Hope you all had a lovely Easter Fletcherfans and spent it in more productive ways than lounging on the couch in your pyjamas watching a CSI: New York marathon with two cats eating chocolate and periodically shouting YOU GREW YOUR LEGS LIEUTENANT DAN!
Not that I’m saying that I did that.
We begin this week in possibly the most genius named cafe in all of NYC:
Inside, JB is offering her condolences to her friend Mary Rose on the sudden death of her sister Charlotte, in a little town called Eden in Oregon. She tells JB that she received an anonymous note from someone in Eden warning Mary Rose that her sister was murdered, and to trust no one. She asks JB to accompany her out to Oregon to investigate her sister’s death, but JB has a mountain of work to do in Cabot Cove and just can’t spare the time. Mary Rose asks her to at least meet with her lawyer, Lewis Framm, who apparently makes a lot of sense for someone so young (32, for those playing along at home).
Outside, just as they are about to cross the street, a man tries to run Mary Rose down in his car. Well that’s just rude. The aforementioned Lewis comes to visit Mary Rose in the hospital and is staggered to learn that the attempt was deliberate. Unfortunately the mystery moustache was pronounced dead on arrival so they still have no idea why he tried to kill Mary Rose. Lewis tells JB that he’s going to Oregon the next day, and JB has an idea. Since no one in Eden knows what Charlotte’s sister looks like, she could go to Oregon with Lewis and pretend to be Mary Rose. DEADLINES BE DAMNED! YOLO AND SO FORTH!
They finally make it to the Garden of Eden Hotel, where they meet Charlotte’s second in command, Lila Benson. She tells “Mary Rose” (JB) that Charlotte was the kindest woman she’d ever worked for, and that she’d said if anything happened to her, that Lila would take over the business. She offers to take JB to see Charlotte’s room, but is surprised to learn that Lewis wants a room at the hotel too.
Up in the suite, JB decides that the decor reminds her of something, but she’s not sure why,
They are briefly interrupted by the housekeeper Martha, who was curious about the noises coming from Charlotte’s suite. She tells them she’s been sent to make up another room and is surprised to learn it’s for Lewis. JB gets a call from Lila at the front desk informing her that Sheriff Landry would like to speak with her – and does she want Lila to continue running things as before? JB has no problem with that.
Down at the Sheriff’s office people are quick to offer JB their condolences. The Sheriff tells JB that her ‘sister’ was a hell of a woman, and that noone suspected she had a bad heart. JB is relieved to hear that Charlotte died of natural causes, especially considering how quickly she was cremated – the sheriff tells her that was under Doc Lynch’s order. JB quickly excuses herself before the Sheriff can ask any more questions.
Upstairs, JB is wondering just what the hell she’s gotten herself into when she gets another visit from Martha the housekeeper who is upset that JB went to the Sheriff. She tells her that she can’t trust anyone in Eden, no matter what. JB tells her that sounds a lot like a certain anonymous letter she read back in New York and Martha confesses to writing it. She tells JB that she is convinced Charlotte was murdered, and shows her a secret compartment hidden under the floorboards where Charlotte used to keep her papers including the will Martha witnessed alongside the brothel’s resident handyman (heh) and love interest to Lila Eddie Mackell. Martha tells them that when she came back from visiting her sister Charlotte was dead and cremated, and the secret compartment was cleared out. JB asks Martha to go down and tell Lila to close up shop and gather everyone on the lobby. Jessica tells them all that she’s decided to close the hotel for a three day period of remembrance (with full pay of course) and that she’s decided to stay on and run the place. Lila doesn’t take the news well and skulks off.
