S07E17 – The Prodigal Father

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Back in the Cove this week Fletcherfans, where JB has some new neighbours on Candlewood Lane – Bonnie and Dave Hastings and their daughter Sally. JB is having a tea party with Sally and a doll that is apparently the queen, and answering questions about grandfathers she might have that Sally doesn’t. Apparently Sally’s grandfather died before she was even born…

…cut to a grizzled old dude rolling into the carpark at the Lighthouse Motel. I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE WRITERS.

The dude checks in to the hotel, paying cash upfront as demanded by the hotel clerk, who quickly snatches the guest register to check the name once the old dude has gone into his room. A short time later the dude calls the front desk, asking to be connected to a phone number, and I mean actually connected.

I don't understand what this is. This came out in 1991, even Tasmania had actual phones at this point and Tasmania didn't get a Hungry Jacks until 2001.

I don’t understand what this is. This came out in 1991, even Tasmania had actual phones at this point and Tasmania didn’t get a Hungry Jacks until 2001.

Unfortunately for the Dude, the phone rings out. Presumably because the mouse fell off the generator or some such.

The next day The Dude is having breakfast at the diner and sussing out some info from the waitress, like what happened to the old steakhouse, or if she knows a woman called Bonnie Jenks. The waitress tells him she married Dave Hastings, and he departs – not before getting the attention of Gil the short order cook who watches him go into the bank up the road. He puts a call in to bank president Elton Summers to let him know that a man who looked a lot like Ned Jenks just walked into his bank. Elton dismisses it out of hand, but goes to have a cheeky look anyway. The signature on the bank cheque the man cashed confirms it, The Dude is Ned Jenks.

Later on that morning, while Bonnie gets her husband Dave off to work (played by Larry Wilcox who has been in this show about eleven billion times) she sees The Dude, I mean Ned loitering in his car across the street. Later, she tells JB what happened – that the man came up to her and said he was her father, that he didn’t drown after crashing his car after robbing the bank and, you know, surprise!

That afternoon, Jess bumps into Mayor Sam Booth, and fills him in on the latest drama in Cabot Cove, to which Sam says “She might have some barnacles on her bottom but overall I’d say she’s sound.”

Classic Sam Booth.

Classic Sam Booth.

Turns out Sam is actually talking about a boat he’s thinking of buying. But ermahgherd, Sam adds, Ned Jinks was trouble from way back and remember how he used to hoon about on his blue motorbike, (red, says JB) and ran off with the homecoming queen (that was his daughter, Julie Jenks was Miss Cabot Cove 1962, says JB), and then the girl’s mother cut them off. JB wonders if that’s what lead Ned into robbing the bank. Sam thinks it’s good riddance Ned died, proving once and for all he wasn’t paying attention to Jess, and is horrified when JB tells him Ned is back.

While Sam considers the looming zombie apocalypse, across town Ned emerges from a store with a giant teddy bear. A man and a woman watch his progress – the woman isn’t at all sure if it’s Ned but the man is certain and accosts Ned as he gets into his car. “Remember me? I was in the bank that day. I’m the one you shot.” The man yells at Ned, who quickly drives off.

JB heads over to the Sheriff’s office to read through the old case file on the bank robbery – they never found Ned’s body or the missing 200 grand from the heist. The man Ned shot bursts into the sheriff’s office demanding Mort do something about Ned Jenks, but a warrant wasn’t issued because they thought Ned was dead and alas the statute of limitations has run out etcetera etcetera. Mort agrees that it stinks but there’s nothing he can do.

Back at the hotel that night Ned gets a phone call. Ned demands that the caller meet him, and he knows why. Noone connected them 20 years ago and they aren’t going to now, he adds.

Back at the diner the next morning, JB and the Sheriff are debating the case over breakfast. Mort’s wife Adele has decided that Ned didn’t even commit the robbery but JB thinks that’s a stretch – a lot of people recognised the man’s voice, including Gil the diner cook, who reminds them he was there that day working security. Gil himself has his own theory, that Ned took the money, hid it at his mother-in-law’s and has come back to town to claim it now that the woman’s dead. The fact that Ned and his mother-in-law hated each other was irrelevant.

Mort is done.

Mort is done.

Jess goes off to meet the Mayor, while Mort gets accosted by another local unhappy with Ned Jenks’s existence, Maxine Malloy, who informs the sheriff they will all remember how he handled this on election day.

Down at the docks Jess finds Sam hard at work scrubbing barnacles off bottoms (heh heh) and asks him what he remembers about the bank heist but it turns out he was out of town on a fishing trip. Helpfully Ned wanders past at that moment so Jess decides to confront him directly. He’s not entirely polite to her but apologises, asking for her help in putting in a good word with his daughter. He’d been in jail in Arizona which is why he hadn’t come forward sooner, and as for the money a thousand bucks a year for 20 years doesn’t really make it seem worth it.

Jess agrees to pass the message along to Bonnie, but her husband is less than thrilled with the idea, even less so when Ned is a dinner guest. While Bonnie and Ned look at old photos Dave sits in the corner and work/sulks before taking Sally upstairs for her nap. When he returns he is not happy to see his wife reconnecting with her father and demands a meeting in the kitchen to demand Ned be gone by the time Dave gets home from work. UGH I HATE WHEN THIS BLOG IS FACTUAL I’M SORRY GUYS.

