Amsterdam! Home of tulips, windmills and pretty fantastic coffee shops. Also, it turns out home of diamond merchants and publishing conferences at which Our Heroine has been asked to attend.

Jessica bumps into her old pal Nigel in reception, who informs her the hotel has given her the best room at his request. They also bump into Philip De Koenig, local diamond merchant, grouch, and owner of what can only be described as sloth face.

For real though.

Philip invites them up to his suite for some bubbles and a chat but the arrival of his pilot Nick Halsey gives JB and Nigel the chance to escape and go about their business. Nigel has a call in his room but will meet JB downstairs later. JB pops a carnation in his buttonhole as he goes.

Nigel gets to his room as the phone rings, picks it up and says “Yes, it’s happening, when can you get here?” There’s a knock on the door from room service, which is weird you guys because Nigel didn’t order room service. The waiter whips out a tranquillizer gun and pops a dart into Nigel’s neck. Jessica leaves her room a short time later and nods to the waiter, not realising that Nigel is crammed into the food trolley.

Meanwhile, Philip is strolling the streets of Amsterdam arguing with his wife Lydia, who wants to spend money that Philip needs to fix his plane. Lydia departs for some window shopping as Harry Tigner rolls up, informing Philip that he needs the cash up front or there’s no sale. It would appear that Philip is into some weapons dealing as well as diamond sales.  Back at the hotel, Jess arrives downstairs for her panel, but Nigel has mysteriously pulled out due to food poisoning. The panel host assures Jess that according to his secretary he’s resting in his room. (Actually, he’s drugged in a tulip field next to a windmill, did I mention this was The Netherlands?)

Lydia decides to skip the window shopping and sell some of her jewellery and is horrified to discover that her necklace is a fake. It would seem that Philip had the same idea she did and replaced all her jewellery with fakes. Back at the hotel Jessica bathes in the glory of another successful public speaking gig and runs into journalist Monika Vidal who would like to interview her but Jess has other plans right now, i,e checking in on Nigel. She calls his room but is informed he has checked out. Monika walks past a man and takes a piece of paper. Jess checks in with the front desk but they didn’t see Nigel leave, he used the express checkout service in his room and was gone.

Jess decides to take matters into her own hands and goes to see Inspector Van Horn but he seems to think there’s nothing to worry about and he has his hands full. Jess recognises some mug shots on his desk as being from the paper that morning and Van Horn tells her they are of Hendrik Kuyper, a victim of a hit and run. Van Horn is interested to hear that Philip De Koenig agrees with Jess but insists Nigel has probably gone home to England.

Cut to Lydia and Nick, in which we discover they are having an affair and Lydia wants Philip dead.

Back at the hotel Jess is still looking for word on Nigel but is getting nowhere. A passing man introduces himself as Colin Biddle and tells her he just saw Nigel at the airport. He heads off to his room and Jess asks the front desk if they returned Nigel’s passport to him, which of course they did not. Later, Biddle pops into the nearest telephone box and calls the kidnappers, who want their money now.

Shenanigans a-plenty. Also, the kidnapper is totes a woman, I’m calling it now. I haven’t actually seen the second half of this episode yet because every time I try and watch it the cat jumps on the keyboard because she needs to be what I’m looking at at all times except when she doesn’t want to be looked at.

Biddle returns to his room but is hijacked at the door by a suspicious JB who wants to know how Nigel was boarding a plane to London without a passport.

Not for nothing but Angie Lans rocks a cream suit like nobody’s business.

Biddle tries to deny it but Jessica has it all worked out – Biddle and Nigel are British intelligence. Biddle tells her to stay out of it and is annoyed that she’s already gone to the police. Jess tells him she did but that Van Horn didn’t seem too perturbed by it all. Jess wants to help in any way, but Biddle says she should leave it to the experts.

Sidebar: ages ago I had a discussion with my friend Owen about what Hogwarts House Jessica Fletcher would belong to (you know, the sort of conversation everybody has), and this illustrates my point. She is 100% Slytherin. There’s no justice unless she’s delivering it and there’s no one who can possibly deliver it except her. That my friends is boss mode.

