S12E16 – Something Foul In Flappieville


Welcome to Flappieville Fletcherfans, where the newly arrived Inspector Lachère, who I think is a possum is charging a racoon with theft.

If only.

JB is watching the Flappieville puppet show with a keen eye, as Inspector Lachère is her creation, something she came up with for her grand nieces and nephews, and now Flappieville Toys want to take Inspector Lachère on the road. Think Hercule Poirot, with a tail.

Unfortunately, the delivery is a bit more Gerard Depardieu than Poirot, and JB is not here for it.

Someone’s gonna die for this.

JB is not the only person with notes.  Stevie, one of the kids in the audience (being played Angela Lansbury’s grandson), thinks Inspector Lachère sounds like Pound Dog, the main character in the Flappieville TV show. (Spoiler alert, he doesn’t). Robbie Dorrow, the designer of Flappieville toys, agrees with Stevie when his wife Mary brings Stevie over for like three seconds in a completely weird move. Also, Robbie thinks Mary is cheating on him, but you know, whatever.

Head puppeteer David Crossley locks Inspector Lachère up in a filing cabinet and hands the key to security chief Alvin Bucknell for safekeeping. David is delighted to be bringing Inspector Lachère to the world but is offended when Robbie suggests that it’s time to retire Pound Dog. They nearly come to blows before Mary steps in. Mary later explains to JB that she used to date David before she fell in love with Robbie, and it tore the friendship between the two apart. Also, they can’t have children.

Back at Flappieville HQ, puppeteer Kim Swofford is complaining loudly about the costume for her puppet Happy Bunny so that the costume designer can hear her. She also asks puppet designer Jason Cardino to take a look at the puppet controls before cheerfully rejecting his request for a date and walking off.  Costume designer Helena McKenna (aka Veronica Mars’s mother) warns him off her, but Jason would rather listen to his hormones. Another puppeteer, Gus Hayward offers to go over Jason’s contract so that he can sign it, but Jason tells him it’s all good. Later, Jason catches Alvin with Inspector Lachère and loses it.

Meanwhile, David has a meeting with the TV network about the Pound Dog Show.

I’m glad we fit in one last round of Breaking Bad She Wrote.

Parker Foreman has some bad news for David – Pound Dog is not getting renewed, it’s old and tired. David says amazing timing, he’s just come up with a new character, Inspector Lachère – he was going to fold him into the Pound Dog show gradually before spinning him off into his own show. Did he mention it was based on a JB Fletcher character, and JB happens to be in town?


Parker sees dollar signs and agrees to the idea, but he wants to see samples. He also wants someone different to voice the Inspector and tells David to get Natty Holt. David agrees that someone like Natty would be great but Parker says no, he wants Natty.

Back at Flappieville Jason and Helena show JB the new sketches for Inspector Lachère’s new look and she is delighted. Helena goes to get the material for the costume to show JB and leaves JB flipping through sketches. Meanwhile, Darren is hard at work designing when Kim pops in for a flirt and to complain she’s not having any input into her character’s costume. Gus needs a word so Darren leaves her in his office and goes off with Gus – it turns out Natty Holt is Gus’s ex-wife and Darren needs his help convincing her to come on the show. He also has a separate job for Alvin – he needs him to follow someone.

That night, Jason conducts a secret trial and sentences Darren to one hundred years in the electric chair. Using puppets.

Really though, enough said.

Also, it turns out Darren bought Pound Dog off Gus and presumably for a very low price.

The next morning Jason and Darren unveil the new look Inspector Lachère and JB is delighted. Darren sends Jason off with the sketches to be delivered to Parker Foreman at the network, then makes a last minute change swapping the magnifying glass from his right hand to his left. He also decides to bump Jason’s profit share up to five per cent, and JB’s to thirty per cent.

Kim delivers the sketches over to Parker Foreman.

Not the only one who knocks, it turns out

Later that afternoon, Mary Dorow has lunch with her mystery man while Robbie watches them from behind a tree. Parker appears out of nowhere to congratulate Robbie on the imminent success of Inspector Lachère and laughs at the fact Robbie seems unaware the Inspector will be released in four weeks time.

Gus goes to see Natty and talks her into joining the show. Darren later confirms she’s on board in a walk-and-talk with Parker, who informs him it’s all going ahead – on the condition that he gets 50% of the merch profits wired to his private Cayman account. As he walks off, Darren produces a tape recorder from his pocket. Later, Mary Gus and JB discuss Darren’s latest batch of wheeling and dealing to get the Inspector Lachère show on the air. JB asks Gus for a favour.

Robbie calls Darren and tears him a new one – it turns out Robbie actually owns all the merchandising rights that Darren has been dishing out all over the place. Darren assures Natty that everything is fine, but she has her own demands – 30% merchandising for Jason and Gus, 10% for her and Gus must executive produce the Inspector Lachère show. Darren agrees because he’s not smart.

