Happy Eurovision Fletcherfans. The final has happened but due to time differences and the fact that I get up at 5am for no song contest I still don’t know who won. (It must have been Sweden. I mean, did you see him? 12 points to anyone who can get me his phone number…I mean, the animations were amazing. Also, I did enjoy Israeli N*Sync this year, they were fun. Still can’t believe Moldova didn’t make it through though. And I hope Guy Sebastian did well, even if I think Tism should have been our entry just to confuse people even more).
But enough about that because we are back in Cabot Cove this week Fletcherfans, where the clients of everyone’s favourite beauty parlour is watching Top of the Morning Book Nook, a book review show featuring an up-and-coming writer from Cabot Cove named Sybil Reed. The interviewer points out Sybil isn’t the only writer to come out of Cabot Cove and Sybil agrees, saying that JB Fletcher was a massive influence on her work.
JB and Seth reminisce about the Life of Sybil – her mother running away, her father dying unexpectedly (murdered, probably, since it’s Cabot Cove but this is never confirmed), and Sybil living with her grandmother on Hedgehog Lane until her grandmother’s death when Sybil was 17. Seth announces he will go over to the bookstore and see if they have any copies of the book, to which JB says she would be grateful, not that she’s in a rush to read it or anything. LOL, J/K she needs it now, she’s so excited for her former pupil nawww.
The whole town is down at the bookshop, wanting to get their hands on the book. In the queue, the ladies from the beauty parlour all compare notes as to how they helped Sybil when her grandmother died, except Phyllis who points out that Sybil’s mother was the first girl to put gym socks down her bra in junior high and Ideal remembers slapping Sybil’s father’s face but for reasons long forgotten. Seth proceeds to the front of the queue by announcing his presence and bumps into the Sheriff, who is buying a copy of the book for his wife, banged up after dropping a person on her foot during her self-defence class. The bookshop owner, Ellis Hillgate greets Phyllis, Ideal and Eve but saves a special hello for Miriam who is not as excited.
Recovering, Ellis greets Seth as Doctor Valiant, to which Seth gets uppity saying “You know perfectly well my name is Hazlitt.”
“Not in my book.” Ellis dangles it in front of Seth’s face and he snatches it. Ellis informs him the book is $18.95, at which Seth is scandalized, saying he can remember a time when you could get a whole set of encyclopedias for $15 and still have change for a seafood dinner and a picture show. He tells Ellis he will deduct the amount off his next doctor’s bill, to which Ellis says “Page 14.”
While eager patrons flip pages to the page in question, Seth beats a hasty retreat back to Jessica’s house, where she investigates the book and discovers that Castle Cove’s Doctor Valiant is a cross between a leprechaun and a curmudgeon.
Jess tells him to take a chill pill but Seth tells her he’s not the only resident in the book – a lot of people are going to get their noses bent out of shape and for the record JB might take special notice of the fictitious English teacher by the name of Mrs K C Feather – “that should stiffen your syllabus for quite some time.”
Later that evening, JB’s syllabus has definitely stiffened.
JB gets a visit from Eve Simpson, who has apparently just had the worst experience of her life. She notices JB’s copy of the book and says she knows JB will be just as disgusted, appalled and horrified as she was that such filth was allowed to be printed.
JB is confused – Eve has always been all about free speech. She still is, but not in relation to the fictional Castle Cove man crazed real estate agent that goes after every husband in town that is clearly nothing but a slanderous lie. “Surely it isn’t based on you.” Says JB.
It isn’t. Except for the descriptions of the house, the office, the car “and the mole on my fanny which is on the wrong side!”
JB tells Eve to calm down, but Eve says once JB has discovered KC Feather, then they will talk. Meanwhile across town, Noah Harwood has just arrived home from a hard day’s whatevering to find his neighbour sniggering on the nature strip and asking Noah if he’d read any good books lately. Noah tells his wife Miriam that he thinks George has too many worms in his bait can. Miriam, who has just hidden the book in the fridge to stop Noah finding it, panics when he goes to get a beer but dissuades him from reading the book by saying “you wouldn’t like it, a woman wrote it.”
Nicely done Miriam. The national treasure Noah smacks her on the butt and goes off to wait for his dinner. Later that night JB is dragged out of bed by a knock at the door – it’s Sybil, needing a place to crash while the chaos of the book tour settles down. JB tries to palm her off but Sybil makes herself at home in about 3o seconds. “It’s good to be home in Castle Cove,” she says.
Meanwhile across town, someone has just broken into the bookstore, taken all the copies of The Sins of Castle Cove and set them on fire. Everyone’s a critic.
The next morning JB finds Seth auditioning to be a part of Beyonce’s dance crew.
