Back in the Big Apple again, where JB is finishing up some JB business before heading to Maui for a well-deserved vacation. Alas, it is not meant to be, and Jess gets served papers as she is leaving her publishers office. Dave Novaro, local discount store legend, is suing for All The Things. He thinks JB’s newest book is basically a retelling of his first wife’s murder, a murder he was tried for and acquitted.

Spoiler alert: someone does.

Dave’s feeling stressed and he’s taking it out on his school friends /colleagues Neil Fraser and Lillian Conway, while wife number 2 Iris Novaro can’t show her face in the nail salon anymore without people talking about the murder. THE SCANDAL. She tells Dave she’s going to see a divorce lawyer, but Dave talks her down. She says the delay is only temporary but it’s enough for Dave. Iris leaves the store, gets into a truck and starts making out with a hot roofer named Randy (not kidding) who wants to know why she hasn’t told Dave about him yet. Iris hopes Randy isn’t just trying to get at her money.

Jessica and her publisher head straight to their lawyers to suss out what to do.

Sometimes you just have to ask the question.

Her lawyer, Aaron Woodman, tells them that Novaro is after ten million dollars.

Sidenote: fully coordinated outfit with the curtains.

With a deposition scheduled for the morning, Hawaii is off the table for the time being so instead Jess turns to proving her book is not based on the murder of Dave’s first wife. The research team at the publishers send over everything they can find on the murder and JB gets up to speed while watching Dave on TV going ballistic. Wouldn’t you know it, the original detective on the case is Artie Gelber.

Jess gets a visit from Dave’s former father in law, who is convinced Dave killed his daughter. He is surprised to hear that JB’s book isn’t based on the case, as all the main details match, but offers to do whatever he can to help Jessica’s case if it will cause Dave to squirm. His wife died not long after Janet, so he’s kind of got an axe to grind.

JB’s next stop is to visit Artie to see the original case file, and he doesn’t have good news either. Apart from some minor details, like the murder weapon and how the killer broke in using the garage opener instead of breaking in through a window, her book is almost exactly the same as the case. JB tells him she was in Cabot Cove when she wrote the book, she had not even heard of the case. Artie finds that hard to believe, but he has bigger problems that he needs help with – specifically, getting JB to write an ad for his car that he is trying to sell.

Such a Szbornak move.

The next morning Aaron takes Jess to the offices of Dave’s attorney, who just so happens to be his daughter and also Juliana Margulies.

She’s pretty great really.

Dave loses it when he sees Jessica and tells her she’s going to pay for what she’s done to his life.

So innocent.

Jessica asks him if he’s even read the book and he says of course he hasn’t. Jess suggests he give it a crack, it might help him realise the book isn’t about him.

Deposing all the things, Rachel Novaro tells JB that the value of the stamps in her book is equal to the value of her mother’s necklace that was stolen. JB spots a photo of the said necklace around the neck of the said woman. Guys full disclosure I’m writing this at 6:00am because I’m going to the tennis today so this episode might make less sense than usual.

Jess goes out to lunch for a debrief with her publisher Ted Hartley, where they are confronted by Iris Novarro, who tells Jessica she was Dave’s assistant at the time of the murder but they weren’t fooling around and she hopes Dave takes JB to the cleaners. Ted asks the maitre d to escort Iris out of the restaurant and wonders if JB has considered an out of court settlement – thanks to all the publicity the book is flying off the shelves so with all the extra money they could afford the hit. Jess refuses, it’s a matter of principle naturally. Alas for Ted Rachel Novaro has also thought about this and serves Aaron with a notice preventing all sales and publicity of the book.

Meanwhile, Dave finds Iris (who has apparently moved out of their house) in another restaurant and begs her to come home. He gives her a teddy bear she forgot to take with her and reminds her of their secret signal during the trial that meant I love you. Huh, so much for not having a fling at the time of the murder. Across town, Rachel’s grandfather is struggling with the idea that she is defending her mother’s killer, aka her Dad.

Night happens. While Randy the Randy sits in his truck outside Dave’s store and watches hobos walk past, Neil tells Dave they need to find ways to save money and Lillian reminds him of when they were in high school and Dave asked her to the prom and she thought the would get married.

The struggle is real.

Dave throws everyone out and continues reading. Something in the book strikes him and he calls JB to tell her he thinks he will drop the lawsuit, but something in the book has made him realise who the killer is. Jess doesn’t want to hear it but eventually agrees and gives him her address. Dave says he’ll be there in 20 minutes. On his way out the door, he meets Hilda the Hobo and gives her ten bucks.

Time passes and when Dave doesn’t show up Jess calls the store but gets an engaged signal. She calls the operator who tells her there’s no one on the line. Jess calls Artie, worried that something has happened. Artie agrees to meet her at the store – he’s in a good mood after selling his car to Detective Henderson. They all cruise down to the store and find it unlocked, Dave’s body lying dead on the floor. Neil and Lillian both arrive later expressing their shock. Rachel also turns up but when JB expresses her condolences Rachel tells her it changes nothing about the lawsuit.

The next morning JB calls Artie for an update and learns that Dave’s fingerprints show he was up to the top of page 247 when he died, and also that Detective Henderson loves the new car. This is news to Detective Henderson, who has just walked in with the car door handle in his hand.

Jess goes to see Rachel Navarro and explains to her that Dave was up to the section of her book in which the killer sent his secretary off on a long list of errands in which time he would drive over to his wife’s house, kill her and return to work. Something about that set an alarm off in Dave’s head but Rachel has no idea why and she has a lot of work to do. JB spots what looks like the missing necklace in Rachel’s drawer but Rachel tells her it’s a copy Dave had made one time when he had to pawn the original. He gave her the copy of it when he got the original back.

I see, says Jess and then has an epiphany about garage doors. She calls Artie who agrees to pull the old case file but then gets called away by Detective Henderson (who is still not terribly pleased with the car) to the forensics lab.

Across town, Iris Novaro comes home from the supermarket to find Randy loading their stuff into a truck, all set to move into Dave’s house. Randy isn’t terribly happy to hear that Iris signed a prenup and Rachel gets the lot. Iris walks away.

Jess goes down to the precinct to look at the file, but Artie hadn’t gotten around to pulling it on account of he’s just arrested Rachel’s grandfather for the murder. Jess isn’t buying it for a minute though and insists on seeing the case file anyway.

A short sting operation at Dave’s funeral later…

Let’s be honest, not a shock.

It’s the classic story of a mistress bumping off the competition, and then bumping off the husband when he works it out five years later.

So while Artie is paying to get Detective Henderson’s car fixed, and Rachel Novarro and Aaron Woodman decide to go into business together, I’ll leave you with a deleted scene from The Shining.

Later gang!