…and so Our Heroine returned to Earth after successfully solving the murder of the captain on the space station and there was much rejoicing.
I kid. That isn’t a space shuttle, or a weird looking sky frog sent to destroy Earth, it is in fact a private jet belonging to Clark Blanchard, who has picked Jess up in LA to take her back to Santa Barbara to help he and his wife, children’s book author Ginny, celebrate their five year anniversary.
They arrive just in time for a polo match, and while Clark struts around on his horse being all manly JB and Ginny chow down on some picnic snacks and chat to Ginny’s son Scott, who when asked why he isn’t out playing polo with his step father declares that competing with Clark Blanchard is like having a deathwish. Wrong show to be making that declaration boy-o.
Clark drops by to wallow in his own crapulence, and request that his vice-president of operations, Greg Franklin, fill in for an injured player on the opposing team, an idea Greg doesn’t look too thrilled with. His wife Alison joins Jess and Ginny, and tells them that being vice president means doing whatever Clark says. Jess says she thinks it’s very noble for Greg to fill in for an injured opposing player and Alison says polo is a gentleman’s game -at least on the surface.
The polo game kicks off and Greg ends up on the ground thanks to some Clark Blanchard mad dog skills. Ugh.
Later that night…
…the anniversary party is in full swing. Clark gives Ginny a swanky bracelet and an apology – he has to go back to LA the next day for a business meeting. Jess urges Ginny’s son Scott to dance with all da single ladies, and promptly gets hit on by local policeman Paul Stratton. Jess tells him it’s not the first time she’s been picked up by a policeman (ZING) and he demands more information, over dinner, or breakfast or a something. Meanwhile Clark is informing Dane Kenderson that he has just taken over their company, and is about to make a move on Alison (and says something about fillies liking to be ridden hard EW EW EW EW EW) before her husband Greg wanders in to ask for a dance.
Later that night, JB is kicking back and rubbing her feet when she hears loud voices. Ginny comes rushing in, her dressing gown ripped and her lip bleeding. Jess is horrified, and asks if Clark did this to her, and Ginny says it’s okay, he was drunk and she probably deserved it.
Ginny asks Jess to forget the whole thing, but Jess tells her that’s not going to happen.
The next day, over breakfast, Ginny tells Jess the story of her relationship with Clark, and how he hits her when he’s had too much to drink but that he always feels so bad afterwards. She can’t help feeling that she’s done something wrong.
“It’s not your fault Ginny. It’s a sickness. It’s Clark’s sickness. Your only fault is in allowing it to continue. I’m not going to try and tell you what to do, because I’m not an expert on wife battery and there are people who are trained in these matters, but I’m going to tell you something very plainly. There are only two things you can do – seek professional advice or leave the relationship.”
That evening Ginny and JB have dinner and run into Greg and Alison Franklin. JB thinks everyone has dinner early in Santa Barbara but Greg says he’s had a phone call from Clark and he has to get a flight up to San Francisco. Alison asks Ginny to tell Clark to stop working Greg so hard, but Ginny says Clark doesn’t listen to her on business matters. Later that night, when JB is getting ready for bed, she sees Ginny drive in and come running up the stairs.
The next morning, Scott is at Clark’s beach house(?) (for some reason), and finds the door open, blood everywhere, including on a handbag, and the body of Clark Blanchard sitting in the car. Down at the police station Lieutenant Stratton takes charge of the investigation and calls Scott and Ginny in. He tells them the handbag they found was Ginnys and asks her what happened, since Clark was supposed to be in Los Angeles. Ginny tells them she went round to the beach house to get a book she wanted to read, Clark was there and she only stayed a few minutes. She must have left the purse behind then.
JB takes herself down to the crime scene, and Stratton runs her through it – from what they can tell, someone came up from the beach, whacked Clark with the fireplace poker and left his body in the car. Meanwhile, Ginny tells company lawyer Margo Saunders what she couldn’t tell Lieutenant Stratton – that Clark had been drinking, and that when she arrived he accused her of following him and then hit her when she said she would call the police. Margo says that isn’t enough, they will have a better shot if they plead self-defence (Clark deserved it anyway). Lieutenant Stratton arrives and arrests Ginny on suspicion of murder. Across town, Dane Kenderson pops into Alison’s house to tell her that unless Greg supports his bid to get control of the Blanchard company, he will tell Greg about Alison’s affair with Clark.
The more I think about this more confused I am. And I’m not even kidding, two famous people have died since I started writing this post. 2016 is out for blood.
JB is determined to proof Ginny didn’t kill Clark and goes down to the precinct to talk to Lieutenant Stratton about it, but he won’t listen unless she agrees to lunch with him at the polo club. Jesus, calm down dude. Jess asks him if he knew about Clark hitting Ginny and he says he didn’t know until Margo told him, and it will definitely help her defense although it would help more if she’d made a complaint against him. The trouble is the evidence suggests that Ginny left Clark to die without calling for help.
Jessica’s next stop is Ginny and Scott. Scott believes Ginny will get off, and when Jess tells him she doesn’t think Ginny killed Clark he is quick to name a whole list of people who hated Clark, including Dane Kenderson. Ginny is apologising for everything, but when Jessica tries to ask her if Ginny is covering for someone else, Margo apperates and orders Ginny not to say another word – in case Jess gets called to testify.
In light of Scott’s theory, Jess goes to see Dane Kenderson, who she finds sneakily rummaging through files in the Blanchard office.
Kenderson tells her that yes he is in a better position now that Clark is dead, but that he was on the phone to Toyko all night the night of the murder, and that frankly if they want to investigate someone they should look into Greg Franklin in case he found out that Clark was banging his wife (paraphrasing). Jessica says that she thought Greg was in San Francisco, but Dane says that’s not what he heard.
Jess reports her findings to Stratton, but he tells her Margo is down at the DA’s office organising Ginny’s plea deal, so it doesn’t really matter whether Greg Franklin has a motive or Dane Kenderson was really on the phone. Scott Blanchard bursts in and announces that he killed Clark and to let his mother go.
JB and Stratton don’t believe him, and head back to the beach house to look for more clues. JB is beginning to develop a theory regarding what happened – it seems that someone might have come to the beach house after Ginny left, there was a struggle, Clark got hit with a poker, and then the killer took Clark to his car, but Clark died. A quick hit of the redial button on the beachhouse phone confirms JB”s theory.
So it was a case of self defence after all. It was just the mistress, not the wife.
And so Our Heroine returned to Cabot Cove after successfully solving the murder of the pond scum who got drunk and beat women and there was much rejoicing.