Seth asks JB what brings her out on such a fine morning and she tells him an unexpected house guest arrived, and the cupboard was bare. Seth asks her if it just might be a budding young novelist off the Portland bus – he heard about it at the diner that morning from the taxi driver. JB confirms it but admits that’s not the only reason why she’s out of the house early – she read the book. They find Ellis the bookstore owner out the front of his shop, outraged at the damage that had been done. Sheriff Metzger informs Seth and JB that a fisherman spotted the fire as he was coming in on the boat – someone torched all the copies of the book and left a cut out note saying stop selling the book or all will burn. “Wonder why they don’t like this book?” Mort wonders.
Back at home JB get a phone call but it’s for Sybil – it’s her friend Corinne, who happens to be the manicurist at the beauty parlour. She gives Sybil an update on the fallout from her book – everyone is going nuts about it. She is called away by Loretta the owner, who has Eve waiting for a manicure. Loretta is unbothered by the book, but Miriam is worried. There’s a little plotline about an unfaithful wife and a scumbag husband that’s a little too close to home if you get my drift, but they tell her not to worry. As soon as she’s gone Eve confirms Miriam had a little fling with the butcher, but refuses to confirm she did too – all she will say is that the butcher’s mother is something else.
Across town, said butcher has just received a visit from a very drunk Noah looking for his wife. He threatens a smackdown but Mulligan the butcher holds him off. JB intervenes before a very cross woman arrives ordering Noah home and lock up his wife and JB to back away from her pure and innocent boy (who’s probably 37). Later that night, Mort is called to a crime scene at Miriam and Noah’s house – Miriam has been murdered. Mort orders Deputy Floyd to get the state police in and to dust the house for prints, but Floyd says there’s no need – he knows who the kill is, it’s in the book.
Meanwhile JB is trying to have a heart to heart with Sybil when she gets a phone call from Seth, cancelling their antiquing day trip, on account of he’s been called in about the murder. Deputy Floyd arrives at the house to take JB down to the station, because Mort is stressed out. Books written about murders before they happen is just not the sort of business he signed up for. Jess points out it’s not entirely the same – in the book Miriam was killed by a lamp not a frying pan – but Mort doesn’t care. Floyd found Noah passed out drunk in his truck and brought him in to sober up but Mort is worried that once Noah is sober, Mort will be letting a killer go, since the book isn’t the greatest evidence. JB asks what other evidence he has and he tells her the only place that didn’t have Noah’s or Miriam’s fingerprints was on the frying pan – it had been wiped clean. Jess says that makes no sense – they would expect Noah’s prints on the frying pan it was pointless him wiping them off. Jess remembers the same thing happens in the Sins of Castle Cove, saying it made no sense in that either. Mort begs her to keep it quiet until he can sort the mess out.
Over in the beauty salon, Corinne is under instruction from Sybil to find out why Jessica went off in a cop car. Ugh, you guys Sybil is kind of the worst. The ladies put their heads together and work out something must have happened to Miriam, but get distracted when Corinne accidentally lets slip that Sybil is in town. Eve marches right over to JB’s house, where Mort is interrogating Sybil about how she knows what she knows. Eve storms in and says Miriam’s death was her fault, and that Miriam had been about to dump Tim the butcher but never got the chance.
Or did she? Mort and JB visit Tim at home, where he denies killing Miriam, but Floyd finds a black mask and a baseball bat in the basement. That’s enough for Mort, so despite JB’s scepticism he arrests Tim.
Down at the Sheriff’s office Mort gets Ellis to sign a complaint so he can hold Tim while they build a case. Tim’s mother arrives with fifty bucks to bail Tim out, but a little sleuthing on Jess’s part reveals the truth – Rose Mulligan was the book burner, in an effort to stop people finding out about her son and Miriam. “Who’d want to buy sausages from a man who played around with married women?” Asks Rose, sadly.
Mort is displeased that he now has to book a senior citizen on a bunch of felony charges but Jess thinks she can smooth it over with Ellis. Mort asks Floyd to get Noah out of the drunk tank but Floyd, in a remarkable display of initiative, has already let Noah go on account of having Tim under arrest and all.
Down at the bookstore Ellis is in a charitable mood, and agrees to drop the charges as long as Tim agrees to pay for the damage. Ellis is sad about Miriam though – according to him they used to drink herbal tea and discuss books when it was quiet in the store. Ironic, he thinks, that she was killed in the kitchen like in the book.
Later that night JB and Seth are having a catchup discussing the case, and while Sybil spouts off her theory about the real killer (Eve Simpson, obvs), Jessica suddenly realises she’s known all along.
Ah yes. Ellis was just desperate to be loved, and when Miriam wouldn’t love him, the frying pan happened. Man, that got dark quickly.
But now, I must away. The Eurovision final awaits!