Sidenote: my neighbour’s kid is learning the recorder. So far it’s been Mary Had A Little Lamb in the key of screaming. Why do schools do this? Give them a triangle! Or a stick with bottle caps on it! Or maracas. LITERALLY ANYTHING ELSE.


Anyway, Dave goes back to work and is promptly fired by Herb for being related to the guy who shot him. I’m not kidding. Clearly the union rep wasn’t at work that day, so instead of going to his lawyer/the press/JB Dave goes to a bar, gets drunk, sees Ned chowing down on some pancakes at the diner, goes over and tries to punch him. Ned retaliates but before the fight can really kick off Gil pulls a gun and orders Ned out. Ned comes over and says “What are you going to do, shoot me?” He stares Gil down, until Gil drops the gun. “Couldn’t do it last time, can’t do it now,” says Ned, and leaves.

The next morning, while Dave recovers from the hangover/beating double, he orders his wife to tell her father to leave town, he’s tearing them apart. “But he’s my father!” Says Bonnie.

“But I’m your husband!” Says Dave.

Hello to my lovely friend Jess, who I hope appreciates this one.

Hello to my lovely friend and poppet Jess, who I hope appreciates this one.

Bonnie agrees to at least go and talk to her father, but when she arrives at the Lighthouse Motel she finds him dead on the floor, because this is Murder She Wrote not Statute of Limitations, She Wrote.

The sheriff, the coroner and JB are all summoned to the scene (Seth is apparently MIA/working on another TV show). Mort is convinced that it’s all connected to the bank robbery, but JB points out the “evidence” he found was printed a long time after the bank robbery. She asks George the manager if Ned had any visitors or calls and George tells her that he couldn’t be sure if he had visitors, he had one call but George didn’t recognise the face, but he did know that Ned made a whole heap of calls to the same number. Mort tries the number and is stunned when Adele answers – turns out it’s the laundromat in town. Mort convinces himself Herb is the guilty one and goes off to see how he can prove it. Unfortunately for Mort, Herb was playing bingo with Adele the night of the murder, so he’s back to square one.

Jessica on the other hand heads to the bank to transact some Fletcher business. There she runs into the bank president, Elton Summers, who is fishing for information regarding Bonnie and the murder. In his office Jess asks him about the day of the robbery and he tells her he was there, as was Gil, but the bank president a guy named Hankin was not and would later be fired as a result. Gil froze up during the robbery and became the town drunk but he sorted himself out. Elton was promoted after the robbery, so in a way it was in fact the luckiest thing that could have happened to him.

Sincere Jess is Sincere.

Sincere Jess is Sincere.

Jess pops over to the diner to refuel on coffee and has a chat to Gil about the night before, when he pulled the gun on Ned. He tells her it was exactly the same thing that happened in the bank 20 years earlier – he froze up and panicked, even though there weren’t any bullets in the gun. Jess is very interested in this fact and asks Gil who else knew the gun wasn’t loaded and Gil explains in infinite detail how Maxine Molloy knew because he was sweet on her but she loved Elton and she was devo when he dumped her after he got promoted to bank president and

I know that look so well, I wear it often.

I know that look so well, I wear it often.

Meanwhile, Mort has decided Dave is the guilty party and manages to track him down at his new job. Deputy Floyd (naw) notices a coil of wire in the back of Dave’s truck, the end of which matches a piece they found behind the hotel where Ned was murdered.

Back at the Sheriff’s office JB pops in to explain to the Sheriff exactly why he’s wrong but the Sheriff won’t be moved, even when Jess points out it’s impossible for Ned to have planned to talk to someone at the laundromat when it closes at 6pm and he wasn’t calling til 8pm. Mort shows Jessica the piece of paper with the number on it, the back of a 1971 receipt from a pharmacy and Jess quickly excuses herself. She heads over to see Bonnie to look at some old photos her father had given her and finds a folded up piece of paper that says “Hankin off Wednesdays, 10am best time.”

Jess takes the note and the photo over to see Maxine Malloy, former bank teller and current seller of old things to rich city people and asks her who she told about the empty gun. Maxine admits she probably told Elton since they were going out at the time. Jess mentions that Ned told her he only got 20 grand for the robbery and Maxine tells her that can’t possibly be right, there was over 200 grand that got taken.

After a quick trip to study some old phone books at the library, Jess calls the Sheriff. She knows who killed Ned but she needs a little help to prove it.

A short time later Dave is released from prison and goes straight to the killer to blackmail it out of him. When he pulls a gun, Mort bursts in.

Not the first time that sentence has been said I bet.

Not the first time that sentence has been said I bet.

Case closed, thanks to something about a pharmacy being closed and a wrong phone number. I couldn’t quite catch it over the recorder concerto going on out my window.

Later gang!

Later gang!

S07E16 – From the Horse’s Mouth

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Fletcherfans, I think we all learned a valuable lesson last week about multi-tasking. I shouldn’t try and write while Richmond are playing, and Richmond shouldn’t throw away 35 point leads in the last quarter.

Let’s not dwell on that.

JB is in Kentucky putting bets on for our old friend Harry McGraw when she bumps into her friend, veterinarian Dr Christy Morgan and her fiancee Todd Sterling. It seems they are destined to remain engaged for awhile, until their fathers can stop feuding. That old chestnut. BOOM HORSE PUN.

