Wait just one sec…
Right, where are we? Oh yes. New York this week Fletcherfans where Our Heroine is attempting to take her buddy Lieutenant Timothy Hanratty, aka Morty Seinfeld, out for brunch.
After a brief visit to Timothy’s boss/nemesis Captain Everett Larson’s office, they are off to brunch but get somewhat distracted by a dead body they spot along the way. The policeman at the scene tells them it’s just another dead hobo, but Jessica and Harry aren’t so sure. The dead guy is only wearing one shoe, and judging by the state of his socks it was removed after he died. Timothy decides he might just take a casual look into the case, receiving the wrath of Everett in the process, who refers to hobos as disposable. What a charmer. He reluctantly lets Timothy look into the matter, but unofficially. No paperwork unless there is an ID and an autopsy done that night.
Jess meets him for breakfast the next morning. Naturally he got it done and they now know who the dead guy is – Elliot Winston. Timothy is off to check out his apartment and begs Jess to come with him, because “you once said that every good writer needs a good editor, and I need a good editor”.
JB and Timothy roll up to Elliot’s address and meet his neighbour Grace Fenton. She is devastated to learn of Elliott’s death but refuses to believe that he drank himself to death. They were in the same AA meeting and she is vehement that he would not have relapsed. JB admits that they think Elliott’s death wasn’t accidental, and Grace is relieved. She is stunned when Timothy opens Elliot’s locked drawer to reveal it had been broken into and Elliot’s secret stash of papers are missing. JB calls Timothy over to the potplant – she’s just found an open bottle of wine. Grace still won’t believe it. (Side note, the actress playing Grace has been nominated for an Academy award twice and is also in Paul Blart Mall Cop. What a world we live in).
Timothy’s boss is furious. Despite overwhelming evidence that Elliott was a drunk who died, Timothy is still investigating the case as a murder. Larsen tells Timothy he’s over old cops ruining his life, just take an early retirement and, on seeing Jessica walk in, tells Timothy to conduct his personal life after work.
While Timothy investigates the bars and bottle shops around where Elliot was found, JB goes back to chat with Grace, who is naturally distraught about the death of her friend, as she was a bit in love with him.
Jessica tells her the lieutenant is determined to find out why Eliot was murdered. She asks Grace about the missing papers and Grace tells her she doesn’t know what they were, but she assumed they had something to do with Eliot’s job at the Old York hospital, a fancy private hospital for rich people where Eliot was an accountant.
Timothy and Jess compare notes – the autopsy confirms cause of death was acute alcohol poisoning. Jess is still sure it was murder and decides to go undercover to the Old York hospital to suss it out. And you know what that means, Fletcherfans – cunning use of disguise time.
Jess goes in to meet her doctors, including Dr Latimer (also known as Templeton Peck from the A Team) and Dr Markle. Fun fact about Dr Markle, he was the first ever victim on Murder, She Wrote. Dr Markle says that he thinks there’s probably nothing to worry about, but Dr Lantz is concerned about some shadows on “Christine Chesterton”s gall bladder.
No time to care about that though.
Jess and Timothy go to quiz the coroner about his findings and he tells them that he thinks Elliot had been on the wagon for a lot of years before he died. He also tells them he found a cut on one of Eliot’s vocal chords, but what that means he has no idea. Back at the precinct they arrive to the news that Captain Larsen has just solved the case all by himself. He tells them it was all down to policework – a pawnbroker reported that a wino tried to hock a watch, enscribed to Eliott from Grace, and when he was picked up he had Eliot’s wallet on him too. Larsen tells him the wino even confessed but when they talk to him in the cells he tells them he admitted to stealing the watch and wallet, but that’s it. On the night of the murder, he says, he was just falling asleep when a car screams off. He notices a pair of shoes across the alley. He tries to take them but can only manage one. He realises Eliott’s dead and only has time to take the wallet and watch before he hears a noise and runs off.
Jess returns incognito to the Old York Hospital for the results of her tests and is informed by Doctors Markle and Zachary that she needs her gall bladder removed. Before she can say anything, Markle gets a phone call from Doctor Latimer, who has just spotted a book with JB’s picture on the jacket. Oh dear. Markle quickly tells JB that there was a problem with the xray film and they will need to reshoot the xrays. On her way out, after being given the all clear, JB and Dr Markle run into Dr Latimer, holding a copy of one of JB’s books.
JB comes clean (ish) and tells them she went undercover to research a book she’s thinking of writing about Eliott’s ‘double life’ – by day a mild mannered accountant, by night a rampaging drunk! Or some such. Markle and Latimer are bemused, but let her go. JB asks if she could talk to some of Eliot’s co-workers and Markle sees no objection. Latimer tells her he always suspected Eliot would end up under a pile of newspapers somewhere. He won’t be around to help her with her book, he informs her, because he’s off on a Carribean holiday in the morning.
Jess gets a call later that afternoon inviting her to come back down to the hospital to find out more about Eliott. The receiptionist, Stephanie, gives her a tour of the hospital but Jess remains unenlightened. She asks if she can see Eliot’s office, but Stephanie tells her that all Eliot’s belongings have been packed away in the basement, and she can’t let JB down there without authorisation. Once Stephanie is called away though, JB sneaks down to the basement. Just as she finds Eliot’s file, a hand grabs her. It’s Leon the orderly, who demands to know what she’s doing down there sneaking around in the dark. Before JB can think of an answer, Stephanie reappears and tells Leon to go and get a coffee. “You don’t take no for answer do you?” Says Stephanie.
“Not when it’s the wrong answer.” Says JB.
Stephanie is mostly unhelpful but JB does manage to learn that Eliot had stumbled on to the little insurance scam Drs Latimer, Markle and Zachary had concocted. Jess tells her that if she knows something she should call the police.
The next day Timothy tells Jess that the computer dug up the histories of the Doctors of Old York and discovered that Dr Zachary was in fact a phoney. Timothy tries to get a court order out of Larsen but Larsen won’t budge. Meanwhile, JB is strolling along in the park when a man with a newspaper on his face gives Jess the epiphany she needed. She returns to the hospital to confront the killer, who tries to make a break for it but is slammed to the ground by Leon. Good job Leon.
Alas Eliot confided his suspicions about the insurance fraud to Doctor Latimer, who killed him and was preparing to run off to the Caribbean to avoid prosecution.
Meanwhile, while Jess has been busy solving cases, this happened:
You know what? This is the first feel-good ending there’s been for awhile. So keep that warm and fuzzy feeling going Fletcherfans.