Welcome to another sunny day in Cabot Cove Fletcherfans where the sky is blue, the trees are green Seth Hazlitt is feeling hearty and JB is doing a bit of reno.
JB is on her way to Loretta’s to get her hair did when she gets a phone call from a New York attorney, Jason Vernon, begging her to sell her house. Jess isn’t budging even if the money involved is more than she bargained for.
It’s a familiar business and Seth has a bee in his sweatband about it. Those damned city folk coming in and weekend-ising the place, driving up property values and making it impossible to get a table at the cafe in Morgan’s Bay. Not only that, but it’s mayoral election time and Seth has a bee in his bonnet about Mayor Sam Booth disappearing every July when it’s peak tourist season.
This year’s election is going to be a little different. Already another candidate Milton Overguard has thrown his hat into the ring, promising to do something about the ‘do-nothing’ mayor. Jess thinks it will be an interesting race, given that Sam usually runs unopposed but Seth thinks that Sam will be returned by the voters – or more to the point the 86% of people who stay home.
Down at Loretta’s and it’s business as usual:
While Ideal begs JB to write a nice magazine article instead of a creepy book (pfft) and Eve begs JB to sell her house (double pfft) they are soon joined by local snob Winifred Thayer – one of those uppity weekenders Seth enjoys so much. Eve is very put out that JB has been invited to Winifred’s party and she has not, and tries to wrangle an invitation by offering to drop off some business cards – she’s been helping a fancy New York attorney find a home, she’s sure she could do the same for some of Winifred’s friends.
Winifred suddenly remembers her parking meter and hightails it out. JB asks if the attorney happens to be Bill Vernon and Eve is horrified to discover that he’s been chasing her clients behind her back.
The conversation soon turns to the upcoming election, and while Eve is all for booting Sam out, none of them really want to vote for Milton Overguard except Ideal – after all his late wife’s cherry turnovers were amazing.
While Eve can’t argue against cherry turnovers, she does have Ideas – she thinks the next mayor should be a woman! JB tells her the sex of the mayor shouldn’t matter, to which Phyllis says “no but it helps to have some.”
As Jess departs a young lady wanders in asking for directions to the mayor’s office, and introduces herself as Annie May Chapman. She also asks Loretta for an appointment for the next day, saying that there’s someone she wants to dress up for. Naturally this comment goes unnoticed.
That night Seth and Jess attend the party at the home of Winifred and Horton Thayer, which turns out to be a fundraiser for the conservation society. Both Horton and his moustache are delighted to see them, Winifred not so much.
Horton disappears to chat to the man who donated a ferrari to the raffle, while Winifred deals with some errant canapes, leading to this exchange that 100% happened I couldn’t make this up if I tried:
A short time later they bump into Eve Simpson, who is in a buoyant mood and has 3 people interested in buying Jess’s house.
Eve wanders off to hit on Horton Thayer, leaving Seth and JB to booze on until a woman approaches JB…
Later, when Seth is (impatiently) waiting for JB outside the party, candidate Milton Overguard bails him up to ask if Seth will support Milton’s proposals for an airport for Cabot Cove. Seth tells him that the weekenders might be able to donate funds to his campaign, but they can’t vote for him. Milton storms off in a huff, leaving Seth to deal with a very worried Mayor Booth who wants reassurance that Seth won’t be voting for Milton in the next election. Seth tells Sam that his biggest asset is that he is a do-nothing mayor.
The next day…
Sam is halfway though his “I’m just a humble country mayor” routine when an invitation for people to say why he shouldn’t for mayor again goes awry. A voice pipes up from the back of the crowd, saying that Sam promised to retire after this term. And go back to Wyoming. And marry her.
It’s Annie May Chapman, that girl who was asking for directions to the mayors office the day before. When Sam suggests she’d just escaped from the Portland mental institution, she runs off crying. Loretta goes to console her while Eve cackles and Ideal thinks about cherry turnovers, probably. Loretta wants to know if Annie May has the right Sam Booth, but Annie May is sure – and she’s got the pictures of the kids to prove it.
You guys this episode is amazing.
The next day, Jess is out and about when she runs into the news about Sam. Everyone knows Annie May now, it turns out Loretta’s shop wasn’t the only place she asked for directions to Sam’s office.
Later that night, Jess and Seth are discussing the love life of Sam Booth (ew) when Jess gets a knock at the door. It’s two of the locals, Howard and Ebeneezer. They are concerned by recent developments making Sam unelectable, and are worried that Milton will get elected, meaning that zoning will change and CHAOS BEDLAM AND MURDER oh wait.
But it’s okay! They have a plan! They just need someone to run for mayor. Someone…like JB.
They think she’s the perfect candidate, she knows when to keep quiet and she’s got no history of philandering, to which Seth makes a noise into his apron WHAT EVEN IS THIS EPISODE.