But now I’d like to discuss possibly my favourite one-time character in this whole series:

Next Derby Day I'm wearing that outfit.

Next Derby Day I’m wearing that outfit.

Emmaline Bristow can talk to horses, so naturally she’s at the stables wishing all the horses good luck in their race and getting the latest equine gossip. One horse, Big Palooka, tells her he has a terrible headache, which is bad news for Harry since he got JB to put 200 down on him. Emmeline bumps into Christie’s father, Lamar, who wonders if any of the horses mentioned who would win the race.

“Oh Lamar. Horses can’t predict the future.” Says Emmaline. GEEZ LAMAR GET WITH IT.

A token blonde wanders past, excited to meet Lamar Morgan, but more excited to serve him papers. Todd’s father, Randolph Sterling, is suing.

Trackside, Randolph is taking a constitutional with his lady-friend Althea Mayberry (played by someone credited as Woman in Titanic). Althea is trying to talk Randolph into a cruise but Randolph has big things to worry about, like getting his stallion King Paragon laid. They are soon joined by Randolph’s daughter Diana with news on that score – some Japanese businessmen have expressed an interest in King Paragon and so Diana orders Althea to make sure sake is on tap when they come by the farm. Althea is delighted to be promoted to caterer. And by delighted I mean not happy.

Althea spots Christy, Todd and JB walking towards them and remarks how good Christy and Todd look together – Todd’s so handsome and Christy’s so full of life and virginal purity.

“What would you know about virginal purity?” Says Diana.



JB is reintroduced to everyone, and she tells Diana the last time she saw her she was home from university in England. Turns out Diana was at Cambridge, until she got thrown out but then she married Lord Snowcroft, until she got tired of him and threw him out.

JB's a little impressed.

JB’s a little impressed.

Lamar interrupts this trip down memory lane brandishing the court notice and demanding an explanation. It turns out King Paragon went a-wanderin’ some enchanted evening and knocked up two of Lamar’s mares and Randolph wants compensation for – well something. Lamar says he doesn’t owe Randoph a cent, he had nothing to do with King Paragon getting loose and knocking up his mares, but Randolph doesn’t care. He’ll see Lamar in court. And with that he walks off, Althea and Diana on each arm.

The next day, JB visits Christy at the farm, to hear more about the nocturnal wanderings of King Paragon.



Christy says there are no witnesses and if they lose the court case they would lose the farm. The police haven’t been any help, so JB suggests a private detective she knows…

It's Harry's second last MSB episode! Things are WINDING DOWN.

It’s Harry’s second last MSB episode! Things are WINDING DOWN.

Harry tells JB he’s not taking any new cases just at the moment, but is forced to reassess the situation when the radio informs him his horse lost again.

Now we need to talk about this guy.


This is Melvin Belli.

Here are some things I’ve just learned about Melvin Belli. He defended Jack Ruby for killing Lee Harvey Oswald, he got a letter from the Zodiac Killer (it really annoys me they never caught that guy), he defended people like Errol Flynn, The Rolling Stones and Mae West, he once played a character on the original Star Trek, and whenever he won a court case he would raise the Jolly Roger flag on his office and fire a cannon off the roof.

For real. I never knew how much I wanted to fire a cannon off a roof until just now.

For now though, he is Judge Charlie Harley, and Randolph is on the phone to him trying to demand that his suit against Lamar Morgan is tried immediately if not sooner. Things don’t get better for Charlie when he asks for scotch and gets a soda water from his secretary instead.

Back at the Morgan’s farm, Christy and JB are relieved and surprised respectively when Harry turns up.


heh heh heh


Harry reveals the owner of the sharp threads doesn’t actually know Harry borrowed them so if they could move this along so Harry can return the suit by Friday that would be grand.

JB and Harry head over to the Sterling house where a shindig is in full swing to drum up interest in King Paragon and his lovelife. While Randolph puts the squeeze on Charlie re: the court case, Harry investigates the bar situation and gets hit on by Althea. Althea’s moves are squashed by a drive-by from Diana reminding Althea that champagne ages the skin (nonsense, I drink it by the bucketload and I look fabulous) and that her hair could do with a colour job.

“Thank you Lady Chatterly.” Althea mutters. Zing!

Harry finds JB in conversation with Todd and Randolph and she introduces him to the group. “Randolph Sterling? The guy who owned Randolphs’ Rebel?”

“The same.” Says Randolph.

“Whatever happened to that nag?” Asks Harry.

Spoke like someone who watched Richmond play last week wait what nevermind

Spoke like someone who watched Richmond play last week wait what nevermind

Jess tells Randolph Harry is considering investing in a racehorse. “I hear you got the best around. Can I get a peek at King Paragon eh Randy?” Harry adds.

They all go out to the stables to see the stud’s finest in action. And I’m not talking about the horse.



Randolph announces that the minimum return for buying in on King Paragon’s…services…is 100 grand in the first year.

Harry is flabbergasted.



*Actual quote

Emmaline, also in attendance, is more concerned about King Paragon’s state of mind. Apparently he’s thoroughly depressed. “Wouldn’t you be?” She says to Harry. “Your body being used in that dreadful fashion?”

Steady on Harry.

Steady on Harry.

The King Paragon party is soon crashed by Lamar Morgan, drunk as a lord and informing Randolph he’d kill him before he paid him a cent. Todd escorts him outside to get some fresh air, while Diana mumbles something about family loyalties.

