This week JB is paying a visit to her friend Lloyd Marcus, a retired advertising executive who is desperate for Jess to read a murder mystery manuscript written by “a friend” who conveniently lives in Tibet. A LIKELY STORY. Fortunately, Jess is saved by the bell, and by bell I mean discovering that the town cat burglar has come and stolen a painting. Jess is stumped, as the painting was in its frame when she went to retrieve her copy of The Mystery Novel Of Mystery, but a minute later it was gone and the window open. Police Chief
Wiggum Cooper is on the case though, and tells Jess that she wasn’t in any danger as the Cat Burglar never hurts anyone. Lloyd’s house man Forbes arrives home from his night off and is quickly under suspicion (presumably for having the job title house man) but JB is inclined to this he is innocent (presumably because she wouldn’t mind a house man, if you know what I mean)
(Side note: there is only one true Cat Burglar and it’s this guy)
The next day Lloyd takes JB down to the Club to show her off to his fancy rich friends, including Frank Tiller, the Mayor/insurer of the stolen paintings, and his wife Mildred. He introduces JB as the mystery writer, but Frank is busy worrying about the stolen paintings and Mildred just says “…You’re the mystery writer!”
They are soon joined by Lloyd’s daughter Julia (who also happens to be the Mum from Alf, and seriously why isn’t Alf on TV no wonder society is doomed) who Lloyd refers to as a snob. In this instance, snob is code for Massive Bitch. Apparently the Lloydster doesn’t approve of Julia’s taste in husbands.
Julia takes Our Heroine on a tour “to see how the leisure class live”, whatever that means, and is soon introduced to Ellen Davis (who works at the club) and Binky Holborn.
You may recognise him. I did, the minute he opened his mouth.
When I tell you that Binky Holborn is possibly the greatest thing to ever happen to television, you’d better believe it. It turns out he was the first victim of the Cedar Heights Cat Burglar, and is keen to thrown a dinner party to discuss his theories with JB. Lloyd isn’t keen, he wants to work on his ‘friends’ manuscript, Ellen has paperwork to do and Julia is
being a bitch spending time with her husband.
This makes Binky a sad panda.
Later that night JB and Lloyd go to dinner with Binky, leaving Julia at home with her husband, and Lloyd’s other daughter Sabrina home with a headache. After some excited prodding from Binky Lloyd returns home to get Jess’s forgotten copy of The Mystery Book of Mystery and returns for a night of Amateur Workshopping.
On the way home, Lloyd notices Julia’s front door has been left wide open. Inside, Julia is completely dead. (Unsurprised)
Wiggum Cooper is on the case, under the subtle gaze and gentle encouragement of JB, who is the first to point out the broken clock on the mantlepiece,the cuts on Julia’s neck and a button with the letters DG on it clenched in Julia’s hand.
Case closed – it’s clear that Julia’s husband Donald Granger is the killer. HUSBAND OF DEATH!
A quick inspection of his wardrobe reveals a blazer with a button missing. Ho-hum. He is charged the next morning, despite his insistence that he was at the Seafood Shanty with a female friend at the time of the murder. Julia’s sister Sabrina is convinced he didn’t do it. More ho-hum.
JB decides to do some sleuthing down at the club and runs into Mildred. She tells Our Heroine that Donald had a thing with Sabrina before he met Julia – they met at a ski resort “and you know what that means!”
Jess returns to the scene of the crime with
Chief Wiggum Cooper who has bad news – Donald Granger’s alibi checks out. The staff at the Seafood Shanty remember seeing him there with a woman, but a brunette so it couldn’t have been Sabrina. JB is starting to think that the crime scene was staged. In the middle of explaining her theory JB has a brainwave and scurries off to see Lloyd who confesses to setting up Donald Granger for the murder. But he swears he didn’t kill her. Oh well, then it’s fine.
As Lloyd explains how he tried to set up Donald as the killer it soon becomes clear that the Cat Burglar had paid Julia’s house a visit. JB decides that unmasking the Cat Burglar will probably help catch the killer, and starts nosing around the Club looking for clues. She tells Ellen that Donald is no longer under suspicion, guessing (correctly) that she must have been his late night dinner companion. Jess finds Binky outside failing at putting and asks him about the Cat Burglar’s other victims. Binky tells her that after his painting was taken the Tilley’s had a “perfectly maudlin” little thing taken off their hands. Oh Binky. JB catches up with the Tilley’s again and discovers that it was widely known when the two victims were away from home, so really anyone could have stolen the paintings. HELPFUL.
JB goes to visit Ellen again and finds her hard at work.
Ellen finally admits to having an affair with Donald, and says her relationship with Binky is just a ruse. Lady, I don’t think your relationship with Binky is fooling anyone. JB asks if any of the Club members are having financial problems and Ellen says there are few but Binky isn’t one of them – since he still somehow has the money to jet off to the UK every three months or so.
Apparently, this is a clue. JB knows who the cat burglar is, but is he the killer too?
Binky is quite delighted to reveal himself as the cat burglar, but he couldn’t possibly have killed Julia, since he was having dinner with Jessica. It would appear they are back to square one again. But no! Because Jess has had another brainwave.
So, if I’ve got this right, Donald killed Julia and made it look like the Cat Burglar had done it, then Lloyd came in and made it look like Donald had done it, which then made it look like Lloyd had done it even though Donald had done it to begin with.
Ow my brain.
And so ends another season. But not to fear, Fletcherfans, because Season 3 is starting next week! And Season 3 contains lots of amazing things. LIKE A MAGNUM PI MURDER SHE WROTE CROSSOVER SPECIAL O YES YES O YAY.
Just think about that one, for a minute.