First of all, thank you to everyone who played along watching ‘A Story To Die For’ last Monday. If you haven’t seen it, I completely recommend it for some boss level sass from JB, and the chick from Cold Case with Meg Ryan’s hair among other things. I will storify it and put the link on Facebook soon.
But now, to business. Our heroine has just returned from her morning constitutional when her phone rings. It’s a lady by the name of Phyllis Thurlow, who has some bad news – her husband, Daniel Hannigan has passed away. Jess is saddened by the news and asks if there is anything she can do. Phyllis says just being there will help and promises to call back with the arrangements. Before she hangs up she asks JB if she’s read any of Daniel’s research – most of it, JB tells her. Phyllis says they will talk about it when JB arrives.
Phyllis hangs up and JB looks at the folder on her desk.
JB travels back in time to when she first met Daniel Hannigan, not long before he died. He tells her he’s writing a murder mystery “not one of those frothy confections you whip up…”
It’s a true crime, in fact, with a true miscarriage of justice. Phyllis’s brother Martin is in prison for a crime he did not commit – the murder of his wife.
BOOM FLASHBACK FLASHBACK (FLASHCEPTION)
They all travel back in time to watch Martin go into his house, well drunkard. He fights with his wife (as observed by a nosy neighbour) then a short time later we see a light flicker, then glass break. 10 minutes later, the police arrive to find Lydia the wife lying dead on the floor next to a shattered breakfront. (Yeah I had to google it too, mostly because I thought they kept saying breadfront but it’s some type of cabinet #themoreyouknow).
Daniel tells JB that there were no other suspects investigated in the murder, mostly because all the doors were locked. But, Martin passed a polygraph test, hangover and all (fair effort) but the results were ‘conveniently’ lost and a second test was never done. Daniel asks JB to take his notes and see if she comes to the same conclusion he did – that Lydia was killed by her brother Eric, and the whole thing was covered up by their father, Richard Thompson Grant.
And now the kicker – Daniel tells JB that he won’t live long enough to write the book and asks JB to write it for him.
Jess travels down to Philidelphia and meets Phyllis at the funeral home but is soon joined by Bradley Folkes, Deputy Police Commissioner, who just so happened to be in the area and in a miraculous coincidence was one of the investigating officers of Lydia’s murder back in the day. He offers to take JB to lunch, which Phyllis does not seem pleased with but Jess assures Phyllis that a chat with one of the detectives in charge of the case would be most helpful.
Over lunch, JB drills Folkes for information, and in particular wants to hear his thoughts on Daniel’s theory that Lydia caught her brother Eric breaking into her house to steal money and he killed her. He tells her that he heard the theory, and if there was any truth to the rumor he would have arrested Eric on the spot – he has no time for drug addicts, he says with a scowl on his face. To conclude, Daniel Hannigan was a brilliant writer but he was ill and as far as Folkes is concerned, the illness clouded his judgement in regards to the case.
“Or, he didn’t bow down to those who wanted the case forgotten”, says JB.
“Like Richard Thompson Grant? Ask him yourself, here he comes now.” Says Folkes.
Richard Thompson Grant sits himself down for a chat, and tells JB that if Daniel had published his book, Grant would have sued the pants off him. Jess thinks that sounds like a threat, Folkes assures her that it wasn’t but Grant says damn straight it was. He wants the little lady to know what she’s getting herself into if she decides to go ahead with the book.
Folkes apologises, and JB understands. She suspects that when Richard Thompson Grant makes a request, he is very hard to refuse.
Meanwhile, the man himself has gone to meet his son who has just flown in on the private jet from Atlantic City with his thing on the side, whose name is apparently Madeline. Madeline is quickly shoved back on the plane despite her protests that she wants to see the Liberty Bell, and RTG fills his son (who is being played by Not Quite Will Arnett, or in more factual terms, Luke Spencer from General Hospital according to IMDB) on the news – Hannigan’s death has not killed off the book. Eric swears that he didn’t kill his sister, and his father tells him he believes him. He’s had to.
Over at the funeral home the wake has kicked off and the whisky is flowing, which it should be at all good wakes. Jess finds Phyllis talking to her nephew Stephen (played by Jiminy Cricket from Once Upon A Time, which I haven’t seen) who is furious that his aunt is still trying to dig this all up, and storms off. JB needs to talk to Phyllis urgently – an article has appeared in the paper that day all about how JB is going to finish Daniel’s book, and she knows Phyllis is responsible for it. As a rousing rendition of Danny Boy strikes up amongst the whisky crowd, JB and Phyllis go into the next room to talk. JB has a problem – she’s read all the notes and while she agrees that the case against Martin is circumstantial, there’s no real proof that Eric did it either. She just doesn’t think she can continue. Phyllis begs her to look at the evidence again, she’s sure JB missed something.