Robbie tells JB about Mary’s affair. Later, JB meets with Gus who has fetched her the merchandising percentages for Inspector Lachère.

Helpful camera shot is helpful.

Me in work meetings.

That night JB goes to Flappieville and finds Darren over the body of Alvin the security guard. Lieutenant Spevak is summoned to the scene and quickly discovers the filing cabinet has been jimmied open. Jessica suggests it was a rookie move and Spevak identifies her as the Mystery Maven, while he’s just a hick cop.

If the shoe fits sweetheart…

They quickly find the murder weapon (an iron) and also discover that there appears to be nothing missing from the filing cabinet. Darren and JB adjourn to the nearest bar for an emergency meeting, and JB tells him about his merch snafu. Darren didn’t realise how much he’d messed it up, and panics until JB suggests he goes to the other parties and explains what he’s done. JB thinks he should be fine – as long as that’s all he’s done. Darren doesn’t mention his deal with Parker.

Later that day the team meet in Darren’s office for a good luck phone call from Parker, who is too busy working on his putt in his office to attend the new focus group session for Inspector Lachère. But he’s very happy with all the changes, swapping the magnifying glass to the other hand etc etc. Parker hangs up as his assistant comes in with a special delivery – it turns out to be the tape of the conversation Parker had with Darren.

The focus group is a resounding success. Mary reintroduces Stevie to Robbie, and Stevie says Inspector Lachère is much better than that Pound Dog. Lieutenant Spevak arrives to arrest Darren for Alvin’s murder. Later, Kim meets Parker and outs herself as the sender of the tape.

Down at the police station, Darren tries to understand what’s happening to him while Helena and JB offer support. JB is convinced there must have been something else in the filing cabinet that was worth breaking in and killing for. Across town, Robbie confronts the man he’s seen with his wife, and it turns out he’s a social worker – Mary is hatching a plan to adopt Stevie but hadn’t discussed with Robbie yet. And so ends the stupidest plot thread we’ve seen for a while.

Back at Flappieville JB suddenly works out the whole deal, thanks to something she remembers seeing on a clipboard. She sets a trap for later that night and gets Kim to confess that she was the one who broke into the filing cabinet and stole the tape. But she’s not the one who killed Alvin.

He is, was, and will always be The Danger.

Apparently, Kim wasn’t the first person to try and blackmail Parker – Alvin got it into his head first and copped a flatiron to the head for the trouble.

And so it goes.

Later gang!

S07E19 – Thursday’s Child


We’re off to Georgia this week Fletcherfans, where JB is hitting the publicity circuit for her latest book, and someone called Steve Landon is having a blue with someone called Ben Olston because the architectural plans for the school Steve designed are not being followed by Olston’s construction company. Etcetera etcetera.

While Steve, outraged at Olston’s shady practices, tries to get the whole situation down on paper, Olston decides to alert his lady-friend and wheel-greaser Dawn Bickford that Steve refuses to be bribed. Dawn is worried, as the money saved from the corner-cutting on this project isn’t enough to justify the expense that might pop up if someone were to look into Olston’s other projects. Plus she’d probably get fired. Olston tells her he has a solution, but quickly changes his tone when his wife appears, but it turns out she’s dropping by to remind him she’s heading out of town to spend time with her mother.

Later that night, a gloved hand breaks into the construction site with a briefcase full of dynamite, the consequences of which interrupt JB’s phone call to Seth (still M.I.A on the show). JB says it’s not thunder but it might be a sonic boom. Shake shake shake the room.


No I don't know why I do these things either, look it made sense at the time.

No I don’t know why I do these things either, look it made sense at the time.

The next morning, JB gets a phone call from Steve Landon’s mother Nancy, who is a big fan and was hoping they could meet. Jess explains that she’s fully booked, but Nancy mentions she was stationed in Korea with Frank during the war and Jess discovers that suddenly she’s free for lunch if Nancy can meet her at the hotel.

Downtown, Dawn wanders in to her boss’s office and announces that Steve Landon has been arrested for the bombing at the construction site, he threatened to do it in front of Olston and he has a history of mental illness and really it’s an open and shut case. Meanwhile, JB and Nancy are chatting about Frank and Korea over lunch when Nancy begs JB for her help – Steve has been arrested and she needs help trying to prove the shady goings on. JB sympathises but she doesn’t know the first thing about the situation or Steve or anything. Nancy tells her she’d do anything, to which JB says of course, any mother would.

Or father, says Nancy. And then she drops a bomb – she and Frank were more than just friends in Korea. Steve is Frank’s son.



Bomb dropped, Jess goes to see her lawyer friend Andrew Dixon who immediately calls bullshit on the whole situation and advises JB to continue on her boss-like way.

Accurate representation about 98% of politics

Accurate representation of about 98% of politics

Jess isn’t sure though – she feels for Nancy. She decides to call up her old friend Clint Phelps (whom you may remember from here) to ask about Nancy. He vaguely remembers her as a nurse they used to bump into in the Officers Club from time to time but is hazy on details.

