So…Who has two thumbs and didn’t realise the last post didn’t work properly?
Sorry about that gang! The reason for the delay was on account of I moved house into my very own hobbit hole, which required much packing and unpacking and waiting for internet, but I also went on holiday up to Cairns where this not insignificant thing happened and I found Nemo and saw two Cassowaries it was a big week.
However, all is back to as normal as it gets here on MSB. (I’m full of painkillers and lack of sleep due to two ear infections and a late night watching election coverage so it may be loopier than usual).
Our Heroine is off to Nashville this week where JB is visiting her friend Mrs Brady who is giving a concert and clearly having some sort of mid-life crisis:
Patti Sue and her friend Billy Ray escort Jess back to the farm, where unfortunately all is not well. Patti Sue’s husband Bobby is fighting with his manager Mark Berenger. Mark storms out just as they arrive leaving Patti Sue to calm her husband down, but it’s a phone call from his daughter Alice that cheers him up more. Alice is eager to hear how the meeting with Mark went and promises to handle it when he tells her it didn’t go well. She asks for confirmation from their lawyer, Preston Wardell that the contract with Mark is unbreakable.
Back at the farm, JB and Patti Sue are strolling around admiring the garden. Jess asks her what her secret is for getting such beautiful flowers. “Milk.” Says Patti Sue. “Plain old cows milk once a week. Don’t know what I’d get if I used buttermilk.”
“Buttercups?” Says JB.
Alice appears to tell Patti Sue and JB that Bobby is making cocktails, and Pattie Sue declares they will mosey on in by-and-by. Alice asks her to refrain from using those hokey southern expressions that she uses while company is around just for a night, and Patti Sue says sure – if Alice will refrain from fawning over her father like someone looking for a pocket to pick.
Jessica’s reaction is less about the conversation as it is about Patti Sue’s outfit.
Inside, Bobby pours everyone a bourbon, which in my world isn’t so much a cocktail.
Patti Sue reveals that Bobby has started writing music again, but Billy Ray reveals that technically he’s the one that writes the songs – Bobby can’t write music so he records everything to tape and then Billy Ray transcribes it for him. I feel like this might become relevant later gang. Alice pops her head in to say that she has to go, something has come up at work, which makes her father sad. After she leaves, he says “isn’t she the loveliest little thing you ever saw?”
Later that night Bobby is hard at work on his guitar when he gets a visit from PYT Brittany Brown, who Bobby is writing a song for. (Fun fact, I changed my name to Brittany when I was in the States last because the people at Starbucks could not grasp the combination of vowels and constanants that is my name. It didn’t work.)
While Bobby serenades Brittany, (and a mysterious figure watches through the window) JB and Patti Sue chow down on some icecream while reliving school days. Patti Sue is nervous about the concert but also nervous about Billy Ray – she’s concerned about his mental health and worried he might do something stupid. Jess tells her she should get professional help for him but Patti Sue shrugs it off, saying it’s probably nothing.
Back at Bobby’s studio Brittany is just leaving when she gets a fright – the window watcher is in the back of her car. They promptly start kissing, which wouldn’t have been my first response. It turns out that the man is Garth, Brittany’s boyfriend. It would appear that Brittany is taking advantage of Bobby’s crush on her to further her career. The outrage!
As JB is heading to bed with a good book, she hears an argument outside. It’s Bobby and his former writing partner Conrad Booker. Conrad is pissed that Bobby screwed him out of the rights to his songs and is demanding them back. Within 24 hours. Or he’ll kill him. That’s helpfully specific.
The next night:
Then again, she has some stiff competition.
After Patti Sue brings on Brittany, Bobby is dismayed when she starts singing one of her own songs instead of one of his.
Bobby tells Alice that he’s going to head home and skip the afterparty at the hotel, which is a shame because it’s a pretty bangin party. While Patti Sue is feted amongst her fans, Alice confides in JB that she’s also worried about her father – a couple of weeks earlier he wrote Patti Sue a letter to tell her how miserable he was. JB says again that Bobby might need professional help but Alice says her father would never admit he was struggling.
