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Merry Christmas Fletcherfans. I hope you eat lots, drink lots and wear weather appropriate clothing (we’re melting down here, it’s wonderful)

The blog will be back at the end of January. Until then, be good!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m just going to livetweet Mum’s Carols by Candlelight, proudly presented by Brown Brothers Prosecco.

 

See you in 2017!

S08E09 – The Committee

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Back in the Big Apple this week Fletcherfans, where JB is signing ALL THE BOOKS for her adoring fans. That comes to an end however, when Jess’s old friend Winston Devermore appears to take her to dinner.

And I think we should just all pause and reflect on her outfit for a minute.

I MEAN COME ON.

I MEAN COME ON.

Winston has an ulterior motive for inviting JB to dinner though. He wants her to come speak at the Avernus Club, a men-only club for rich white dudes, in the hopes that it might persuade members to finally allow women into the club. Would she be interested?

THIS IS WHAT SHE'S BEEN TRAINING FOR HER WHOLE LIFE

THIS IS WHAT SHE’S BEEN TRAINING FOR HER WHOLE LIFE

Meanwhile, somewhere else in New York, fellow Club member Lawrence Cayle is pissing off people left and right, including but not limited to Gerald Innsmouth, who he has screwed out of a business deal. When he complains to Lawrence, he says hashtag get over it, it’s just business etc etc, but his assistant/brother Theo quietly tells Gerald that he’s not the only Avernus Club member mad at Lawrence.

JB’s reading is naturally a success, thanks largely in part to her outfit:

SERIOUSLY THOUGH, HER FASHION GAME THIS EPISODE IS JUST MAGNIFICENT.

SERIOUSLY THOUGH, HER FASHION GAME THIS EPISODE IS JUST MAGNIFICENT.

Winston brings some of his friends to come and greet the Queen herself, including Avernus Club president Philip Arkham, and new member Edward Dunsany (vineyard owner) who says that a guest speaker from the distaff gender was well overdue.

Distaff, while sounding like a nasty infection requiring antibiotics, is actually a noun that means "of or relating to women". It also means the stool used to sit on when spinning wool, or women's work. Blergh.

Distaff, while sounding like a nasty infection requiring antibiotics, is actually a noun that means “of or relating to women”. It also means the stool used to sit on when spinning wool, or women’s work. Blergh.

Philip tells her she made more sense than Hemmingway and departs, as does Dunsany when he sees Lawrence Cayle making a move on his wife. He busts up the little flirt fest and tells his wife to get her coat and Cayle to stay away from her. Cayle tells him to tell that to his wife, she’s a good year and he can’t keep her locked in his wine cellar forever. YES YOU COMPARED HIS WIFE TO A BOTTLE OF WINE CONGRATULATIONS.

As Jess and Winston are getting ready to leave, a young man delivers an envelope to Winston. Inside is a key and a note that says midnight. Later, when Winston returns to the house he finds the rest of the gang – Arkham, Dunsany, Harcourt, Gerald Innsmouth – all there. Arkham says they were wondering where he was and Winston tells him he got held up, but that he wants no part of this. This, it turns out, is the matter of what to do with Lawrence Cayle. Gerald rants about how much it’s cost him now that Gerald has squeezed him out of his business deal, but Arkham tells him to calm down. He’s not the only one Cayle has pissed off, they need to decide what the consequences will be. Another club member, Harcourt Fenton, asks why they need to sanction him at all, why can’t they just kick him out, but Arkham says they never know when they might need him, although Edward’s report about Cayle and his wife is at best inappropriate (which Edward thinks is lowballing it a bit).

Let's get to drinking!

Let’s get to drinking!

Arkham orders that a vote be cast to decide if Cayle should be sanctioned and summons Philip’s assistant Lisa Sutton in to collect the votes – a black marble means sanction, a white marble means no sanction. The votes are in – Cayle is being voted off the island. Harcourt says he’s had enough of this and leaves.

