Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away (but in geographical terms, India) there was an explorer. Let’s call him Not Quite Indiana Jones. NQ was hunting a valuable ruby, alongside his local guide Not Jonathan Rhys-Davies. One day, the explorer found the ruby, prised it from it’s position on the head of a snake statue, and promptly dropped dead while Not Jonathan did a lot of this.
Fast forward a bit, and with no explanation as to how it happened, but the ruby now resides around the neck of Mrs Alice Hazlitt, the new sister-in-law of Doctor Seth Hazlitt, although he doesn’t know it yet.
Meanwhile, JB is on the tail end of roadtrip to Washington with Seth to Washington to have a bit of a chinwag with their local Congressman, but with the job done JB isn’t quite ready to return back to the Cove just yet. In fact, she’s had a great idea – Seth should go and visit his brother in Maryland that he hasn’t seen for 30 years. Seth wants no part of the plan, but caves in the end as all must do when ordered to do something by The Queen.
Except Seth has decided that he won’t go unless Jess goes with him.
Alas, by the time they get to Maryland the polo game Seth was apparently invited to has finished. They are about to leave again when Alice spots Seth and introduces herself.
Seth’s reaction to the realization that he’s now got a hot sister-in-law is priceless.
Richard Hazlitt has a similar reaction to seeing his brother for the first time in thirty years, and is surprised to learn that Seth was there at his invitation. Alice admits that it was her doing, and begs them to come to the party at the house later that evening and to stay the night. Seth and Richard reluctantly accept, but never mind that because LOOK WHO ELSE IS AT THE POLO GAME.
Later that night, the party kicks off with Not Hugh Laurie on the drums.
While Seth and Alice’s father duke it out over the last spinach puff JB introduces them to Vikram Singh, the real name of Not Jonathan Rhys-Davies, who works as a cultural attache at the Indian Embassy. Alice’s father remembers him, and tells him how much he enjoyed the film Gunga Din.
They are soon joined by Seth’s niece Carolyn and nephew Mark who are positively delighted to be there. No really. They all light up some of Vikram’s Turkish cigarettes and when Richard comes over to scold his children for smoking and for not giving them up like Alice Vikram spots the Ruby of Daanav around Alice’s neck. He compliments her on not being affected by the curse, and Richard tells him curse, shmurse, he’s not selling the ruby.
Guys I think I know where this is going.
Alice excuses herself to go and retrieve Richard’s present from the garage. When she gets there she finds the car has been left running and the garage filling with exhaust fumes. She tries to turn the car off but it’s locked from the inside. The garage roller door is broken and the other door has magically locked her in. Overcome by the fumes, she collapses. Luckily for Alice, her father comes down looking for his pipe and saves the day. Alice is okay, but not sure what happened. Her father insists on calling the police, and a familiar face comes to check it all out.
After learning of JB’s meeting with the Congressman in Washington Lietenant Ames decides that she must be a secret agent. He’s still convinced that Alice tried to kill herself even though it makes no sense to turn a car on, leave it for 15 minutes and then go back to it. Richard is convinced it was just an accident, and Ames tells JB that if there are any more accidents just give him a call.
JB puts Alice to bed, and asks her if anyone else knew where she’d hidden the present. She says Carolyn had suggested it to her, and her Dad reminds her that Mark had driven up just as they were hiding it. Alice thinks it’s more likely that the Curse of the Daanav is more likely behind the prank than either of them Richard appears to tell them that he’d kicked everyone out of the house, and Alice tells Richard to put the necklace away in the safe.
Downstairs, JB and Richard run into Vikram who somehow missed the memo that the party is over. He hopes that Richard will take the curse more seriously now, but Richard tells him he’s not selling not now not ever. He goes into the study to put the ruby away and is startled by Seth sitting in the dark. Over a whiskey or two they mend their metaphorical (I accidentally wrote METHaphorical and now I’m dying) fences and all is right with the world. Until Alice comes down and finds her husband lying dead on the floor in a locked room with the necklace around his neck but without the ruby. Oh dear.
The next morning Ames finds Special Agent JB Fletcher outside and begs her to tell him what she’s found out but it’s not much. Whomever killed Richard wanted to make it look like the work of the curse. Inside Mark is on the phone trying to get a copy of his father’s will sent out. Ames asks him why he’s in such a rush for it but Mark tells Ames his father was a cold vindictive so and so which Seth takes offence to. Mark tells Seth he’s in no position to judge since he hadn’t spoken to his brother in over 30 years until the previous day. Ames asks Seth about it and Seth storms off. Classic Seth. JB finds him packing, and he tells her there’s no way he’s sticking around to be accused of murder. Ames wanders in to tell him that they’re running some prints found on some whiskey glasses and Seth tells him that one set belongs to him. Ames isn’t buying the reconciliation story Seth is putting out, but JB informs him he has it on the Highest Authority, making Ames think that Seth is a colleague of JB’s at the FBI/CIA/NSC/CWA etc etc. JB tells Ames she’s figured out how the door was locked – with the cunning use of a cigarette to stop latch from closing all the way.
Vikram Singh appears out of nowhere, but he says he has nothing to do with the death of Richard Hazlitt. In fact, he tried to stop his death by buying the ruby from him to stop the curse. As he is leaving, JB notices him feel his glove and asks him why he doesn’t put it on. Ames grabs it off him and tips it, revealing the ruby.
Down at the police station JB tells Ames she just doesn’t think Singh is guilty of anything more than trying to get the ruby out of the house. Assuming that Alice’s accident and Richard’s death are related there doesn’t seem to be any logical reason why Singh would be involved.
That’s because he wasn’t. And neither was Richard’s daughter. Or, as it turns out, his wife.
So yes. The ruby was a red herring. It was more a matter of a father hating his son-in-law. But the important thing is, my housemate just knocked on my door and offered me homemade hummus so until next time