Back in the Big Apple Fletcherfans, where our Heroine is going out to dinner with her editor Sally Wilson and Sally’s father Buck. Buck is a squillionaire who has just bought a steakhouse chain and is contemplating buying the publishing company where Sally works (much to Sally’s horror).

JB remembers the steakhouse and is excited to go, but is rather taken aback by Buck’s changes.

I had a similar experience the first time I went to Outback Steakhouse, followed by an uncontrollable bout of giggling.

JB is soon introduced to Sally’s uncle Geroge and aunt Janine, and her father Buck who is exactly how you’d expect.

Unless you were thinking about Uncle Buck, which is reasonable because that movie was awesome.

Buck asks his brother in law if he remembered to ship his Cadillac out to the car show in Pasadena and George says he sure did but can they have a word? Apparently Buck’s company is about to be investigated for corporate shenanigans and George is worried but Buck says he has nothing to hide. He leaves George to get hand fed by a waitress/cowgirl (much to Janine’s disapproval) and takes Jess to meet the restaurant’s gimmick star, the psychic Marika Valenti. Apparently she and Jess have a lot in common, Marika uses her abilities to solve crimes too.

I think Jessica begs to disagree on this point.

Buck decides he’s a bit weary and tells Jess and his daughter that he’s going to get the driver to take him home to Westchester. Sally and JB decide to get a propery dinner somewhere less insane, but bump into Sally’s brother BJ who is trying to find his father. He rushes off after Buck, and Jess and Sally make their escape.

Back at House Buck, Buck is making a nightcap for two when the housekeeper, Mrs Oates wanders in. He’s surprised to see her, thinking she would be visiting a friend in Poughkeepsie but she tells him her friend got sick. She’s surprised to see him, as she thought that he was staying in the city but he tells her he changed his mind, he was tired. She offers to bring his nightcap and snack upstairs for him but he insists on doing it himself. After she leaves he finishes pouring the second glass of whisky (considerably less than the other one, stingy bastard) and goes upstairs.

Later that night George and Janine arrive back at House Buck and all is clearly well.

Such romance.

Janine is still rather peeved about her husband’s efforts with the waitress, and George is just miffed in general. She tells him to keep his voice down but he says they are the only ones here, Buck’s getting busy in town.

The next morning Mrs Oates goes to check on Buck but he’s nowhere to be found. Janine pops in and is concerned to see the state of Buck’s bathroom, more so when she finds a cigarette butt with lipstick on it. SCANDALOUS.

Back in the city, Jess and Sally are working on edits for Sally’s next book when BJ calls looking for Sally. He tells her Buck has gone missing, so JB and Sally jet on out to Westchester to see what’s up. Mrs Oates lets them in, saying BJ is out back with his friend and local cop Tom Jarrow interviewing Buck’s driver Carl Graham. Unfortunately for BJ and Tom Carl knows nothing and saw nothing, and when he opens the garage for them there’s not a car missing.

Spoiler alert, Tom is a bit of an early 90s dreamboat.

Sah dreamy.

BJ wants a word with George about business, and they excuse themselves. Tom tells JB and Sally that they couldn’t get much out of Carl, but that he swears that Buck came home alone. Janine appears and says that there was definitely evidence Buck was with a woman last night, and Sally wonders if it was the waitress from the restaurant. Tom says he’ll look into it and leaves.

BJ and George have a heated debate when George finds out BJ has been sniffing around the company accounts but BJ tells him it was serious – they are about to be investigated and there’s 150 million dollars missing, and now Buck is missing too.

A knock at the door is answered by Janine and Jessica – it’s Marika, who had a terrible premonition that something had happened to Buck. She understands now why Buck wanted her to meet JB, he knew they would have to work together to solve his disappearance.

No time.

Marika gets to psychic work, leaving JB to explain what she’s doing to Janine. She latches on to a photo and declares that Buck is dead, just as Jessica finds a bloody sheet under the bed. Janine screams.