Arkham isn’t done though – a new vote must happen, to decide who enforces the will of the committee. Whomever catches the snitch selects the gold marble will be in charge of doling out punishment. Lisa trots around the table with a bag, and each member grabs a marble out of the bag. “The selection has been made.” Intones Akham. “Now let’s never speak of this again.”

The next night, Jess is out to dinner with Winston when the Cayle’s pop in. While Winston and Lawrence have a heated discussion in the corner, Lawrence’s brother Theo tries to distract JB, who is having none of it but is unable to find out what the deal is. The following day, at a shooting party, Lawrence confronts Arkham about the secret meeting but Arkham tells him he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. That night at a party, Jess meets a bedraggled Lisa Sutton, caught out in the rain, while Lawrence Cayle gets an envelope with a key and a note that says midnight. Jess and Winston are on the way out when Winston asks the valet where Theo Cayle is – he’s not sure but he thinks he just left as his car is gone.

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That awkward moment when you realise the shadowy figure isn't there to hug you.

That awkward moment when you realise the shadowy figure isn’t there to hug you.

Jess comes in the next morning as soon as she hears but Winston doesn’t know much. He introduces JB to the investigating officer, Lieutenant Tartarus, who tells her she won’t get much of a story – Cayle was shot with a shotgun, they’ll just test the club members for gun shot residue and see who the guilty party is. Jess points out there was a trap shooting competition there yesterday so everyone will test positive. Tatartus is not pleased. He departs, and Jess asks Winston why he wanted her there so urgently, and a minion appears to let them know the rest of the committee is in the drawing room.

“Let me get this straight,” Jess says. “You all voted to sanction Lawrence Cayle 4-1, someone was chosen to be the enforcer and now he’s dead?

This is exactly the sort of shenanigans that will happen when you let rich old white men form clubs.

This is exactly the sort of shenanigans that will happen when you let rich old white men form clubs.

Arkham asks her to try and solve who killed Cayle so that they’re off the hook, or if it was one of them, that they can get out in front of it before the police find out. JB agrees, thinking it’s a little odd that she’s being hired by the group that almost certainly has a killer as a member. Dunsany doesn’t see the funny side and leaves. Harcourt says to Jess she’s got her work cut out for her.

This is not an unfamiliar state of being for JB.

This is not an unfamiliar state of being for JB.

JB wastes no time and so she and Winston head over to House Cayle, arriving just as Harcourt Fenton is departing. Jess tells Winson she thinks she should talk to Theo Cayle alone, and so he leaves her there. Before he drives off, he calls Harcourt asking to meet him that afternoon at 4pm.

Inside, Theo tells Jess he has no idea who killed his brother – they were always a great team. Jess doesn’t want to take up too much of his time, but Theo offers to drive her back to town. As he adjusts the car seat, she asks him why Harcourt had been to see him but he says he was just offering condolences.

Across town, Lieutenant Tatartus informs Arkham that he has found out about the vote, and that the Club is set to inherit a whole wad of money from Cayle’s will. Arkham’s response is to hand the phone over – the commissioner is on the phone.

Later, Winson and Harcourt are in Harcourt’s car when Harcourt realises he has no brakes – and the car goes off into a ravine. Winston survives, but Harcourt doesn’t make it. JB goes to see him in the hospital and he tells her they were on their way to see Philip to tell him they needed to come clean to the police. Winston is pretty out of it and starts saying he didn’t even want to sanction Lawrence, he was the only one who voted not to. 1 white marble, 4 black…

The doctor says the sedatives are kicking in and asks them all to go outside. A nurse pops up to tell him that someone has broken into Winston’s locker and stolen his clothes, and that another locker that had contained Harcourt’s things had been broken into but nothing taken, as Harcourt’s belongings had already been sent to the morgue. JB thinks they’d better have a look at them so they head on down to the coroners office. Amongst his things they find a black marble. Tartarus doesn’t see the significance but Our Heroine does and they have a taxi company to find.

