot Cove on her Fletchmobile (read: bike), and having a dilemma. She has to give a speech at the Founders Day picnic about the Founding Fathers of Cabot Cove, including one who was a pirate rogue who fought for the English. She doesn’t think the town is ready for the truth, and frankly, neither do I. Look how things went for Lisa Simpson.

Jess is saved from having to reveal the results of her research by a man being chased across the baseball field by a driverless car. It’s just like that movie Duel, except it’s not a truck, and as far as I know Stephen Spielberg isn’t involved. Or is he?

Wait, I’ve lost my train of thought. Right, Sedan of Doom. After the car throws the man up against the metal fence, it legs it out of there before Sheriff Amos arrives to restore normality/have a bowl of clam chowder. Despite the protestations of Jess’s pal Ethan, who swears that the car didn’t have a driver, Amos is unconvinced. He checks in on the victim of the hit and run, an out-of-towner friend of a local man, who came to the cove with his business partner to visit their former co-worker. He tells Amos the same thing. Amos is not pleased by this news.

Meanwhile, Our Heroine goes to pay a visit on her friend Daniel, who has a visitor. Several, in fact.

Life lesson #20: When going to stickybeak on neighbours, distract them with pie.

While Katie goes to deal with the pie, Jess bumps into Daniel’s nephew and his soon to be missus, Leslie, then goes to see Daniel in his TARDIS garage, where he’s working on a Doomsday Device bike. Jess tells him that his friend Charles Woodley has been attacked by the Sedan of Doom, and Daniel loses it – the man is no friend of his!

Down on the docks, the partner of Charles Woodley arrives via boat, looking for the hospital. After some helpful direction from Ethan, he sets off in the direction of the hospital. On the way he has a run-in with the Sedan of Death, and comes off second best, i.e dead.

Yet to be informed of the latest shenanigans going down in Cabot today, JB is hard at work on her next novel. Ethan arrives to tell her the news and to ask her assistance – he thinks the Sheriff is in over his head. He knows this, he explains, because he keeps clearing his throat.

Unable to counter that logic, Jess jumps on the Fletchmobile and sees what she can do. She runs into Amos, and after some subtle nudging, gets invited to assist the Sheriff on the case – as research for her next book, of course. She’s smooth, that JB. Together they visit Charles Woodley again in the hospital. He reveals that Daniel used to work on remote control operated gadgets when he worked for Woodley. Amos’s ears prick up at that, but Jess dismisses it out of hand. The car is the key! Amos vows to turn the whole county upside down to find it. Jess, on the other hand, decides a barbecue with Daniel and his gaggle of guests is a much better idea. Daniel is still insisting that he never called the two businessmen to Cabot Cove, which leaves Jessica to do a little sneaky detective work of her own. Despite his claim otherwise, the calls went from his house to Woodley’s private line. I CALL SHENANIGANS.

Armed with this information, Jess finds Katie the houseguest (who wishes she was more permanent), and asks her why Daniel was fired from his job. Katie begins to explain, but is interrupted by Daniel with his latest invention – an electronic device to keep aphids off his roses. He proudly demonstrates it for Jess and Katie:

Teach dogs to kill aphids and prune rosebushes? Brilliant!

That night Jess has Ethan, Tony and Leslie around for dinner, mostly so she can hear about what that Amos Tupper has been up to. Alas, turning the county upside down hasn’t found the Car of Doom, and Ethan’s a bit fed up. Jess has her own idea about where they should look, and goes to visit the Sheriff the next morning.

Needless to say, Sheriff Tupper is delighted to have JB tell him how to do his job…

Amos Tupper does not like it when Mrs Fletcher gets all up in his business.

Fortunately Jess accepts Sheriff Tupper blowing off steam with good grace.

JB Fletcher imagines stapling things to Sheriff Tupper’s head…

Jess goes out hunting Sedans of Doom, and naturally finds her prey carefully concealed in a bush. Unfortunately for Jess, she’s so caught up in proving Sheriff Tupper wrong that she forgets rule 101 of hunting Sedans of Doom – be careful to avoid the 4WD of Destruction. When she gets into the Sedan of Doom to hunt for clues, a Mysterious Gloved Hand sets the remote control off, and soon Jess is CAREENING THROUGH THE STREETS OF CABOT COVE LIKE A PLAYER IN GRAND THEFT AUTO. Fortunately Ethan spots her driving about the town like a madwoman and helpfully gives chase. Observe the following helpful diagram:

Bonus level from GTA: The Streets of Cabot Cove…

Things come to the point (literally) when Jess crashes through a gate and ends up speeding towards a cliff. Jess throws her hands up in the air – she doesn’t want to bow out like Thelma and Louise – and thankfully she doesn’t. The 4WD of Destruction turns off the remote control, drops a u-bomb, and disappears into the sunset.

At this point it’s very difficult to tell who is more shaken up – Ethan or JB – so Ethan takes his friend for a restorative cuppa at the police station, which Amos makes with the policework. He discovers some of Daniel’s files in the back of the car, and he is convinced that Daniel is the one controlling the Sedan of Doom. They troop off to Daniel’s TARDIS garage to see if they can find proof of his innocence, but alas, everything they find convinces Sheriff Tupper than Daniel is guilty. Tupper carts him off to the big house, and leaves Jess and Katie to ponder what was really going on. Jess goes to visit him in jail the next day, and on her way home gets a flat tyre. Fortunately Daniel’s nephew drives past and offers her a lift. They argue about whether or not Daniel is crazy – Jess is sure he isn’t, but Tony (and his fiance) are worried.

The next morning Jess is buying groceries when she stumbles across Ethan playing Mortal Kombat an arcade game. After a little trash talk from Our Heroine, Ethan demands that she have a turn. Half way through the level, she has an epiphany.

Life Lesson #21 – when stumped for your next move, take time out and play an early 80s arcade game.

Jess calls the gang together back where it all began, at the park. They’re going to recreate the first case of the Sedan of Doom, to see if anyone remembers anything new. While they’re talking, the 4WD of Destruction appears, and before too long, the Sedan of Doom is rampaging across the baseball field, chasing Amos and Charles Woodley, who throws away his cane in horror.

Everyone is in a panic, except Jess. She’s baited her trap, and all she needs now is for her prey to fall into it…

Surprised? So was I…

Turns out Daniel’s nephew’s fiance was in cahoots with Charles Woodley all along, and they would have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for them meddling kids Our Heroine.

So ends another episode of Murder, She Blogged. Stay tuned, dear reader. Next week I have a surprise for you…