JB decides to meet Steven, against Andrew’s advice, just to suss him out. She’s an excellent judge of character after all. They head down to the police station to meet the investigating officer, Barney Claymore, but he’s in a meeting with Ben Olston and Dawn Bickford so they sit down to wait. JB pesters him for information about Nancy but so far all he has been able to do is confirm her discharge date.

Olston and Bickford sashay away, leaving Claymore free to discuss the case against Steven. He tells them that Steven had made threats to blow the site up in front of Olston and his foreman Ron Crockett, and that Crockett saw Steve near the site at the time of the explosion, but they had only come forward now as they hadn’t taken the threats seriously. Andrew is not pleased to hear about the mental health issues but JB insists on seeing Steve anyway. Steve tells them about the shoddy construction job, and how Olston tried to buy him off, but of course he can’t prove any of it. He tells Andrew that even if it takes him the rest of his life he will pay Andrew the lawyers fees. Jess asks him if his father can help, and he tells her his father was shot down over Pusan in Korea.

Jess decides she believes him and sets to finding out more about Olston. She wanders into his office just as he has finished paying off the actual bomber, and declares herself to be a fundraiser for Councilman Axelrod. Olston informs her he already directly contributes directly to the councilman’s campaign through Dawn Bickford, to which JB says she must have the wrong fundraiser list, apologises and leaves. Olston calls Dawn to tell her he’s paid the bomber off and would she like to come round tonight for some more explosions nudge nudge wink wink urgh. He also promises to tell his wife that their marriage is over when she returns the next day.

Later that night, Olston’s wife Cynthia arrives home to find the door open and her husband dead on the floor. I was wondering when we were getting to the murder part.

The next day Jessica goes round to Nancy’s house to ask her about the mental illness the police are going on about. Nancy tells her he struggled when his wife died, but there was no mental illness. Although she did find a gun in the glove compartment of the car that morning. Jess tells Nancy she doesn’t believe Steve is Frank’s son, to which Nancy goes to her desk and retrieves a letter postmarked Maine. From Frank. Offering to do all that he can for Nancy and Steve.



Claymore chooses that moment to show up. He spots the gun on the table and asks Nancy if she has a permit for it, she explains she found it in the car. He tells her he needs to take her in for questioning – an appointment slip was found at the murder scene that said Nancy had an 8pm appointment with Olston. Nancy says she never had an appointment, she just went around there with the report that Steve had compiled to try and talk sense into Olston but it didn’t work so she left the report there and went home. Claymore tells her she should hire a lawyer, fortunately Jess knows a very good one.

Andrew agrees to take on the case, but doesn’t understand why. Jess says she doesn’t think Nancy did it, but Andrew asks her if that’s the only reason. JB says of course it is, anyone could have planted the gun. She asks Andrew to dig into Nancy’s military service more while she goes over to city hall to have a chat with Councilman Axelrod, who refuses to believe shady shenanigans are happening in his office, or that a report from Steve was ever received. He asks Dawn if she remembers seeing such a report and she swears no such report came in.

Axelrod assures JB that she’s mistaken about the whole thing, and she says perhaps but that a report is also missing from the crime scene. On that note she leaves, and Axelrod orders Dawn to find out what’s going on with the investigation.

Meanwhile, JB hops on a plane to Seattle to talk to Clint about Frank’s relationship with Nancy. They meet at a restaurant…

Lunch plans confirmed.

Lunch plans confirmed.

…and JB comes straight to the point. Clint was Frank’s best friend, and she wanted to know the truth.

Clint tells her the truth was they were all terrified they’d be dead in a week, and that some people took comfort where they could. He wasn’t Frank’s confessor.  The truth was that Frank loved Jessica.

This episode is murdering my tearducts

This episode is murdering my tearducts

Back in…wherever the hell she is…Andrew calls Jess to let her know that Nancy received a compassionate discharge because she was unmarried and pregnant. The next day she goes to see Steve to ask him about the report he supposedly gave Councilman Axelrod but he tells her he gave it to Dawn Bickford. JB finds the whole thing suspicious but still doesn’t know how it ties into Olston’s murder. Steve begs her to stay and help release his mother and she promises to do what she can. He hugs her and tells her she’s terrific.

I may never stop crying. Ever. This episode is killing me.

I may never stop crying. Ever. This episode is killing me.

Jessica confides her suspicions to Lieutenant Claymore, who says he’s already under enough pressure from the councilman’s office. Jess wonders if the pressure is coming from Dawn Bickford, and Claymore wonders how she knew? She tells him she saw Dawn in his office the morning after the explosion, and coupled with the fact that Steve says he gave her the report makes her think Dawn’s relationship with Olston was a little more than business.

At least everyone is agreeing on JB's mad skillz this episode.

