Oh look who’s showed up to play the role of DOOM.
Jess is in New York to stay with her nephew, but alas his apartment building is full of cockroaches
like Grady and so instead he takes her off to the Montaigne Plaza, the five star hotel owned by Cornelia Montaigne and her new husband (and Grady’s old fraternity buddy) Garrett Harper who has invited them to stay for free.
Speaking of Cornelia Montaigne, she’s pissed off. (And also Janet Leigh, from Pyscho)
While she is berating her husband and her right-hand man Mark Havelin for being crap at their job, Grady arrives with JB to check in. Garrett greets them and tells them that he’s arranged dinner at 7pm for them, his mother and an old school friend Sandra Clemens at which news Grady quietly loses his mind. Apparently he was completely in love with her in high school, third cheerleader from the left at homecoming, he informs Jess.
“I must have been watching the game.” Says JB.
Upstairs they run into Sandra who is weirdly happy to see Grady again. She is delighted to meet JB, whom she’s heard so much about. “I remember you!” JB says. “Third cheerleader from the left, right?”
“Homecoming!” Says Sandra. “You have some memory!”
“Oh no.” Says JB. “Grady has a photo on his coffee table.”
After dropping that little truth bomb JB leaves them to it, and Sandra makes Grady promise to come get her for dinner. Leaving Grady gawking like an idiot, she goes down to the lobby and runs into Garrett, who asks her if she saw Grady. She says yes, and that this is really dumb. Garrett tells her he needs to keep Cornelia off his back or it’s over for both of them.
Guys I think Garrett might be a bit of a dick.
Later that night Grady goes to pick up Sandra with a bunch of flowers. Her hunt for a vase is interrupted by a phone call, so while she’s jotting down a phone number on the back of an envelope, Grady helpfully deposits the bunch of flowers into a pitcher of martinis. Good work Grady.
At dinner, Garrett’s mother and Sandra are not entirely pleased to see each other while Cornelia paces the restaurant looking not pleased about anything. Later that night she and Garrett argue, and he tells her she’s being paranoid, he was just setting up a reunion between two old friends. Meanwhile, Jess gets sick of Grady pacing around the hotel room and tells him she’s going to bed and that he should go out. Grady delightedly agrees and leaves JB to go over her manuscript in peace.
Grady goes straight to Sandra’s room, and is surprised to find the door open. Inside, he finds Sandra dead on the floor. As he goes to call the police he notices Garrett’s refection in the mirror, running out of the room. SHADY DUDE.
(I just looked up the actor who plays Garrett on IMDB. He will be appearing in Sharkansas Prison Massacre later this year. Do with this information what you will.)
Anyway, Grady calls the police much to the irritation of the hotel house detective Fritz Rice, who would much prefer not to alarm the hotel guests with sordid tales of people accidentally hitting their heads on hotel furniture and dying. JB is staggered that he thinks it’s an accident. Meanwhile, Garrett wants a private word with Grady to assure him that he stepped in to Sandra’s hotel room just as Grady saw him and he was running to get help and not not tell the police about it because Cornelia was upset enough already.
Inpsector Donald Matheney drops in during the intermission of the ballet to make his presence felt. JB insists on showing him the crime scene, and points out that there was absolutely no way Sandra tripped over nothing and hit her head on the dresser. Also, why was there lipstick and makeup on the pillow but the rest of the bed was completely undisturbed? The Inspector tells her that if there was foul play he’d be most likely to talk to Grady, and then departs for the theatre.
Unhappy with how the investigation isn’t running, JB wakes up hotel manager Mark Havlin, who had taken his phone off the hook to get a couple of hours sleep before a sheik arrives at midnight with all 37 wives, causing him more headaches. As he replaces the flower in his buttonhole with a fresh one he notices the time and says “Night shift came on at eight, at least the beds have been turned down.
Upstairs, JB tries to console a miserable Grady who is convinced that the Inspector thinks he’s guilty, and that Grady and Sandra were romantically involved, when the most exciting thing that happened was when Grady put the flowers in the martini jug. He tells JB about Sandra’s phone call, and how she wrote the number down on an envelope in her bag and Jess tells him he needs to tell the Inspector immediately. Grady says he did, but there was no envelope found. Jess asks Grady if Sandra still worked as a computer operator (ahaha) and he says yes, back in Fort Wayne. Jess wonders in that case how she can afford to stay at the Montaigne, but Grady just figures Garrett is paying for her too.
The next morning, JB goes to see Mark Havlin on a fishing expedition and offers to cover Sandra’s hotel bill but Mark sees through it, and informs Jess that Sandra has stayed at the hotel nine times in the last year or so, and that he has absolutely no idea how she’s paying for it.