Back at the Morgan farm Christy is worried when Todd is still at the track and her father has disappeared, but Harry is on the case and calls in to let them know that Lamar is propping up a bar in town. As soon as she gets off the phone from Harry there is call from Todd – there’s been an accident at the track, one of the horses needs medical attention. They drive down to the track to find Randolph dead on the floor of his office.

The police arrive and quickly take charge. Sheriff Tyrone McKenna tells JB not to touch anything and she informs him she wasn’t touching she was reading – a note from Althea Mayberry saying how hurt she was by Randolph and that he’d be hearing from her attorney. Diana Sterling arrives, devastated but quick to remind them that Lamar had threatened to kill Randolph earlier that day. Lamar had called Diana, wanting to talk to Randolph and Diana was the one who told him her father was at the track. She breaks down and Todd takes her back to the house. Christy remembers that she was called about an injured horse and rushes out to the stables.

JB decides to walk Sheriff McKenna through the crime scene and points out the odd stain on Randolph’s jacket, hanging up on a hook. McKenna tells her that poking around crime scenes might be alright in the city, but he’s got a water moccassin by the tail and something something tread lightly.

Ain't nobody got time for that.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Jess decides to go find Christy/poke around in the stables, and finds Rex Manning attending to King Paragon, who had spooked, broke down his stable door and hightailed it across the paddock before Rex could catch him. (For those interested in fact based reporting, his character’s name is Derek Padley). Rex suspects the noise of the argument in the office might have spooked him, but when pressed he couldn’t say he recognised the voices. Christy reappears after attending to another injured horse and offers to x-ray King Paragon’s leg but Rex Manning tells her he knows best. Because he’s Rex Manning.

Back at the farm, Harry is pulling into the drive way with a well sloshed Lamar Morgan when the police pull him over. Harry is his belligerent self until Sheriff McKenna mentions murder.

Down at the police station, Lamar confesses he was at the track that night. He’d had an offer for one of his foals, and was hoping Randolph would agree to the sale provided the money was held in trust until after the court case but that clearly didn’t go well. Jess asks him if the fight was so loud that they didn’t hear King Paragon destroying his stall but he swears that noise would have stopped them cold.

Sheriff McKenna appears to tell JB that the stains on Randolph’s hands weren’t blood but hair dye. The stains on the jacket were blood, but not Randolph’s. Shout-out to Kentucky CSI for upping their game on that one. He bids them goodbye and departs. Harry has a speck of an idea floating in his brain about hair dye, and goes to see Althea Mayberry, who promptly busts a move on him but aborts when Harry casually wonders whether she was dying her hair when Randolph came to see her. She throws Harry out, Harry offers to take a raincheck on the tour of her bedroom.

The next day Harry asks JB about Lady Chatterley, and Jess explains that Lady Chatterley fell in love with her husband’s gamekeeper. Harry thinks it’s screwy, Diana isn’t married and there’s no gamekeeper in sight.  Not so screwy, says JB. Diana was married to Lord Snowcroft, and he had a large estate in England.

“Hunting game?” Says Harry.

“Racing horses.” JB says.

But he's trying and that's good.

But he’s trying and that’s good.

JB pops around to see Todd but instead finds Edie the housekeeper. She tells JB she heard a fight between Diana and Randolph earlier that week – Randolph was pissed at his daughter, saying she never did have good taste in men, while she told her father that Todd hated them.

Down at the police station Lamar is pestering Harry for more info about his investigation into King Paragon’s adventures with the mares, but Harry is more concerned about why Lamar is still being held, since Randolph wasn’t killed by a punch. Lamar tells him the blood on the jacket is his, a consequence of a busted up nose, but that his prints are also on the walking stick murder weapon, after he threw the stick away during the fight.

Later that night Harry, JB, Todd and Christy have a war meeting at the Morgan farm to decide what to do next. Jessica is sure that Lamar is innocent, but they need to prove someone else was at the stable that night – either by invitation or by knowing the security code. Todd and Christy head down to the track and Jess asks Harry if he knows anyone in the British racing industry – turns out Harry is friends with the Prince of Wales’s bookmaker (pfft) and he puts a call in to get more information on…

…cut to Judge Charlie Harley having a meeting in chambers where Christy, Todd and the defence attorney all requesting that the trial be held at King Paragon’s stables. Because that’s normal. Diana and her attorney bust in shouting I OBJECT (not true, whatever) and the judge decides a trip to the stable is in order. Apparently JB has located a surprise witness. King Paragon himself.

Emmaline steps up to conduct the interro-neigh-tion (nailed it)

Just amazing.

Just amazing.

After Emmaline asks a bunch of questions about King Paragon’s nightly wanderings, JB breaks in to request that she ask whether King Paragon’s name even is King Paragon, or if in fact it is Night Sword. Because apparently Night Sword was struck by lightening and killed. But what if it was King Paragon that was killed? And what if someone decided to dye the white sock on Night Sword’s leg brown to cover it up? And what if that someone got busted in the act of touching up the dye job by Randolph Sterling and so killed him to cover it up?

Say no more, mon amor.

Say no more, mon amor.


I feel like I’ve made insufficient horse puns in this episode, so if you think of some let me know. I think I’m still miserable from Richmond’s “effort” last week.

Until next week, then.