At least everyone is agreeing on JB’s mad skillz this episode.

Claymore confirms that Dawn and Olston were an item. JB is convinced that the gun and the appointment slip were planted to throw suspicion on Nancy, possibly by someone else in the house at the time Nancy came by. JB also mentions the man she saw in Olston’s trailer when she was pretending to fundraise for Axelrod. Claymore wonders if she could identify him in a mug book.

Please. Of course she can.

Claymore and JB go to City Hall to confront Dawn about Steve’s report and the real bomber and she caves, saying she knew about the bombing but she didn’t kill him, she was supposed to go around to his house but she had to work so she called him at about 8pm, and Nancy was already there.

This triggers something in JB’s brain (and my stomach – refer you to the earlier picture of the dessert tray) and she and Claymore go over to the Olston residence.

Tale as old as time....

Tale as old as time….

Sick of her husband’s cheating, Mrs Olston came back from her mother’s early to try and catch him cheating, and was about to give up until she heard Dawn’s phone call saying she couldn’t come over. Then she snapped, killed Ben and planted the evidence on Nancy.

This is the most depressing episode ever.

Case closed, JB catches up with Nancy one last time and Nancy comes clean. She was so desperate about her son that she lied. Frank wasn’t Steve’s father. Steve’s father was a flier in Frank’s squad, a married man, who was shot down and killed. Frank knew about the whole thing and offered to do what he could.


I'm just going to weep quietly in the corner for awhile okay?

I’m just going to weep quietly in the corner for awhile okay?

S06E09 – Test of Wills


Welcome to a MYSTERIOUS ISLAND Fletcherfans, where Jess is being ferried to by helicopter at the request of Henry Reynard, who has also requested the attendance of his family for an IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT. Henry’s son Jason and his wife Valerie, Henry’s daughter Alice, her daughter Kimberly and Kimberly’s fiancee Preston, and his old pal Doctor Hubbard Dabney have already arrived at the island, leaving Jess to make a fashionable entrance.

As far as Henry’s family are concerned, they’re all there so that Henry can cast judgement on his granddaughter’s choice of husband, while Jess has been lured in with the promise of a large charitable donation. When she presses Henry for more information, he comes clean – he brought her there because someone is trying to kill him and he was JB to find out who it is.

I think we've all made that face at some time or another

I think we’ve all made that face at some time or another

Henry shows JB the evidence of various attempts on his life and begs JB to investigate, but Jess wants no part of it. Henry tells her it’s fine, he knows the guilty one is someone in his family and they’re all there for the weekend (how convenient) and anyway here’s this cheque for a million dollars made out to Jessica Fletcher what do you mean you won’t do it?

Jessica tells him she’s not a trained investigator (modest) and that he should go to the authorities. Henry is outraged that she won’t accept his money but she tells him she doesn’t care about that. He puts the cheque back in the drawer, along with document with the helpfully large heading LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT and a gun. He suspects Jessica might change her mind after meeting his family.

Upstairs, Jessica is unpacking when she gets a knock at the door – it’s Henry’s granddaughter Kimberly who was very excited to find out JB Fletcher was coming for the weekend.  She’s not much of a talker (she says), who doesn’t have a lot to say (according to her mother) but finds it a lot easier to…write how she feels.

This also happens to people when word gets out you have a degree in publishing, even when said people now work at a travel agency because it's basically impossible to get a job in publishing *coughs*

This also happens to people when word gets out you have a degree in publishing, even when said people now work at a travel agency because it’s basically impossible to get a job in publishing *coughs*

Later that night, and wouldn’t you know it, a massive storm hits the island. I mean honestly, what were the odds of that happening? Henry gathers everyone in the billiard room and announces that he’s redrafted his will.

e2 e3 e4

I mean he tried...

I mean he tried…

Side note: I am going to work a 2001: A Space Odyssey reference into this episode even if it kills me.

Just to make a will announcement even more dramatic, the lights go out. They all scatter to look for flashlights and candles,and Henry tells JB to stay with Kimberly while he sorts out the fuse. A moment later Jess notices the thunder sounding more gunshot-ty than usual and goes to the hall.

Preston is on the ground, dead, and it’s obvious what killed him.

Convenient flashlight is convenient.

Convenient flashlight is convenient.

Reactions to the death by smug of Henry Reynard stretch from devastation (Kimberly) to thirst (Jason). While the family go and drink/ cry, Jessica quickly deduces that Henry was murdered and that they need to send to the mainland for help pronto. Unfortunately, the phones are out, as the creepy butler informs them. The body is taken upstairs,  and as the lights come back on Jess asks Dr Dabney if he knew anything about the other attempts on Henry’s life but he says that the Curious Incident of The Pills That Weren’t wasn’t life-theatening.

Downstairs, the grieving family led by Jason have broken into the locked drawer and have discovered the will, with the million dollar cheque made out to Our Heroine…

Oh d-d-dear

Oh d-d-dear

…and the news that the revised will means that everything in Henry’s estate now belongs to Jessica Beatrice Fletcher to keep, donate, or bequeath to Henry’s worthless heirs as she sees fit.

