This week Our Heroine is getting her hair done in a place that could accurately be described as my worst nightmare.
So. Much. Pink.
That delighted postman (previously seen as Lieutenant Casey in these two episodes) is George Tibbits, who delivers mail and New Hampshire lottery tickets which apparently pay out more than Maine ones. Jess confesses to having no luck gambling, but the other ladies are all up for it. If you know what I mean.
Hair did, JB goes off out into the world and runs into Seth, who is dropping his secretary off at the beauty parlour for her regular hair cut. Seth invites himself around to JB’s for dinner so he can cook a recipe he found in Frugal Cuisines of the World magazine. As they talk, they see Night Deputy Jonathan Martin pull up to collect his wife Audrey who immediately starts berating him for not letting her know he was out the front and for suggesting they go and get icecream. Seth comments that he wouldn’t wish the job of night deputy on his worst enemy…or the wife.
That night, Audrey pins her lottery ticket up on the corkboard, puts last week’s ticket in the losers box, abuses her husband for being a failure of life and bursts into tears when he gives her roses because Charlie Wilson used to give her gardenias and she should have married Charlie Wilson and she should have stayed in Boston. Pretty sure your husband agrees with you love.
Meanwhile over at Casa de JB, Seth is whipping up a culinary frenzy, despite Jessica’s scepticism and memories of the Chicken Veronique that resulted in a mild case of food poisoning. Just as Seth is putting the finishing touches on his masterpiece Amos turns up to return a book/case the joint for food. Under orders from JB Seth grudgingly allows Amos a spoonful. Amos loves it until he finds out calamari isn’t a fancy kind of chicken.
While Seth finishes off the last few touches, and puts the pie in the oven, JB gets a phone call from Flossy at the Sheriff’s office looking for Amos. No one can get a hold of Deputy Jonathan Martin, and shots have been heard from inside his house. Amos, Seth and JB go to investigate and find Audrey lying dead on the floor, gun in hand. While it appears to be suicide, JB can’t help thinking it doesn’t make sense – women don’t usually shoot themselves, they prefer pills. JB thinks it’s sad that there’s no cards or photos on the corkboard. Just an old shopping list and some receipts. Okay?
Jonathan arrives home to find them all there, and is surprisingly heartbroken. He confirms that they never locked the door, as Audrey thought Cabot Cove was so boring that nothing would ever happen, and that the gun she used was the spare he kept in the dresser upstairs. Amos begins to come round to the murder theory, and asks Jonathan where he’d been and why he didn’t answer his radio. He says that he went to rescue Eve Simpson’s cat that was stuck in a tree, and he turned the radio off so it wouldn’t startle the cat. Then he drove around, remembered the radio was off and turned it back on to hear the news. Amos tells him to take a few days off while they sort it out.
The next morning notes are compared at the beauty parlour. Ideal Malloy (not kidding, that’s her name) never considered killing herself when her husband left, Eve Simpson (owner of the wayward cat) thinks it’s a relief that at least she had her hair done before she did it, but the owner of the parlour, Loretta, has heard differently. She heard that Amos had taken Jonathan’s badge off him, which makes no sense to Ideal. What does Jonathan’s badge have anything to do with it? Amos cautiously wanders in on cue to ask them about Audrey’s behaviour the previous day but they all want to know if Amos thinks Jonathan really killed his wife (“with his badge?” Adds Ideal.) Amos doesn’t look like he’s enjoying himself.
Amos does not have a way with the ladies.
Seth isn’t having the best day either, when JB drops by to return his pot. His secretary Beverley has called in sick for the first time in twenty years, the phone won’t stop ringing with people looking for her, and “What really scorches my slippers is that I can’t find my copy of New Hampshire Weekly.” He was stuck on the crossword, but luckily Our Heroine is there to tell him the answer. She’s about to leave Seth to his rage when Amos wanders in looking shellshocked. He tells JB that Eve Simpson confirmed what the logbook said; that the only call the previous night was about her cat. “About all I could make sense of all that caterwauling’.” Says Amos. “Women.” He adds.
“Present company excluded ma’am!” Amos hastens to add.
SHE IS THE DANGER.
JB’s next stop is to see her travel agent and fellow beauty parlour patron Phyllis, who is also the town travel agent. While they’re chatting JB learns that Eve Simpson’s trip to the south of France might now be with someone, and that back in the day Audrey Martin was friends with Phyllis’s cousin. Both of these things are probably important.
The next day (according to Our Heroine’s wardrobe change), JB is at home hard at work on her next novel when she gets a knock at the door. It’s Jonathan Martin, looking for JB’s help to clear his name, as long as she’s not too busy working.
And then we receive a lesson in context.
Deputy Martin: I’ve got just the cure……That better?
Our Heroine: Oh….Oh my Goodness…Yes…Ooh…Just wonderful…Oh….My husband used to do this for me all the time…
Deputy Martin: That so?
Our Heroine: Yes that’s the very spot right there…Oh he had the most wonderful hands…
Deputy Martin: How’s that feel?
Get your minds out of the gutter.
Fortunately Jess is saved by the arrival of the mailman George, who she drags into her house. George is a bit taken aback to see Jonathan, and even more so when JB shoves them both out on to the street.