S07E15 – The Taxman Cometh


Disclaimer: I am writing this post while watching my football team (Richmond FC) play another football team on TV. I feel that this is not going to end well for anyone.

Strap yourselves in Fletcherfans! Nothing says comedy like taxes. Except maybe death and taxes.


JB is in Missouri on a book tour and pops in on her friend Edna Hayes, who is stressed out. The taxman is out for her blood, GO JAAAAAAAAAAAACK OH GODDAMNIT IT IT HIT THE POST to the tune of 2 million dollars. For whatever reason we need to go back and have an indepth analysis of how this 2 million dollar problem happened GO DUSTY and I will spare you the details mostly because I stopped paying attention and started googling what other movies the guy who plays Richard Wellstood  was in (he was in Scandal. And other things, but mainly that one).


Long story short, the taxman is after Edna and her company Aunt Edna’s Baked Goods, and they’re willing to go after her ex-husband, Nolan Hayes to get to her. YO RICHMOND YOUR GOALS ARE THE OTHER END IN CASE YOU FORGOT.

I should also point out at this point that Alf’s Dad is the tax man. Whatever happened to Alf?



What was I saying? Oh yeah, so Nolan, Edna’s ex husband, calls her up to tell her the taxman is after him for taxes on his income as a “consultant” for the business MISS IT MISS IT MISS IT THANK YOU, but the “income” they think he’s getting is way more than he is actually getting and some auditor named THAT WAS A FREE KICK Spencer Prince SOMEONE KICK THE GODDAMN BALL but that Nolan is still unable to get hold of him. Edna promises she’ll take care of it, but a week later she has a meeting with Alf’s Dad the tax auditor, ARGH WE MISSED THAT ONE ARGH who puts in the hard word and tells her YESSS GOOD TACKLE that if she doesn’t pay she will lose the business. And then it was now.

I said the same thing this morning after my nephew power-vommed over the couch, my brother and half of Launceston. Because I am #topaunty

I said the same thing this morning after my nephew power-vommed over the couch, my brother and half of Launceston. Because I am #topaunty


While Jessica and Edna look at Edna’s pictures of her friend the senator, company vice-president Richard Wellstood appears to let Edna know that he and the other VP JK Davern had a meeting with the auditor Spencer Prince, which was very successful THREE GEELONG PLAYERS ON THEIR OWN COME ON RICHMOND.


What was I saying? Right. So Richard leaves just as Nolan arrives to beg Edna to cooperate with the IRS, and if there’s anything he can do day or night, she should call him. He makes sure she has his car phone number (naww car phones) but she says her secretary already has it.

Jess goes on a tour of the factory with sales director George Harris YOU’RE DAMN RIGHT THAT WAS A HIGH TACKLE and they bump into Richard again who is looking for Spencer Prince. He spies him walking off in the distance and races to catch up. Meanwhile, the head of accounting Gail Manning is looking for Edna, after finding a message left for Edna on Gail’s desk. It’s from Nolan.

Edna decides she is too stressed out and busy to accompany JB to the concert they had planned to attend that evening, but JK agrees to escort JB instead so crisis averted ALEX RANCE FOR PM. He tells her that a couple of the bakers at the factory are in the woodwind section, and can even read music.

My thoughts exactly.

My thoughts exactly.





Alright. Focus. Later that night, police find Nolan’s body next to his car. Oh dear. The police haven’t id’d him yet, but find the car is WE ARE WINNING BY 25 POINTS STOP THE GAME NOW DEAR GOD RICHMOND WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS NOW THAT WE CAN’T POSSIBLY MAKE THE FINALS THIS IS THE MOST RICHMOND THING YOU HAVE EVER DONE registered to Edna, so they go to her house to ask her to come down to the police station HAHA SUCK IT JOEL SELWOOD.


Edna is devastated to learn her ex-husband’s death, and asks what happened. According to the 5-0, (aka Fred Willard) Nolan broke down in a sketchy area and MISS IT MISS IT MISS IT MISS IT MISS IT DAMN IT thugs clocked him over the head with his tyre jack when he tried to change the car tyre himself. YASSSSS TACKLE!

JB thinks the police theory is suspicious – according to Edna Nolan couldn’t open a can, so why would he be trying to change a car tyre in a sketchy neighbourhood when we have helpfully established he has a car phone? I LOVE YOU TRENT COTCHIN EVEN IF YOUR HAIR FREAKS ME OUT.

The next day Fred Willard Lieutenant Phillips is getting word that the tyre was slashed and not punctured when IRS Director Yelverton (Alf’s Dad) arrives in the office to tell him he’s out for Edna’s money, and that Nolan was a key witness in the tax evasion or something. SOUND THE SIREN WE ARE ABOUT TO FALL APART OH THANK GOD HALF TIME.

Yelverton demands to be the first call when any new developments occur, at which point Lieutenant Phillips tells Yelverton that the IRS has no jurisdiction in a murder investigation. Yelverton casually mentions the lieutenant’s car repayment problems and Phillips promises to be in touch.

Later that afternoon, Jess is hanging out at the factory when Phillips appears to sample some goods and find out about Edna’s side of the tax case. JB points out that it’s only an IRS claim, and that nothing is proven yet, to which Philips says “Clearly you’ve never owned a car.”

This episode is well weird. And I'm not just saying that because I'm football commentating all the way through it.

This episode is well weird. And I’m not just saying that because I’m football commentating all the way through it.