Dat face though

Dat face though

Jessica informs them that she had no idea about the contents of the will, and in fact she doesn’t want the money. She’s more concerned that Henry was murdered. The Doc tells them he will go and get the police from the mainland as soon as the storm clears but that in the meantime they should all get some rest. As the family all troop out, an eagle-eyed Jess spots Kimberly’s fiance Preston slipping a note to her aunt Valerie.

Not suspicious at all.

That night, while Val and Jason bicker about Preston, and Jason reveals that Preston isn’t the blue-blooded aristocrat he claims to be, JB is restless. She gets a knock on her bedroom door – it’s Alice, sniffing around JB’s plans now that she’s a squillionaire (or the 80s equivalent of). Jessica informs her she will be consulting her own attorney on the matter and points out that Alice, Jason and Valerie seemed to have much more of a motive than she. Alice tries cover her tracks by saying that she was with Kimberly at the time of the murder, but Jess points out that she was with Kimberly, not Alice.

Alice storms off. As Jess goes to close the door, she notices a light on in Henry’s room, where the body was left. She tries the door but it’s locked and the light goes off after she jiggles the handle.

The next morning…

**Original lyrics to Sexyback by Justin Timberlake.

**Original lyrics to Sexyback by Justin Timberlake.

…Jess notices a bullet hole in the ceiling. She bumps into the Doc out in the grounds who has bad news about getting a boat to the mainland (it has been disabled) and tells him about the light. He says it was him, paying his last respects to his friend. The conversation is interrupted by a blood-curdling scream from the pool house – the maid has just found Preston Howard dead, the gun from Henry’s drawer next to him.

Word gets out that Preston has shuffled off his mortal coil, and while Alice rushes to tell her daughter the news, Valerie bullies Jason into telling people they were together all night to avoid suspicion. Jess comes back inside and goes to check on Kimberly but is fobbed off by Alice who tells her she has given her daughter a sedative. Jess is about to leave when she hears raised voices coming from the next room. She knocks on the door and…well…

Zombie episodes are up 700% this season.

Zombie episodes are up 700% this season.

The reanimated corpse decidedly undead Henry Reynard invites Jessica in, as the Doc excuses himself to go and get the phones working again. It turns out this was all part of Henry’s cunning scheme to find out how his family would react to his death, to the point where he had a security system set up so he could watch the drama unfold. He tells Jess he’s disappointed she’s not more greedy.

The police chopper on in and are not terribly impressed with Henry’s little charade, but are interested in the news that Preston wasn’t all he claimed to be and that Henry knew it, and even more that an earring belonging to Valerie was just found in Preston’s pocket. JB tells the police about the little shady note passing situation and they decide to take it up with her.

They find Val and Jason having a liquid brunch in the billiard room. Val tells them she lost the earring in the dark after the lights went out and that Preston offered to go look for it when she realised it was gone. Val, naturally, was in her room with her husband the entire evening and the fact that I haven’t worked in an OPEN THE POD BAY DOORS VAL bit into this episode is deeply annoying. In any case, Alice appears to confirm she knew about the Preston situation from Jason the previous evening, and had told Kimberly to protect her. When Kimberly appears, however, she’s leaning more on the never forgiving anyone side. Especially her grandfather, who she declares killed Preston.

Sheriff Brademus is inclined to agree with Kimberly and is all set to do some gunpowder tests but JB points out that Henry did fire a gun – into the ceiling to stage his death. Same for the Doc, who had gloves in his room smelling of gunpowder – he was off shooting clay pigeons. It all seems like a dilly of a pickle until Jess helpfully reminds everyone of the video tapes Henry recorded to see everyone’s reactions to his “death”.

A close examination of the video tapes sees everyone in the family coming and going – special note is made of Preston going downstairs  followed a short time later by Valerie, who helpfully checks her reflection in the mirror to show both earrings – and only one when she returns alone later, as helpfully pointed out by Kimberly who wanders in to watch the footage with them. Brademus thinks that seals the deal and doesn’t pay much attention to the next clip of the butler rifling through Henry’s desk looking for – something? Not the gun presumably since it’s there.

They confront Valerie about the note from Preston and the case of the mysterious earring and she comes clean – Preston was blackmailing her to keep quiet. This closes the case for Jessica.



In her defence, it was one of those gun wrestling accidental situations. Her grandfather tries to impose himself on the situation, but Kimberly wanted none of it. She’s going with the police and Jessica, and she didn’t want a bar of him.

Henry gives JB her cheque, which she desperately wants to throw back in his face but instead keeps to give to the children’s hospital. OUR HEROINE IS A BENEVOLENT GODDESS.

And there we leave Kimberly and JB jetting off into the sunset, leaving Henry with his piles of money. And your intrepid writer still trying to fit a 2001 reference in here.