Later that day, midnight notes are sent to the Committee and they assemble in the boardroom. Lisa Sutton and Theo Cayle are also in attendance. Jess explains her discovery – two people voted white, Winston and Harcourt. The only solution is that someone pre-rigged the vote, and that someone was Lisa.

But, Fletcherfans, she’s not the killer! It turns out someone paid her ten thousand dollars to rig the vote, and there’s no way Lisa’s going down without taking them down with her…

Spoiler alert: My friend's cat makes this face almost constantly.

Spoiler alert: My friend’s cat makes this face almost constantly.

Ah yes. Everyone was sick of Lawrence’s behaviour, but someone had to put up with it a little longer than everyone else.

Case closed! And with Winston out of hospital he wants to thank Jess the only way he knows how.

With dinner.

In Scotland.

Tonight.

See you soon Fletcherfans!

See you soon Fletcherfans!

S08E08 – A Killing In Vegas

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Welcome to a mysterious and far away kingdom called Las Vegas.

I like to refer to Tasmania as Tas Vegas for no other reason than it amuses me greatly.

I like to refer to Tasmania as Tas Vegas for no other reason than it amuses me greatly.

JB is in relucantly in town to attend a book fair, but has been sent on a mission by her publisher Ted Hartley to check on his daughter Susan, who is studying in Vegas. Her other mission, that she has chosen to accept, is to bet on 14 on the blackjack table on behalf of Ahmed the doorman.

On the way to the hotel, McSorley’s, JB gets the low-down on the hotel from the head of security Larry Thorson. Apparently someone had tried to buy McSorley’s but the deal fell through at the last minute and now the casino is bleeding money.

At the casino, Ted’s daughter Susan is working as a waitress while her boyfriend Eddie is working the tables and may or may not be up to some shifty shenanigans.  JB arrives to meet the PR lady Alice Baxter, who begs her to attend a party being held in the penthouse by casino manager Jerry Pappas. JB thinks she’s not dressed, and also she’s tired, but Alice begs her and JB agrees. Alice tells her to checkout the day spa and get a massage from Max with the magic fingers.

That does sound rather lovely now that I think about it.

Full disclosure: JB wasn’t sure about the idea of Max with the Magic Fingers.

JB notices the security cameras in the elevator on the way up and Alice tells her they were added during the recent renovations, but that unfortunately it doesn’t matter how much money gets spent if you don’t have Dean Martin or Julio Iglasias headlining.

Upstairs Jess is horrified to see everyone decked out but Alice assures her it’s fine and introduces her to Wes McSorley and his wife Katherine, as well as casino manager Jerry Pappas who wants a quiet word with Wes – money is disappearing from the casino but Wes says not to worry, he’ll handle it. Later, JB finds Wes watching his wife with Pappas. When Wes realises she’s there he quickly offers her a drink but JB says it’s her bedtime. On her way out she runs into drunky-mcdrunk-drunk Katherine McSorley powdering her nose, who asks JB who she thinks is really running the casino. JB suggests it’s time for bed, but Katherine has things to drink do.

The next morning JB catches up with Susan Hartley (who is the daughter from Honey I Shrunk The Kids and that’s the first time I’ve thought about that movie in a billion years), who sings the praises of her boyfriend Eddie, with whom she has a joint bank account (SUBTLE PLOT POINT IS SUBTLE). Eddie joins them for a moment to turn on the charm and offer to drive them out to Hoover Dam that Saturday.

Isn’t he great? Says Susan.

JB sees through your bullshit Eddie.

JB sees through your bullshit Eddie.

JB heads over to the book fair to charm the pants off everyone and say hello to a random wolf.d2

I've got nothing for this.

I’ve got nothing for this.

The hotel head of security, Larry Thorson, picks her up for their “date” and they head into the casino so Jess can put her bet 14 on for Ahmed.

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When I went to Las Vegas in 2014 Dad requested that I bet on black, which I promptly did and lost 20 bucks. When I informed him of this he laughed for about an hour and then reminded me to turn right at Alberquerque.