Philips reveals that Nolan was killed elsewhere and then moved to the train tracks, so the police were now checking where everyone who knew Nolan was. JB was at the concert with JK (nice abbreviating guys), while Gail, George and Richard were all at home. Edna reveals that she was home from 7:30 waiting for Nolan, who had left word that he was coming by to talk to her, but he obviously didn’t make it.

Philips is not entirely pleased with this lack of alibi so JB asks Edna if there is anyone who could possibly verify it. Edna remembers a delivery guy who came to her house by mistake because of blah blah address, to deliver a pizza, but she didn’t know the company or the name of the delivery guy. Philips is even less pleased but Jessica Fletcher doesn’t bow down from a challenge, and now that the third quarter is about to start I hope Richmond don’t either.

Jess tracks down the correct pizza orderer and confirms the pizza restaurant she got it from. She then rings the pizza place but finds out that Benny got fired that morning for getting lost. YASSSS COME ON RICHMOND.

The doorbell rings – it’s Lieutenant Phillips with bad news. The ballistic report has come in, Nolan was shot by a .38 – cooincidentally the same COME ON LLOYDY YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS HOLY CRAP I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS IS HAPPENING gun that is registered in the name of Edna Hayes. Edna tells him Hayes is a common name and he should check his records again at which point JB takes her aside for a quiet word. Edna tells Jess that she cooperated with the IRS and look where that got her OUR BACKLINE HAVEN’T PLAYED THIS WELL ALL YEAR but Jess tells her to come clean and she tells Lieutenant Philips that she bought a gun for protection after the divorce. WHY WOULD YOU GIVE AWAY 50 NOW FOR GOD’S SAKE RICHMOND I AM TOO OLD FOR THIS.


Philips informs them that the gun had clearly been fired recently, and that Edna is going to have to be arrested. COME ON JACK WE LOVE YOU JACK…..YESSSS JACKKKKKKKKKKKKK HOLY CRAP WHAT IS HAPPENING.

Down at the police station Yelverton pops in to gloat about how getting his hands on Edna’s money will be a lot easier if Edna is behind bars. SUCK IT DANGERFIELD YOU AIN’T WON NO BROWNLOW YET. As he is leaving, he sees Jessica filling out the paperwork for a visit with Edna and tells JB if his opinion accounts, JB has quite a talent.

“Oh?” Says JB. “Which one of my books have you read?”

“Books? I’m talking about your tax returns.” Says Yelverton.





After Jess’s visit she pops in to Philips’s office for a chat and when she finds Philips unwilling to see sense re: Edna’s innocence, she decides to take the bull by the horns (and some quality dubbing) and calls every pizza place in Jonesboro to track down this mysterious pizza delivery guy. YES THAT WAS FIFTY METRES THANKS FOR PAYING ATTENTION UMPIRES.

Naturally Jess finds him, and confirms Enda’s alibi. COME ON JACK YOU BEA-OH DAMN HE MISSED.

With Edna released from prison JB decides to  get this case sorted once and for all so she can get back to her book tour. She asks Gail about the source of the mysterious phone message that Nolan left but Gail tells her she didn’t speak to Nolan, she found the message on her desk. Edna’s secretary was on lunch so her guess it was the auditor, Spencer Prince, who took the call. JK and George appear and agree that it must have been Spencer. JK adds that Spencer had just left the building, otherwise JB could have asked him himself.


Jess is starting to get suspicious of this elusive Spencer Prince character, who NO NO NO NO NO NO NO DAMMIT who has always just left when she arrives. JK points out the window and says “There he is!” just as he drives away. COME ON RICHMOND DON’T DO THIS TO ME.

Jess has a bright idea about who might be able to shed a little light Spencer Prince and goes to see Yelverton AS IF THAT WAS A FREE KICK GO BACK TO SPECSAVERS.

Jess has the same opinion of tax people that I do.



Jess asks Yelverton to look up Prince in the system, and MISS MISS MISS MISS MISS MISS MISS MISS MISS MISS MISS DAMN IT Yelverton is delighted to be of service. He tells JB that he met Prince once, he wore glasses and a hat and a bowtie AND ARGH GOD RICHMOND JUST KICK ONE DAMN GOAL ALREADY. Yelverton is horrified to think that Prince was the architect of this fraud and jumps on the computer to find out more about him. JESUS CHRIST RICHMOND WHAT ARE YOU DOING STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT I CAN’T GO ON.

Um, wait what was I on about? Right, so Yelverton is aghast to discover that Spencer Prince has only been paying tax for the last six or so years and so now Yelverton is on the case and ANOTHER GOAL? RICHMOND ARE YOU EVEN PAYING ATTENTION I SAID DON’T DO A RICHMOND FOR ONCE IN THIS MISERABLE GODDAMN SEASON DON’T SNATCH DEFEAT FROM THE JAWS OF VICTORY.

While Edna shares JB’s theory about the ficticious Spencer Prince with JK, Jessica is with Lieutenant Philips in St Louis I CAN’T WATCH THIS ANY MORE at the apartment of Spencer Prince. They find the housekeeper who, it turns out, hasn’t actually met Spencer Prince either HOW MANY FREE KICKS DO YOU WANT TO NOT GIVE. Lieutenant Philips finds Nolan’s wallet and is convinced that Spencer Prince is the guilty party, and puts out an APB.