Thus spake Fletcher.



S05E04 – Snow White, Blood Red


I’m going to just come right out and say it – this episode is misleading. From the title I was expecting JB was going to have seven jaunty sidekicks  to help her solve the crime BUT IT DIDN’T HAPPEN WHAT THE HELL WRITERS.

And then there’s the summary on IMDB:

A massive storm results in Jessica snowed in at a ski lodge with an Olympic men’s ski team…

Say what now?

…with a murderer on the loose.

Still, I’m pretty sure JB was devastated to be trapped with the American men’s ski team. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

JB is on a ski holiday awaiting the arrival of Grady Failure (who never turns up, classic Grady) and making friends with the aforementioned US ski team and ski shop owner (and recently retired team member) Mike Lowery and his wife Anne who have a convenient plot point hanging in their store.

This crossbow would later be stolen by Daryl Dixon and used to kill zombies #factsIjustmadeup

This crossbow would later be stolen by Daryl Dixon and used to kill zombies #factsIjustmadeup

Sidenote: the actress who plays Mike’s wife Anne was once in a movie with Billy Bob Thornton called Copper Chicks in Zombieland and I would like to know why I’m only finding out about this now?

I’m getting sidetracked again.

Anyway, it turns out it’s actually the trials for the US Men’s Ski Team and noone’s place is secured, except for renowned lothario and recent meddler in Mike and Anne’s marriage, Gunnar Tilstrom, previously seen as Little John in Robin Hood: Men In Tights.


*commences singing "We're Men, We're Men In Tights" for 45 minutes*

*commences singing “We’re Men, We’re Men In Tights” for 45 minutes*

Gunnar is accosted by a woman named Pamela Leeds in the lodge bar who wants know what he was thinking messing around with a gangsters wife in Lake Tahoe, and why is there rumours that he won’t compete in the World Cup. Gunnar is more interested in his beer than answering her questions, even though she’s threatening to tear up the lucrative contract he signed to endorse her company’s product. He’s even less interested in talking to his coach, Karl Andersen who is slightly miffed when he hears via Pamela that Gunnar might not even compete. Gunnar’s response is to shove his coach to the ground and flounce out.

Later that evening Jess arrives to dinner and makes friends with former NYPD cop Ed McMasters and his wife Sylvia. While they eat and Ed talks about retirement the band pause for shoutouts to some of the potential ski team members – Larry McIver, John Dowd (who was in the Irish Riddle Murder She Wrote movie as Irish Pat Cash/fake Bono) and Gunnar, who is sitting with Anne Lowery, much to the disgust of her husband Mike who scowls and leaves the bar. Early the next morning, and despite a snowstorm, Gunnar decides to go for one last run – and is shot to death with a crossbow. How very Walking Dead.

The storm has hit the resort hard and it’s bedlam in the lobby. JB jokingly asks Pamela whether she should take a number and Pamela replies that she thinks it’s women and children first, but this is America so who knows?



Word gets back to Mike that Gunnar has been found dead on the ski slope and is horrified to discover his crossbow is missing. They get in touch with the sheriff via radio but the storm has made it impossible for them to get in. They need someone to work in the meantime to protect the evidence and protect the nervous guests, and there’s only one person for the job.

She's just perfect, really.

She’s just perfect, really.

Jess points out there’s a former NYPD detective staying at the lodge but Anne informs her that they left early and got out before the storm hit. And really, she’d end up doing all the work anyway, lets face it.

JB’s first order of business is to examine the body and recruits the closest doctor she can find to assist. Unfortunately the closest person is a gynecologist and he’s not enjoying himself.

A writer, a cop and a gynecologist walk into a bar...

A writer, a cop and a gynecologist walk into a bar…

The cop and the gynecologist, recognising the skills, leave the body to Jess, who finds Gunnar’s room key in his pocket and decides to go check out his room. On the way she bumps into Anne who tells her Gunnar received an urgent phone message that morning from someone called Vicki with a Nevada number. Jess tries the number and finds out that the number belongs to a Vicky Tartaglia and whoever is on the other line is not pleased someone is calling.

In Gunnar’s room Jess finds Mike acting shady. It turns out he was looking for Anne’s cigarette lighter that she left in Gunnar’s room the previous evening AWKWARD. He insists that his wife had nothing to with Gunnar’s death, and he knows this because he was spying on her and she didn’t leave Gunnar’s room until well after seven, after the time of death. Oh dear this is awkward.

Downstairs in the bar Gunnar’s teammates are commemorating their friend by getting wildly drunk, much to the disapproval of team member Larry who leaves them to it. Jess has a chat with Pamela, who at first tells her she barely knew Gunnar but then relents and tells Jess of his habit of ladychasing, allegedly including the mobster’s wife in Lake Tahoe. Jess asks if the woman’s surname was Tartaglia but Pamela is not sure. JB suggests that Pamela sounds a little bitter for someone with no personal relationship with Gunnar and Pamela tells her that yes, considering the contract he signed and the fact he was throwing it away due to his philandering, she was bitter and she could have killed him.