When I went to Las Vegas in 2014 Dad requested that I bet on black, which I promptly did and lost 20 bucks. When I informed him of this he laughed for about an hour and then reminded me to turn right when I got to Albuquerque #nothelpful #neverdidpaymeback.

JB and Larry get distracted by the jackpot bell going off on one of the slot machines, and miss the next round of roulette, which works out great as Jess manages to double Ahmed’s money completely by accident. Larry takes her back to see his office, where the security oversees all the card tables, and highlights one screen in particular – whenever that particular dealer is working the house loses just a bit more than probability dictates. The dealer turns for a second – it’s Eddie. Shady Eddie.

The next day, Susan is going through a bank statement and is worried to see that there’s way less money in there than she thought. Eddie finds her looking at it and yells at her. She says he left it on the dresser and asks him if he’s gambling. He tells her the money is for him to do with as he likes and that’s that.

That afternoon JB is between events at the book fair looking for Susan but a waitress tells her she didn’t show up for work that day but promises to get Susan to get in touch if she sees her. Alice reminds JB about her engagements for the next day as well as the cocktail party that night. JB says she’d rather go to bed with a good book, but she’ll be there.

Back in the security office Larry is watching the security camera. Pitt boss Frank Stinson is with Eddie watching him deal, and notices a chip disappear. Frank looks at the security camera and nods his head. Larry goes in and drags Eddie out, Frank close behind.

Out in the car park Larry tells Eddie that it’s his lucky day – since the McSorley’s have a bit of a problem with the Nevada Gaming Commission he won’t call the police but Eddie’s not to leave town until Larry has spoken to Jerry Pappas. Eddie looks at Frank who nods his head. CONSPIRACY AND ALSO I HAVEN’T WATCHED OCEANS ELEVEN IN AGES.

Later that night, when Frank is heading to his car, he is accosted by Eddie, who knocks the briefcase Frank is carrying out of his hand. It bursts open, and chips fall everywhere. TOTES CONSPIRACY. Eddie starts beating up Frank, accusing him of double-crossing and lying when he said they were protected, but Frank tells Eddie that they are protected, by Jerry Pappas, and to go see in the penthouse that night to get it all straightened out. Eddie says Frank told him the exact same thing a week before, but that Jerry hadn’t been there but Frank says he didn’t know why that happened, but Jerry would definitely be there that night.

JB arrive at the penthouse and runs into Alice, but while Wes McSorely is in attendance, both Jerry and Katherine McSorely are missing. Later when JB is delightedly leaving, Katherine is snatching compacts off people to powder her nose but has no idea where her husband or Jerry or Alice is. Jess beats a hasty escape down to the casino where she runs into Eddie Wheaton, but he brushes her off and tells her to stay out of his business when she tries to warn him about the casino investigation. On her way out an old lady asks her to mind a machine while she makes a pit stop, so while Jess waits (because she’s not going to say no), she pops a quarter into a slot machine and wins the jackpot because she’s Jessica God Damn Fletcher.

A note about the little old lady though:

This is Connie Sawyer. According to IMDB she's 104 and was working up until 2 years ago. What a boss.

This is Connie Sawyer. According to IMDB she’s 104 and was working up until 2 years ago. What a boss.

Anyway a short time later, Jerry Pappas takes a swan dive from the top of McSorely’s Casino, because this is Murder, She Wrote. The next morning, Susan finds JB in the foyer of the hotel and tells her Eddie’s been arrested for Jerry’s murder and she doesn’t know what to do and she can’t call her father. Jessica tells her to go home and calm down, she’ll see what she can find out.

Up in the penthouse Jess finds Larry Thorson talking to a detective, while Wes McSorely is trying to decide how to spin this to the media with Alice Baxter. He decides to go with the angle that he and Jerry were life long friends, but that Jerry killed himself after his scam was uncovered. “Maybe there was a love triangle in there somewhere too.” He says with a pointed look at his wife, who is in tears. He gives her her compact from his pocket and tells her to clean herself up, there’s press downstairs.