Later that night JB and Edna are poring over the books trying to find the missing money when the lights go out and a shadowy figure appears with a gun. It’s the man everyone’s been looking for, Spencer Prince. He orders them to hand over the books and forces them into the closet while he legs it. Jessica quickly calls the police before they hear a shot. OH GOOD YOU REMEMBER WHAT THE GOALS LOOK LIKE IT’S A BIT BLOODY LATE NOW ISN’T IT.


JB and Edna rush outside and find Richard standing over Spencer’s body. He says he was there to help go over the books, but Spencer came towards him with a gun and something something. JB looks at the body and notices the weird hairline is actually a wig – it’s JK Davern. Richard says it kind of makes sense when you think about it, at which point JB tells Edna to pull the gun on him. Because the gun Richard has isn’t the gun JK pulled on them.

Not to be confused with Richmond of Death. Because supporting Richmond will be the death of me.

Not to be confused with Richmond of Death. Because supporting Richmond will be the death of me.

Because Richard and JK were in cahoots and took it in turns to be Spencer Prince while they extorted all the monies and then Nolan saw them impersonating and so they shot him and oh who cares my football team are hopeless is it acceptable to eat a block of salted caramel kitkats for dinner?



S07E14 – Who Killed JB Fletcher?


Shenanigans! Outrage! Fancy dogs! Someone is running around Texas pretending to be JB Fletcher!



This obvious doppelganger is on the Case of the Dog What Always Wins The Dog Show, and is breaking into the kennels to prove it. Unfortunately for Jessica Faux-tcher (nailed it), she didn’t take into consideration a little thing called a silent alarm and gets arrested. She’s bailed out the next morning by her friend Kit and her true identity is revealed – Marge Allen, mother of a state senator and so clearly can’t be seen getting arrested breaking into dog kennels. Marge gets Kit to drive her to her car, via the home of kennel owners the McAuleys. Marge returns a short time later to confront Lisa McAuley about the Blatant Outrage of Dog Related Corruption, but begins to scream when a bloodied hand opens a door. Or something.

Meanwhile, in New York City a news report comes on the television – JB Fletcher has been arrested for breaking and entering.

Sorry not sorry

Sorry not sorry

Reassured that she hasn’t been smoking peyote for 6 straight days,  JB gets on the phone to sort this out but local sheriff JT Tanner refuses to believe her, and says a split personality defence is between her and her lawyer.

Aren't we all.

Aren’t we all.

Exasperated, JB gets on the first train, plane and automobile to Bremerton, Texas.  Her first stop is the sheriff’s office, but the Sheriff is unmoved by her ID card, Cabot Cove library card and other odds and ends, saying Jessica Faux-tcher had the same ID card. Jessica sighs and asks for directions to the nearest bookshop.



The sheriff capitulates in the face of inescapable logic, and tells JB he’ll change the arrest record to ‘Jane Doe’. JB wants to know what happens next but the sheriff tells her he’ll take care of it. He does begrudgingly tell her name of the person who bailed out Jessica Faux-tcher, and Jess heads there next. She knocks on Kit’s front door and gets a response she probably wasn’t expecting…

I had this exact reaction when I saw the ads for Zumbo's Just Desserts

I had this exact reaction when I saw the ads for Zumbo’s Just Desserts

That’s nothing compared to what’s inside – the weekly meeting of the JB Fletcher Literary Appreciation Society (JBFLAS)



Stephen King has a lot to answer for

Stephen King has a lot to answer for

The literary society – Bertie, Kit, Florence, Jane and Caroline – want to know what JB is doing in town and she tells them about the arrest of Jessica Faux-tcher. Kit looks uncomfortable and tells the others that Marge was the one who got arrested, and had used her JB Fletcher ID so that her son wouldn’t find out.  JB is very interested in these Fletcher-IDs and demands they all give theirs up immediately (fair).

Kit tells JB about the Case of The Dog What Wins All The Time, and that Marge had cracked the case that morning. Jess goes to see Marge at home, but finds the house empty and a fresh newspaper on the path.


That escalated quickly.

That escalated quickly. (That report clearly written by Richard Wilkins)

Back at the headquarters of the society (or as it shall be ever known, JBFLASH), the news of Marge’s death is handled in varying ways.



According to the newspaper, Marge was killed when she lost control of her car. The rest of the JBFLAS call shenanigans – Marge drove that road regularly, there was no way she would have lost control. Jess wonders what Marge discovered at the MacAuley’s house and after a brief competition, Kit volunteers to drive her over.

They arrive at the MacAuley house to discover a wake in progress for Simon MacAuley, recently deceased after he was shot in the back by his dog, the sort of thing that could happen to anyone at any time obviously. The sheriff is surprised to see JB there and hopes that she’s not there to harass MacAuley’s widow Lisa. Kit introduces JB to local insurance salesman Mitchell Lawrence who is also surprised to see JB there on account of she’s dead. He asks them if they knew Simon well and Kit says they never met him. Mitchell says he’d known Simon for a long time, but they weren’t particularly close – Simon preferred dogs. (Understandable).

Mitchell excuses himself and JB tells  Kit she’s going to try and have a chat with Lisa McAuley. Kit declares she’s going to scope the room for anything unusual.