Case closed, let's celebrate with a drink!

Case closed, let’s celebrate with a drink!

Later, the snow is still coming down and Pamela is in the gym having a chat to Larry, who is still unhappy about the wake and is now unhappy that Pamela is sniffing around looking for his signature. Despite her protests that she’s just there working out, he departs to get  changed. Pamela is about to do the same when she is accosted by a drunk Viking in the form of Karl, Gunnar’s coach, who accuses her of looking for a way to get out of Gunnar’s contract, and if he finds out she had anything to do with Gunnar’s death, he’ll kill her. Rattled, she goes into the changerooms and finds Larry’s clothes on the floor and Larry hanging from the shower head after being shot by an arrow. Cue Psycho violins.

While Pamela recovers, Ed McMasters provides the update – Larry was whacked on the head in the mens room, then strung up and shot in the ladies. Anne Lowery appears to inform them that the phone lines are down. JB remembers seeing a four-wheel-drive in the carpark with a CB radio and suggests it would be worth trying to get in touch with the sheriff about that. McMasters decides to have a chat with Karl the Viking in the mean time.

Mike and JB have no luck with the sheriff and return to the store. Jess asks Mike if there was any specific reason why he invited his former team mates to the mountain that weekend and Mike shrugs, saying it was good for business. They are interupted by John Dowd falling through a curtain, shot in the shoulder with a crossbow.

To make matters worse, he has a terrible allergic reaction.

The poor poor man.

The poor poor man.

Meanwhile, in the hall outside John’s room:

And then the musical episode we had to have.

And then the musical episode we had to have.

Jess is convinced that the killer is left handed, and that two of the attacks were an attempt to divert suspicion from the main target. But as to who the target was, she can’t say.

Later that night, while the storm continues going about its stormy business, Jess gets a phone call from Ed’s wife Sylvia. Ed got a phone call, grabbed his gun and rushed out, and now Sylvia’s worried, so worried that she’s jangling bells. Jess rugs up and hunts for Ed at the ski shop. She meets him outside and he tells her someone called to say that they had information and to meet outside the ski shop. Jess suspects it’s a trap, confirmed by the arrow that is now sticking out of the sign above her head. They hear an engine rev and see a… sled? One of those motorised ones? I am against cold weather for moral reasons so in this area I am not entirely down with the lingo. Point is, it’s just come crashing out of the shed and Ed shoots off a couple of rounds, stopping the driver with the crossbow in his tracks.

It’s Karl Anderssen. No more drunk viking. Which in my opinion is the best kind of viking so that’s sad.

Ed McMasters feels the case is closed, but JB is not so sure. She enlists the help of the poor gynaecologist to extract the bullets from Karl’s body, as she suspects Karl might have been shot twice. The gyno guy is still not happy.

ICE TO SEE YOU. I don't care what anyone says, Batman and Robin is gold.

ICE TO SEE YOU. I don’t care what anyone says, Batman and Robin is gold.

JB has a quick look in the shed, notices the phone and is about to return to the lodge when she whacks some sleigh bells hanging on the wall. Tis the season, I suppose.

But that triggers something in the old brain palace for our friend JB.

Think I prefer Masters of Sex to be honest. That's a great show.

Think I prefer Masters of Sex to be honest. That’s a great show.

Ah yes. The old “pretend to be a cop and bump off some bloke that had been shagging the boss’s wife” routine.

Until next time.

Later gang!

Later gang!

S03E18 – No Laughing Murder


Make yourself comfortable, Fletcherfans. I have a story to tell.

Once upon a time there was a comedy duo by the name of Mack Howard and Murray Gruen. It’s the same old story, they took the world by storm, parted in anger and have hated each other ever since.

Fast forward 30 years and Mack Howard is a late night talk show host while Murray Gruen is struggling after buying an old lodge in the mountains. Someone is making boatloads of money from videos of their old routines, though each swears it isn’t him. Worse than that, their children Kip and Corrie have fallen in love, gotten engaged, and are throwing a party at Murray’s lodge to celebrate. Father of the groom Mack Howard doesn’t want a bar of it, but his wife Edie tells him that if he doesn’t go to the party he shouldn’t bother going back to the apartment either.

Fun fact: Steve Lawrence was in other things besides Blues Brothers.

Fun fact: Steve Lawrence was in other things besides Blues Brothers.

Meanwhile, father of the bride Murray Gruen is already at the lodge, self- diagnosing his medical issues with the 1980s version of WebMD, while his friend Norma wonders exactly why she’s there since he doesn’t seem to understand she’s in love with him.

Fun fact: 30 seconds after I realised Buddy Hackett voiced Scuttle in The Little Mermaid I was in the kitchen singing Part of Your World while the kettle boiled.