Jess is flattered but declines. She’s just finished 2 books and just wants to rest/paint her house.
Howard and Ebeneezer understand. They turn to Seth. Would he be interested in running?
The next day Eve finds Milton campaigning with potholders, and bemoans his paternalistic attitudes (cue Loretta cracking a line about Sam’s paternalistic attitudes). Phyllis wanders in to report that she’s checked her records at the travel agency and Sam has taken a trip to Casper Wyoming every year for the last 10 years. Eve thinks it’s time a woman should run and she’s just the one to do it.
Phyllis and Ideal half agree, but they have a different candidate in mind.
Jess is still not running, and thinks they should all let Sam defend himself before they pillory him but Phyllis’s mind is made up. Sam has been avoiding Annie May all over town, which wouldn’t be hard considering Phyllis had to give Annie May directions to the mayors office to start with.
Well that rings a bell.
That night Eve launches her campaign for mayor, while JB decides to suss out this Annie May Chapman person. While they chat away in the kitchen JB asks her why she came to Cabot Cove and Annie May just says it’s to remind Sam of his promise to come back to Wyoming. She shows JB pictures of her kids when a gaggle of housewives come in, desperate for gossip. JB is taken by one photo, of Sam’s twin boys, which seems familiar but it’s decided that it’s because they look just like Sam. Loretta comes in to tell Annie May that Eve is looking for her and they all troop out again, leaving Loretta and JB in the kitchen. JB thinks Annie May can handle herself remarkably well, to which Loretta tells her that she might be from Wyoming, but her hair cut came from New York. Now that is an episode of CSI I would watch.
Later than night Jess returns home to find Sam luring in the bushes. He was all set to beg her to support him publicly but is convinced that her presence at Eve Simpson’s “suffragette rally” (ugh) means she’ll be supporting Eve. When JB assures him she’s not supporting anyone he flips and accuses her of running against him. Meanwhile, across town, a shadowy figure has just climbed through the window into Annie May’s hotel room and shot her, because it’s Murder She WROTE not Murder She ELECTED.
JB is woken with the news of Annie May’s death by Howard and Ebeneezer who see it as proof she should run. JB tells them to cool their jets and goes to see Sam to try and get to the bottom of it all. Sam swears up and down he had never seen Annie May before or the kids and tells the sheriff the same thing when he pops around. Outside, the Sheriff tells JB that they found an envelope with two grand in it on the nightstand, which JB thinks is ridiculous. Surely with that kind of money she would have locked the window.
The sheriff says that everyone who’s stayed at that hotel knows the windows don’t lock.
Jess still has a funny feeling about that photo and after awhile it comes to her – it’s from a clothes catalog. Mort is now even more confused – there’s no Annie May Chapman in Wyoming, Casper or otherwise. JB suggests the modelling agency behind the catalog might have more information. Meanwhile Milton comes into the sheriff’s office demanding the killer be caught immediately – this sort of thing might bring down a congressional candidate but it’s only making Sam look interesting.
Leaving the Sheriff to mull it all over, Jess goes update Seth on recent developments but he’s way ahead of her – Corinne from Loretta’s Beauty Parlour has a) sprained her ankle and b)news/gossip about the killer. They take her down to see Mort, where she confesses she’s only heard the news second hand, but word is a man was seen going into Annie May’s room the night she died. And it wasn’t Sam. She’s reluctant to admit where she heard the gossup but finally admits she overheard Ideal Malloy talking about it in the grocers.
This is not good news for Mort, who is convinced Ideal is in love with him, so he takes Jessica along for support. Ideal tells them she actually heard it from Eve, but when they catch up with her on the campaign trail she tells them she actually heard about it from Loretta. They go to see Loretta, busy styling Phyllis’s hair and she tells them Phyllis told her that morning, but Phyllis says she only heard it from Ideal. Ideal looks up from her magazine and says that that hotel was the last place you’d expect to see Horton Thayer.
“But why didn’t you just tell us earlier?” Asks JB.
“I didn’t want you to think I was a gossip.” Says Ideal.
Jess and the Sheriff go to visit Horton Thayer at home, where he confesses to hiring Annie May aka his former mistress Anne Mitchell to pose as Sam’s mistress to swing the election Milton’s way thereby making it easier to buy up the land (with his attorney the mysterious Bill Vernon) and start paving paradise. He went to the hotel that night to give Annie/Anne more money but he swears he didn’t kill her.
Mort doesn’t care and arrests him anyway, but Jess is unconvinced especially when Winifred comes banging into the Sheriff’s office demanding to know what Horton’s motive was since he never even knew Anne Mitchell.
What also isn’t a surprise is the election results, which Loretta delivers to JB and Seth while they’re out on their morning constitutional the next day:
Eve Simpson: 6 votes.
Milton Overguard: 19 votes
Which can only mean one thing…