Marika decides to hold some sort of psychic conclave (in the lanai, so presumably the Golden Girls are coming too) and sends JB to gather the troops. She finds Mrs Oates in the kitchen with Carl the chauffeur. Mrs Oates is excited to witness Marika at work, but Carl refuses and storms out.

In the lanai (turns out lanai means porch, guys I’m learning all the time), Marika tells the story of Buck’s demise in suspicious detail, including mention of a witness. She asks Jess if that’s enough for her to solve the case and Jess asks her if that’s all she knows.

Jess is leaving this one to the psychic

Marika then says Buck’s body was thrown in a well. Sally loses it and says she’s had enough of this nonsense and storms out. BJ has a theory of what Marika is talking about and takes Rob into Buck’s study to show him a picture of Buck’s first oil well. Rob points out it’s in Oklahoma and that the private jet isn’t missing, but he thinks BJ thinks Buck isn’t dead. BJ says yes but won’t go into why.

JB has a quiet chat with Marika after the performance, to ask her about her previous experience solving cases with her mind powers. Marika says it was with Scotland Yard but doesn’t go into details. She announces she has a headache and goes outside.

You guys I really think JB doesn’t like Marika.

As Marika departs Sally comes in to apologise for running out. Jess tells her she nearly went with her, and asks her if there are any old maps of the property. Sally says there are, but she checked and there are no old wells on the property. Jess gets a magnifying glass and finds something interesting on the map. She tells Sally to call Tom, they’ll meet him there in the morning.

The next day, Tom tells Sally that the waitress from the restaurant went home to her husband after her shift, she wasn’t having an affair with Buck. Jess finds what she was looking for and gets Tom to lift the cement. They find Marika’s body at the bottom of the pit, dead from a gunshot.

Jess takes about five minutes to formulate a theory. She’s convinced that Marika was the woman in the house the night Buck disappeared, and she thinks Carl knew it. They pay him a visit in his apartment next to the garage and find him packing his bags, about to leg it. He admits Marika was in the car when he drove Buck up the night he disappeared and he was meant to drive her back to town the next morning but that she asked him to drop her at a motel instead. Tom orders Carl be read his rights and taken to the police station and Jess excuses herself to go and make a phone call. Outside, she runs into Sally and BJ arguing. Sally is outraged at BJ’s theory that Buck didn’t die, he ran off with the missing 150 million.

Later that afternoon Tom pops in to check on Sally, but Mrs Oates tells him Sally isn’t feeling well. This turns out to be under orders from Sally who doesn’t want to see anyone. An emotional Mrs Oates runs into George, who is concerned about her. Mrs Oates is just devastated by the whole business, including the idea that BJ has about Buck running off with money. George tells her not to worry, he’s sure Buck will walk in the door any minute.

JB gets on the phone with her friend Inspector Mores Scotland Yard, who tells her Marika Valenti was a blackmailer who pretended to be a psychic to get dirt on her victims. JB is delighted to hear it. She runs into Sally again but Sally is determined to leave the house and go back to New York. Jess won’t have a bar of it, and instead wants to hear about BJ and Tom’s old hiding places. They go back to the garage and find Buck’s body in the back seat of one of his cars.

I mean they can’t have done much of a search to begin with *cough cough*

Tom thinks finding Buck’s body in the garage seals the case against Carl, but Jess isn’t so sure – Carl didn’t have a motive, there’s no evidence he knew about the missing money and even if he did they never found a trace of it. She suddenly remembers Buck’s plan to ship his car to a car show in Pasadena and gets Tom to track down the shipping company. When he calls them it turns out the car has changed destination and is now going to be shipped to Rio Di Janeiro.

Later that afternoon George gets a phone call from the shipping company, saying there’s been a delay – the car needs to be searched by customs before it goes down south. That night, the killer breaks into the shipping company to retrieve his money…

George seems to be the only person surprised by this.

It’s the classic tale – man gets busted embezzling money, kills man to stop from being discovered, kills fraud psychic blackmailer to stop from being discovered/blackmailed.

Case closed! Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a Doctor Who to watch.

Later gang!

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