While Lewis goes to investigate the town records office, JB pays a visit on Doc Lynch to find out more about the night Charlotte died. He gets a bit stressed out when JB asks him the reason for Charlotte’s quick cremation, presumably because he’s lying through his teeth. Back at the hotel Lila tells JB that she’s had a phone call from Mrs Fletcher in the hospital. JB takes it upstairs and pointedly tells “Mrs Fletcher” that she shouldn’t waste her strength on the phone, but Mary Rose has important information – they identified the driver who tried to run her down as Eddie Mackell. Lila, who is eavesdropping, lets out a gasp. When JB confronts her about it, Lila tells her that Eddie went to New York to “make it right” when they found out that Charlotte had a sister. She didn’t know he meant try and kill her, and she swears that neither of them had anything to do with Charlotte’s death.
JB goes to tell the Sheriff what she’d learned but the Sheriff sees no reason to reopen Charlotte’s case. Back at the Garden of Eden, Jess has an unexpected visitor – CJ Dobbs, local businessman – who offers to buy the Garden of Eden. JB tells him she’s happy to consider it but she wants to look over the books first; she’s trying to work out where Charlotte’s money went, and she can’t find any real estate deeds to land she supposedly bought. CJ tells her that he brokered the deal, when a mall was planned for outside of town but the deal fell through and they had to sell the land at a loss. He assures JB, however, that if she sold the brothel to him that she would go back east with more money than when she started.
“Why is it everyone is so nervous with me around?” Asks Jess. “Doctor Lynch trembled when I spoke to him?” (It’s true. He did. I saw it. Take my word for it, Fletcherfans). Apparently, according to CJ, that was because he used to be an alcoholic and killed a patient a long time ago. That seems awfully convenient.
Upstairs, JB has a cup of tea with Lila who comes clean about what happened. I think. It’s a bit hard to hear her over her dress.
Lila tells JB that she woke up about three thirty in the morning to hear noises and saw Snook Sitwell (?) and Reverand Willard Manchester (!!) carrying Charlotte down the stairs in a blanket, accompanied by Doc Lynch. The Doc told Lila that Charlotte was being taken to the doc’s office for treatment, then Lila went back to bed. JB presses her and Lila admits that she saw a bloodstain on the blanket.
JB decides to pay a visit on the good Reverend, whose wife bears an uncanny resemblance to Helen Lovejoy from the Simpsons.
Helen Dora Manchester orders JB to stay away from her husband, and that she knows what Charlotte was up to, using her brothel to blackmail the men of Eden. Before JB could get anything out of her the Sheriff arrives with some news. He did some checking up on Eddie Mackell and confirmed he died in New York after running down Mary Rose…and leaving her in the hospital with a broken leg. JB comes clean and tells the Sheriff everything she’s found out since arriving in Eden, including the blackmail. The Sheriff, defeated, asks JB what she wants him to do and she tells him to keep his mouth shut about her identity and to tell CJ, Snook and Reverend Manchester that she would like to meet with them
Back at the brothel, Martha is in a flap about the idea that JB would sell the brothel, but admits that there would be plenty of work to be found once the new mall opens. Lewis pops up to deliver a rose he found out on the porch with a note inviting Mary Rose to a meeting at 9pm. At the mortuary. What could possibly go wrong?
Inside, JB tells Snook, CJ, the Doc and the Reverend that she intends to stay on and take over Charlotte’s enterprises and so Snook asks her how much it will take to keep her quiet. Before answering, JB asks them about the night that Charlotte died, and between them it is revealed that the Reverend found Charlotte already stabbed, called the Doc and so arranged to carry Charlotte to the Doc’s office, before a quick cremation to avoid suspicion. They swear they had nothing to do with her murder, and that none of them knew each other’s secrets. JB tells them that the Sheriff has a theory that one of the blackmail victims stole Charlotte’s strongbox containing all the juicy info she had on them all, and that he was on his way to each of their houses to search for it. That sends all four men scuttling for the door.
Of course, JB’s plan works an absolute treat and they catch the killer red-handed. Well, box-handed.
So there you have it. CJ killed Charlotte not because of blackmail reasons but because of Charlotte-finding-out-CJ-swindled-her-in-a-real-estate-deal reasons.
Now, if you’ll excuse me I’m just going to examine the idea that tequila fixes toothache.