JB’s next visit is to Garrett’s mother Nettie, who has very carelessly left the door open while she’s on the phone to Garrett talking about what a stroke of good luck it is that Sandra’s dead. JB offers her condolences but Nettie shrugs. She hadn’t seen the girl in years. JB mentions that she understood Sandra had stayed at the Montaigne on a regular basis but Nettie just offers JB more hotel chocolates and tells her how badly she feels for Grady.
Meanwhile, Grady is having lunch with Garrett who is in a dilly of a pickle as Ned Flanders would say. He admits to Grady that he and Sandra had a thing after graduation, and that he gave her an engraved bracelet. Sandra brought it to New York “for old times sake” and it’s still in the pocket of her bathrobe. Now, obviously Garrett can’t go and retrieve it, Cornelia would have a fit. But what about Garrett’s old pal Grady?
Grady accepts the challenge, successfully retrieves the bracelet and they all live happily ever after. LOL, J/K, when does Grady successfully do anything?
JB is on a rampage through the hotel lobby on her way to see Inspector Matheney to bail Grady out when she bumps into Cornelia. Cornelia wants to offer her condolences but JB wants none of it. It’s obvious that Grady got the passkey to break into Sandra’s hotel room from Garrett, and it’s obvious he did it to retrieve the bracelet for Garrett. Cornelia reluctantly agrees, and tells JB if she’s looking for the inspector, not to try police headquarters.
Jess finds Inspector Matheney holding court at a Van Gogh exhibit and demands to know what Grady has been charged with, why Matheney is so quick to assume the G on the engraved necklace stands for Grady when it could easily stand for Garrett and why he hasn’t followed up on the lead about the envelope with the phone number written on it. Matheney tries to respond, but has got nothing, naturally.
With Grady safely out of custody, they return back to the hotel. Grady thanks his aunt for all the trouble she went to (again) and Jess demands answers. Grady tries to explain that he was only helping a friend, after he’d been so supportive when they found the body.
Grady explains what happened when Sandra died, but that it wasn’t what it seemed. Jess tries to convince him that Garrett might be the killer but Grady doesn’t want to know about it,
“It must have entered your mind!” Says Jess. “I mean, you’re much too smart to accept that man at face value!”
I hate to argue with you boss, but…
Grady spits the dummy and goes for a walk, while JB gets a phone call from the Inspector who has just gotten hold of Sandra’s bank account statements. Jess goes down to police headquarters to take a look – there are a bunch of deposits for around 25 grand each. I think we all know what that spells!
Jess asks to see the dates when Sandra stayed at the Montaigne, and naturally, her hunch pays off. The deposits and the checkin dates match exactly.
JB has a fairly good idea of who has been blackmailed and goes to see Nettie who tries to bluff her way out but admits that Sandra and Garrett used to be married, and that the divorce was never finalised, making Garrett’s marriage to Cornelia invalid. Sandra used to come up and to stay in the hotel and wave the marriage certificate around. And so, blackmail! Also motive.
Jess meets Grady at a jazz bar and fills him in on what she’s learned. Grady still thinks that it might not be Garrett, and that maybe Nettie killed Sandra, but JB gently points out that they’ve been waiting an hour to meet Garrett and he still hasn’t showed.
Grady is heading back to his hotel room when he overhears Garrett talking to the house detective Fritz Rice. Garrett offers Rice five grand to “remember” something that might tie Grady to the murder. Fritz accepts and wanders off to “jog his memory” while Grady steps forward and confronts Garrett, who tells Grady he was just pushing Rice to see how far he would go, and that he would never dream of –
“You’re good. Real good.” Says Grady. “Ten, maybe eleven years and I never saw it. I guess maybe I’m not too bright.”
Jess decides to cheer Grady up with some dinner, but is distracted when the turn down service arrives. Something about flowers and turn down services has solved the case!
What can this mean?
When Mark Havelin discovered the blackmail going on he decided he wanted in, killed Sandra and took the marriage certificate for himself, before taking his phone off the hook and telling Jess he’d been asleep for three hours. But as Jess points out, if he’d been asleep for three hours at 10:30pm, the night maid wouldn’t have been able to get in to leave the flower and chocolate.
So there you have it. Grady escapes a murder rap again, and stands up for himself against shady Garrett. Unfortunately, his stand includes refusing to be Garrett’s best man in the upcoming sequel to their wedding, and refusing to be comped for staying in the hotel, and is left with a 2500 dollar hotel bill. But good for him. Ugh, that hurt to admit.
And on that horrifying note.
PS – A few people have asked me when I’ll be live-tweeting another Murder She Wrote movie, so I’ve decided that when Murder She Blogged hits 100 likes on Facebook, I’ll do another one. So if you know someone who would enjoy the incoherent ramblings of a madwoman disguised as reviews of Murder She Wrote episodes, send them this way!