Jonathan’s hands have made JB suspicious and she goes to look at the logbook again, which says that he was at Eve Simpson’s for an hour, then Jonathan claimed that he was driving for an hour and a half after that. If he was telling the truth, says JB. Amos doesn’t believe it. “But he has to be telling the truth! How can it take two and a half hours to get a cat out of a tree?”
JB examines the log book a bit more closely and notices that Eve Simpson’s cat had a habit of needing to be rescued every Tuesday. JB then tells Amos about Phyllis’s news that Eve was looking for a second plane ticket for her trip to France.
“Kind of makes you wonder if it was the cat Jonathan was attending to…or the canary.” Says Amos.
JB and Amos go to ask Eve about this mysterious second person she’s travelling with, but Eve informs them that it’s her own business. Instead they ask her about her “cat” that needs “rescuing” on a regular basis, to which Eve replies “Yes, she’s a very bad cat, and the deputy seems to have a way with her.”
I think Amos is about to pass out
They go to confront Jonathan who admits that he was with Eve at the time his wife died. He didn’t mean for it to happen, it just did. That old chestnut. Later, JB and Amos are walking past the beauty parlour when Loretta spots them and tells them she’s decided to tell the truth about something. JB tells her it’s okay, that they know about Jonathan and Eve Simpson.
Loretta is scandalised. What? That’s old news! She’s talking about Ideal Malloy!
Did she live up to her name though?
A quick check of the logbook confirms that Ideal Malloy had a habit of seeing prowlers in her garden on Monday nights. And by prowlers in the garden I think you know what I mean. While Amos bellyaches about how his deputy isn’t going to get away with this, and that he asked Ideal Malloy to the pictures last Monday and she said she had to wash her hair, JB has made a discovery, which she shares with Amos.
Life Lesson #54: THERE ARE MORE THAN TWO DAYS IN THE WEEK.
Phyllis Grant the travel agent admits that her dog didn’t actually run away every Wednesday. Amos is scandalised that she would take up with a married man, but she tells him that’s what made it perfect. Ideal admits to being Mondays but has an alibi for the murder – she was with Loretta and Coreen at the cinema at the time of the murder.
As you would expect, Seth Hazlitt has some thoughts on these new developments. “I know he’s supposed to service the town at night, but don’t you think that’s going a bit far?”
Amos has other issues. “Why him? What’s he got that I – that’s so special?”
“Perhaps he should will his body to Harvard medical school, maybe they can find out!” Chortles Amos.
They spot George the mailman, and Seth asks him about his copy of New Hampshire weekly, but George has nothing for him. Maybe it was never loaded onto the truck? JB asks Seth if Beverley was going to be in the office, Amos and she had some questions for her. Because if it’s Thursday…GEDDIT?
Beverley is not one to hide behind innuendo and hyperbole.
Who says romance is dead? Amos and Seth adjourn to the nearest coffee pot for a strong cup to settle their nerves, leaving JB to interview Beverley, who tells them that Jonathan was planning to leave his wife and be with her. He never actually said so, but a woman knows these things. With no help on offer from Amos and Seth, JB then asks Beverley where she was the morning after the murder, since she was late to work. Beverley informs them that she was making a casserole for Jonathan, and if Seth wants to fire her for being late once in twenty years then he didn’t need Jessica to do his dirty work for him. She was going out into the world to have some fun!
THIS IS THE BEST EPISODE EVER.
“No wonder she seemed so relaxed on Friday mornings.” Says Seth.
Meanwhile at Jonathan’s house, Eve Simpson has just made a chilling discovery.
Oh yes. Jonathan has been having his casserole and eating it too.
Needless to say, the atmosphere is a little subdued down at the beauty parlour when JB and Amos roll in. Amos can’t handle it and asks JB to take the lead while he goes to read magazines in the corner. JB asks Loretta if she knows whether any of Jonathan’s women had acted like they’d been dumped, but Loretta can’t think of anyone. Amos takes a break from his magazine to notice Coreen the assistant acting suspicious so he decides to pay her a visit later that night.
Would it amaze you to learn she’s not alone?
To paraphrase one of my favourite movies, does this guy have chocolate flavoured nipples?
Jonathan swears he’d never been to Coreen’s until that night, and that she’d asked him to come and fix her screen door, because everyone at the beauty parlour said how wonderful Jonathan was…at fixing things.
Amos asks her where she was the night of the murder and she tells him she was at the cinema with Ideal Malloy. “Ah yes,” says JB. “And Loretta.”
Nope. Loretta was visiting her sister in Augusta.
A clue! Remember that time someone was murdered? Uising every ounce of self control remaining, Amos asks Jonathan if he’d ever had a little something something going on with Loretta.
Jonathan nods. “My one big mistake.” Turns out Loretta was after him to leave his wife and be with her, and was relentless.
Poor, poor Amos.
But when they go to see Loretta, the murder of Audrey Martin isn’t her secret. Secret botox injections from a night doctor are.
Just when all hope seems lost, JB catches sight of the lottery tickets stuck to the mirror. Guys! Remember that time they bought lottery tickets from New Hampshire, and then Seth didn’t get his copy of the New Hampshire Weekly? IT WAS ALL CONNECTED.
Fair enough then.
All those booty calls and it all came down to George the postman recognising Audrey’s winning numbers in the New Hampshire Weekly and wanting to retire.
This episode though. I think I need a stiff drink and a lie down.