Ace scarf though.

Ace scarf though.

The lieutenant orders the room cleared and Larry introduces him to Jessica. Jessica asks him what he has on Eddie, and he tells her that Eddie doesn’t deny being with Jerry right before the murder, which the surveillance tapes from the elevator will prove, plus Eddie doesn’t deny Jerry took a swing at him. Jess says it doesn’t make sense, this was just a job for Eddie, he was studying to be an accountant. Lieutenant Murphy tells her that it wasn’t true – Eddie wasn’t studying anything, he was down at the bus station scamming tourists.

Jess goes straight to the horses mouth, and a visibly worse for wear Eddie confirms everything the lieutenant says, but swears he didn’t kill Jerry. After he and Pappas got into it, Eddie left to go look for Frank. Eddie does think that there was a woman up there, as he saw a silver compact on the table, but he couldn’t be sure. But he swears he didn’t do it, he left at 10:15 (plot point is pointy). Susan tells him she wants to believe that he didn’t kill Jerry but she wanted him to say that none of it was true and runs out in tears. Eddie asks Jess if she will be leaving him too and she says while she despises what he’s done to Susan, she thinks there’s a lot of things that don’t make sense and she’ll talk to him later. She wants to check some things out.

JB’s next stop is the security office where they watch the security video of Eddie going up and down in the elevator. The video is time-stamped 10:20, disproving Eddie’s claim he left at 10:15, but JB thinks something is up. Eddie’s clothes aren’t ripped in the video at 10:20, but when she saw him that morning his vest was ripped. She’s certain someone swapped out the tapes. She checks with Eddie, who tells her about how Frank had told him he was summoned to the penthouse the week before, at around 10pm, but that Jerry hadn’t been there.

Jess shares her theory with Larry and Lieutenant Murphy but Murphy is having none of it. Jess tells him she’s sure Eddie is being set up and that they need to find Frank Stinson.

Unfortunately for them, someone else found him first and put a bullet in his head. Awkward. JB breaks the news to Susan, and tells her Eddie is the prime suspect in both murders, and Susan is devastated but not surprised. JB says that despite the stealing, she doesn’t think Eddie killed Jerry or Frank and she has a hunch. She’s found out that the casino is part-owned by a company called Seashore Properties and she thinks she knows who owns that company. Later, Jess goes to see Larry to ask about fire stairs. He tells her the stairs to the penthouse are locked, and only he, Wes, Jerry and some maintenance and security staff would have access. She asks to borrow Larry’s key to test a theory. Larry agrees, but tells her to wait until after eight, to make sure Lieutenant Murphy’s crew are out of the penthouse.

While she waits, Jess hangs out with Alice Baxter to ask her what she remembers about the party. Alice tells her she can’t remember their movements, and she left at 9:30 to do some more work. Jess sees someone with a compact and that lightbulb goes off. She calls Lieutenant Murphy to confirm that they didn’t find a compact when they searched the penthouse and he says no.

At 8pm Jess heads into the fire stairs and runs into Wes McSorely.

And of course…

Kind of relieved, was worried it was Larry of Death. Glad it's not.

AKA Hutch of Death. Huh. 

Wes, it transpires, was not the true owner of the casino, he was more of a token leader. Jerry Pappas was a swindler from way back who changed his name and became half owner through his Seashore Properties company. They came to blows when Wes wanted to sell and Jerry didn’t so Wes sent Jerry over the edge. He got Frank to help set up Eddie and then killed Frank when he worried Frank could no longer be trusted.

Wes cuts the story short when he pulls out a gun, and starts to talk about how people end up over the balcony, but Larry crashes through the door with reinforcements.

Case closed Fletcherfans! And now all that’s left to do is for JB to return to New York to give Ahmed his winnings and deliver the best freeze frame ending since the last time I said it was the best freeze-frame ending.

Later gang!

Later gang!