At 10:30, Patti Sue calls home but Bobby Ray doesn’t answer. This may also come up again later gang. Sidenote, Pattie Sue’s outfit for the party is something else.
Patti Sue decides to call it a night, and despite JB’s desperate attempts to leave with her demands that JB stay and enjoy the party, saying Alice will drive Jess home. Later, when Jess goes hunting she finds Alice having a fight with Preston and them screeches off in her car, leaving JB stranded. This will not stand.
After sitting at the party and losing the will to live (been there, done that), JB is set to make her own way home when Alice reappears, apologetic. She went for a drive to clear her head but is ready to go home now – music to JB’s ears. Outside they find Billy Ray, who is also stuck without a car after Patti Sue’s early exit.
On the way home Alice decides to check on her father. When they arrive, they find the glass in the door smashed and Bobby dead on the floor. A devestated Alice stays with her father while Billy Ray calls the ambulance and then takes Jess over to the main house, where they find Patti Sue being loaded into an ambulance.
At the hospital, the doctor tells JB that Patti Sue was lucky – the big bowl of icecream she ate lined her stomach and probably saved her life.
Alright time out. I’m no scientist, but I’m pretty sure that eating icecream 24 hours before being poisoned isn’t going to do smeg all to your chances of survival. I call shenanigans. Lift your game, Murder She Wrote writers.
Nashville PD arrive in the form of Lieutenant Jackson, who introduces himself and launches into a classic Bobby and Patti Sue song.
The doctor and Billy Ray quickly excuse themselves, and JB introduces herself as a family friend. Jackson is devastated he missed the chance to get Billy Ray’s autograph but Jess is sure he can get one – at a more appropriate time. Jackson is pleased and takes his leave by launching into another song.
As he leaves, JB drills him for information. Jackson tells her the bourbon bottle was tested for poison, and JB says yes, strychnine. Jackson is surprised, but Jess explains the blue tinge under the nails and the way Bobby’s back was arched and his hands up near his face indicated as such. Jackson also tells her they’ve worked out a probable time of death and Jess interrupts to say around 10:30 based on Bobby’s temperature when they found him. Jackson is doubly impressed and invites her to come to the crime scene. At Bobby’s, Jess notices straight away that the tape is missing from the tape deck – and it didn’t make sense to her that Bobby would set up to record and not have a tape in the deck.
“This is beginning to look nasty.” Says Jackson.
At the HQ of Bobby’s studios, Mark casually points out that if Patti Sue dies, Alice inherits everything, and Alice is outraged. JB arrives as Mark departs to see how Alice is doing. Her next stop is back to police headquarters where Jackson is working on a song about the crime.
JB wants an update on the case, and Jackson tells her that Patti definitely took strychnine at around midnight – he figures it was guilt after poisoning her husband. Jess won’t have a bar of that, her friend is too much of a survivor to commit suicide and in any case there was no way she could have killed Bobby at 10:30, she was at the party til after 11. Jackson is not pleased but concedes she is right.
Back at the hospital a mysterious masked figure injects something into Patti’s drip. Unfortunately, they don’t get away.
Alice swears up and down that she didn’t kill her father, but admits she poisoned Patti Sue. After her fight with Preston she went to see her father but he was already dead. She found his suicide note and decided to cover up the suicide by making it look like someone else killed him – specifically Patti Sue. She can prove that she didn’t kill her father though, and takes them to where she hid the suicide note. JB looks at it and alarm bells go off.
It’s the gold lamé that should have set the alarm bells off, to be honest.
Jess correctly deduces that the suicide note was actually the second page of the letter that Bobby sent Patti Sue. Pattie Sue tells her Bobby wrote the letter to tell her that their marriage was over, that he’d met someone who made him feel young again. Patti Sue didn’t take it lying down, and so left a bottle laced with strychnine at the studio, knowing that Bobby would get stuck into it that night. She hadn’t anticipated Alice, and the make a murder look like a suicide look like a murder situation.
And now, let us ponder the fact that Jackson the singing detective got it right before JB did. On second thoughts, let’s not.