Anyway, doing the complete opposite of what she’s told, Jess cons a passing housekeeper to let her into Nigel’s room where she finds the tranq dart. She hears someone come in and hides in the bathroom. As the footsteps draw close, she rummages around in her bag to find a weapon.

(Quietly judging myself for this one, this is terrible and I 100% should not be laughing right now)

The intruder turns out to be Inspector Van Horn, who is just taking a casual look over things. Van Horn is investigating Philip De Koenig, who he thinks is responsible for the death of Hendrik Kuyper the criminal turned police informant (as it happens). Jess thinks it’s all terribly interesting but she must dash.

Over in De Koenig’s room Nick tells Philip that the plane is going to be fixed in 24 hours, but Philip has other cash flow problems. He is summoned to the bedroom by Lydia who wants help getting a necklace done up. Looking at the necklace Philip remembers his friend who sold it to him, and wonders if he might advance him the five hundred grand he needs to give Harry Tigner. He picks up the phone and discovers Nick is already on the line hatching a scheme with someone. Philip says nothing, but after Nick leaves he gets on the phone and asks the operator to redial his last call.

Jess continues her investigation down in the kitchens where she establishes the room service waiter she saw was not a staff member. She examines the trolleys, finds the squeaky one she saw earlier, and finds the red carnation she put in Nigel’s buttonhole. She goes straight to Biddle to tell him what she’s discovered, and he’s less than enthusiastic to learn she’s still involving herself. A call comes in from his bosses…

Biddle needs to learn his place, frankly.

…and then from the kidnapper demanding payment. Biddle manages to stall them but they haven’t bought themselves much time.

Downstairs Jessica runs into the journalist again, who really wants to be able to tell people she interviewed Nigel and JB in the same day. Jessica is interested to hear she had spoken to Nigel and she tells her she interviewed him at breakfast – suntan, sparkly eye and a carnation in his buttonhole. Jess excuses herself and goes to the front desk, where she receives a message from Philip De Koenig asking to meet her that night. When she arrives at his suite, however, he is super dead.

Jessica is summoned to Van Horn’s office, but before too much discussion can take place Biddle appears, announcing himself as a rep from JB’s publisher in England and warning her not to say anything further. Van Horn has already figured out that he’s dealing with British intelligence, and he’s not happy that he wasn’t previously informed. A colleague wanders in and says something Dutch and Van Horn tells them they are free to go, but he needs their passports.

Back at the hotel, Jess bumps into a hysterical Lydia De Koenig who has no money and has only just learned that the plane they were waiting on getting repaired was fixed the previous day and that Nick Halsey had already planned to leave at noon without telling her. This gives JB an idea and she gets on the phone to the Amsterdam News, which is obviously the name of the local newspaper.

Back at the police station Van Horn is interrogating Harry Teiger, who admits to swapping guns for diamonds but nothing else. Before long another cop wanders in with the lab report showing the fingerprints from the knife and the note from De Koenig.

At the hotel, the ransom money has arrived, and Jessica explains to Biddle that she thinks Halsey and Monika the journalist are in it together – there’s no one working at the newspaper with Monika’s name. Biddle is intrigued but is focussed on delivering the ransom and getting Nigel back. He tells Jessica to go back to her room but she says nope, she’s coming too. She’s packed sandwiches and water and everything. (WTF?)

Biddle thanks her but he’s going alone. There’s a knock on the door – it’s Van Horn, and he’s there to arrest JB for the murder of De Koenig.

Because sure she did.

The arrest turns out to be a ruse, to get JB to come clean on what she knows. Van Horn is convinced everything is connected but just can’t work out how. Jess looks at a vase of tulips and has an idea.

A short phone call later, they tail their man to a windmill (guys this is in The Netherlands, have I mentioned that?) and BAM.

Well I’m not sure I saw that coming.

If I’ve got this right (and I’m hungry so I might not), Biddle was in cahoots with Monika and Nick Halsey to kidnap Nigel, De Koenig found out so Biddle killed him. He lifted the prints from the water glass JB had and set her up.

So wait – Biddle wasn’t secret service? He was just some guy? Nigel’s not either? Well, they got me. And now I’m getting breakfast. Please enjoy this painting Van Horn did of Our Heroine while I feed my face.

COME AT ME PANCAKES

 

 

 

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