Jess wants to reassure Lisa that she wasn’t responsible for the break-in at the kennel, but Lisa doesn’t seem particularly bothered. Jess wonders what Marge could have been looking for and Lisa says there was only paperwork in there, nothing valuable. Jess goes on to say it must have been very upsetting to have Marge turn up at their house that morning looking for her husband, but Lisa says Marge was never there, and her reasons for breaking into the kennel will never be known – Lisa assumes that Marge must have been a crazy grey-haired loon, nothing more, though she is sorry to hear she died.

Jess takes her leave and finds Kit who reports that the sheriff was in an argument with Jethro from Beverly Hillbillies, and that she didn’t think the sheriff liked him all that much. JB thinks Lisa doesn’t like him either, but that they needed to leave before they out-lasted their welcome. Outside they run into Jethro again – turns out he is a state trooper who was hoping to start a canine unit with Simon’s help, but it never got anywhere.

Back at JBFLASH, Jess tells the ladies that Lisa lied about not seeing Marge, and that Jess might stick around for a couple of days, just to satisfy her curiosity. The ladies are delighted and immediately offer their assistance in solving the case.

JB is not on board with this plan.

JB is not on board with this plan.

Jess thanks the ladies, but thinks that she should take her suspicions to the proper authorities. Unfortunately for JB, the proper authorities think it’s all a load of codswallop and the sheriff informs JB that if there’s any investigating to be done, he will do it.

That night JB is dismayed to learn that her credit cards have been cancelled on account of she’s dead according to that one guy in the paper, which is totally legit and the sort of thing that happens all the time. Kit guesses that the local article was picked up by the wires and the news of JB’s untimely demise has gone across the country.

That Penny just dropped.

That Penny just dropped.

Kit takes JB back to her place for the night, where she calls Seth and Grady (ugh) to confirm that she’s not dead yet. A good nights sleep is in order, and in the morning she is borrowing a dog.

The next morning, Jess acquires a basset hound and a Texan accent and drops the dog off at the MacAuley kennels where the groomer, Rick, hasn’t got much to say on the subject of Simon’s untimely demise. Their next stop is to meet JBFLAS member Florence, incognito at a local restaurant, to find out what she’s learned from her husband at the coroner’s office. She shows them the autopsy report – Marge almost definitely wasn’t driving when she was killed, her glasses were in the glovebox. Florence, pleased with herself goes to have lunch with her husband, and JB notices another clue before Jethro wanders past. He asks about the contents of the envelope and Jess tells him its research for her new book.

“Oh,” says Jethro. “Are you a writer?”

shots fired

shots fired

Jess asks Jethro what he meant the previous day when he told Lisa MacAuley he offered his sympathies even under these circumstances. Jethro says he meant stupidity – no self-respecting hunter would leave a loaded rifle leaned up against a tree for a dog to knock over. JB goes to report her theory that Simon McAuley was shot by a person but the Sheriff orders her away from the case. Jess and Kit return to the kennels to pick up the dog, and discover Lisa and Rick have a little something something going on the side nudge nudge wink wink. Back at Kit’s house, they get a visit from the Sheriff – he checked JB’s theory with the coroner and he agreed with JB’s assessment that Simon McAuley didn’t die where the body was found. They go out to the crime scene and get a soil sample to test the theory further.

The next day Jess discovers her phone card has been cancelled on account of that article in the paper what said she was dead and stuff. A passing Mitchell the insurance guy gallantly offers the use of the phone in his office and JB calls Seth to wire her some money. Before she goes, Mitchell asks about the rumour that Simon McAuley’s death was a murder and she confirms that the Sheriff is off getting some evidence tested in Dallas as they spoke.

Back at JBFLASH the society is trawling through old newspapers looking for clues when Bertie bursts in brandishing the password for the insurance company files. They discover that Simon MacAuley’s insurance policy had recently been raised to 2 million dollars. Boom! Motive!

Jess is going to break the sound barrier getting out of town when this is over.

Jess is going to break the sound barrier getting out of town when this is over.

They report their findings to the Sheriff, along with their discovery of Rick and Lisa at the kennel and the Sheriff leaps into action. He heads over to the McAuley house just as Rick hightails it out of there on his motorbike. He puts the word out for Rick to get picked up and requests backup. Inside, he finds Lisa dead.

JB appears to assist the examination of the crime scene and points out blood spatter on the lightbulb in the basement, proving (according to her) her theory that Simon was killed there. Later, when Rick gets picked up he swears he didn’t strangle Lisa, he loved her. He found her dead then ran. The Sheriff is suspicious but Rick’s alibi checks out and he is forced to let Rick go.

Jess calls an emergency meeting at JBFLASH to reassess their position in the case, as their original WIFE OF DEATH theory has kind of fallen apart, and they still don’t know how Marge got inolved. Jess half-remembers seeing something important on the insurance report and checks it again.She remembers Jane’s earlier lament that Simon was the only B- blood donor in the area, which is odd because on the insurance report  his blood is listed as A+.

A quick snoop through some medical files later, and JB has solved it.

Not quite as catchy as Death of a Salesman but meh.

Not quite as catchy as Death of a Salesman but meh.

Mitchell and Lisa had done a deal to split Simon’s insurance money, and so killed him. Marge turned up at precisely the wrong time and so she died. And Lisa was cracking under the pressue and so Mitchell killed him.

This meeting of the JB Fletcher Literary Appreciation Society is now closed. Let’s celebrate with a drink.


Later gang!

Later gang!