The next day JB is going over old newspaper reports when Stephen Thurlow comes to see her to beg her to leave the case alone. She curiously asks him what he remembers of the night but since he was 3, obviously the answer is not much. She asks him if his uncle could have killed his mother in a drug induced haze and he says “I’m not a psychiatrist, I’m a college student.”
Jeez, JB. I love you, but cool your jets.
Armed with more questions than answers, JB goes to see Folkes at the police station. Her main question is who is this mysterious drug pusher known as JR that rumour had it was the person Eric Grant owed money to. Folkes tells her that since he took over the case a couple of weeks in, that line might have been dismissed by the previous detective, Detective Kravitz, who was transferred to South Philidelphia and left the force 8 years ago.
Folkes gets a phone call from the front desk, saying that a note arrived about Daniel Hannigan’s death. It’s brought up to his office, and he reads it to JB – apparently, Daniel Hannigan was poisoned to shut him up.
Word filters through to RTG about the note and he is less than impressed. Even less impressed is Stephen, who has recently come to the conclusion that people are keeping things from him. He demands to know if his grandfather knows who JR is, and RTG tells him that he doesn’t. He checked it out, after he put Eric in an overseas rehab place, but JR disappeared. The fact that Eric went to Lydia on the day she died begging for money was a complete coincidence.
Later that night JB goes to see Detective Kravitz, hard at work at his new job at a pub. Now, are you all imagining Lenny Kravitz as a cop? Because yes.
Over a cup of coffee, Kravitz tells JB that he got transferred after a couple of days on the case, at which time Folkes volunteered to take over. JB wonders if the transfer was a coincidence, but Kravitz tells her he had the same theory Folkes did. If Eric had been involved, Folkes would have been all over it. It turns out Folkes’s son Eddie was an undercover drug cop, straight out of the academy (seems unlikely but alright) and was killed in a raid.
As they go to leave, shots are fired at the bar. Word gets back to Commissioner Folkes who rushes to the scene, but everyone is fine, (Kravitz) and suspicious (JB). Considering how badly the shooter missed JB, if the shooter was in fact aiming at JB, has made her wonder and she asks Folkes if the report has come back on the digitalis levels in Hannigan’s blood. He tells her it hasn’t come back, but she says it doesn’t matter. Hannigan wasn’t poisoned, and whats more she thinks she knows who is responsible for the note and and the gunshots.
It doesn’t take long for Phyllis to cave in. She was so desperate to keep JB on the case that she sent the note and shot out the window. She apologises but swears that her brother is still innocent.
The next day the memorial service is held for Daniel, but JB phones ahead and leaves a message for Phyllis that something has come up and to proceed without her. Jess is in fact over at the home of RTG, where Eric is telling JB that he is innocent. Jess is about at the end of her tether and starts concocting a scene where Stephen comes downstairs to see his mother, trips over the lamp and then when Lydia tries to stop him falling over she slips into the breakfront. RTG tells her that’s ridiculous, and more ridiculous the idea that he would a)interfere with a police investigation and b)allow an innocent man to rot in prison.
JB asks Eric about the mysterious JR but Eric has nothing for her. That was all he knew him as, he bought drugs off him and he owed him money. He drove a blue Porsche and wore a bullet around his neck on a chain, a souvenir of a time when a cop shot at him in Chicago in 1967. JB pounces on this tidbit and goes to see Folkes, but gets his wife instead. While she tries to get Folkes on the phone, JB looks at some family photos on the mantle, including one of his son Eddie. Or as he’s formally known, Edward Bradley Folkes Jr. Who likes to wear a bullet on a chain around his neck.
At the cemetary, JB finds Folkes and confronts him. No wonder he volunteered to take the case.
It would appear that Eddie Folkes had gone bad while being undercover, had gone to the house to get money, and accidentally killed Lydia. He went to his father the next day who got himself onto the case and threw Martin Thurlow under the bus.
To conclude, DEPRESSING. So to end on a lighter note, please enjoy this video of a baby wombat named Derrick running along a beach on Flinders Island in Tasmania.