Buddy Hackett voiced Scuttle in The Little Mermaid. Commence loud rendition of Part Of Your World in 3-2-1…

Fortunately, JB drives up at that moment with the bride and groom to be. And honestly, I don’t know why Murray is relying on books to self- diagnose. His daughter is marrying a doctor.




Murray is delighted to see his late wife’s dear friend Jess.



Clooney is unmoved.

Nice sideeye from Corrie there. Top marks.

Nice side-eye from Corrie there. Top marks.

Dinner that night is a raging success, everyone forgives everyone for everything.

Though to be fair, who can concentrate when George Clooney's hair is RIGHT THERE.

Though to be fair, who can concentrate when George Clooney’s hair is RIGHT THERE.

As the insults between Mack and Murry escalate, Jess has a quiet word in the ear of Phil Rinker, former manager to both Mack and Murray, now manager to Mack, and he interrupts the bickering to give a toast. Mack is touched, and gives his own toast. In response, Murray stands up and smashes a glass in the fireplace.

Gotta admit, the guy has style.

The bickering starts again, with Mack and Murray accusing each other of cutting the other one out of the video sales, while their former business manager Farley Pressman tries to tell them that there is no money in the video sales, which sets Phil Rinker off as he’s convinced there is.  Buddy storms out, Mack storms out, and Farley offers JB a brandy.

The brandy break is cut short when they hear Murray screaming in his room. Everyone comes running to find Murray slumped over in the hall, howling in pain. Someone has stabbed him in the back.


In the bathroom retrieving medical supplies, JB notices the knife on the floor. Farley goes to pick it up but she tells him it’s best not to. Clooney returns to tell them that all the doors and windows are locked from the inside. While they wait for the doctor to arrive (since Clooney isn’t stepping up), JB asks Murray if he saw his attacker. He tells her not really, he just saw a shadow and then a flash of colour. JB asks him what colour the flash was, and after careful deliberation he says a deep red.

I'm not entirely sure what that means, but damn straight.

I’m not entirely sure what that means, but damn straight.

Mack is unhappy with being called a backstabber and flounces off to pack. JB talks him down, pointing out that Murray didn’t actually accuse him of stabbing him, and Mack relents. He tells JB that if Murray so much as hints that Mack shived him, he’ s outta there.

Corrie and Kip go for a walk to calm down, but Kip has other things on his mind.

Did I mention, Batman?

Did I mention, Batman?

Meanwhile, JB is inside dealing with the local constabulary in the form of Acting Chief Wylie B Ledbetter. Well, trying to.


She gently explains to him that it seems very unlikely that a stranger would break into a house full of people to kill one of them, so the only conclusion to be made is that the culprit was someone on the inside. She also suggests he take statements to establish where everyone was at the time of the stabbing. He eventually gets there and establishes that Farley was in the den with JB, Edie was in the kitchen while Norma, Corie Kip and Mack were all in their rooms when Murray was stabbed.


They realise that Phil is missing, and JB reports that his coat and overshoes are missing from his room. JB suggests that Wylie get someone to the train station to see if Phil is there, but Wylie tells her that he and the chief are the only two cops in town – but he’ll get his mother to take a look.

The next morning, JB goes hunting for sugar in the cabinet in the storeroom and finds Phil hanging from the ceiling instead. The note apologising to Murray for stabbing him convinces everyone that it’s suicide but Jess is unconvinced. The group gathers to watch Phil’s body get loaded into the ambulance, and are soon joined by Farley, who announces that he’s been all over the grounds and hasn’t seen Phil anywhere. He’s very surprised to learn that Phil was in a storeroom the whole time.

JB does some basic geometry and comes up with a startling fact – there was no way Phil could have killed himself. She goes to the police station to inform Wylie who doesn’t want to know about it but shows her the lab report of the knife used to stab Murray. It contains traces of white paint, which Wylie assumed happened when someone used the handle of the knife to scrape paint.

Idiots, idiots everywhere.

Idiots, idiots everywhere.

Armed with this new information, JB conducts an investigation of the bathroom

Game over.

No contest.

She also spots some chunks taken out of the bathroom door, and a a pile of white dust on the floor of Murray’s bedroom. Upon closer inspection JB finds a peephole carved into the wall, allowing Murray to see into Mack’s bedroom.

JB confronts Murray who breaks down and reveals the truth – he stabbed himself and set Mack up. He couldn’t bear the thought of Corrie spending time with his arch-enemy Mack. Seems legit.

That still leaves the small matter of who bumped off Phil, and for now Jessica is stumped. That night, while they are preparing dinner she asks Wylie if he learned anything from the lodge’s phone records. He tells her that the only call out on the night Phil died was to a video distribution company in New York. Edie and Norma worry that they have to spend another night with a killer in their midst, but Wylie tells them not to worry, he expects to solve the case before the end of the day.


Someone’s getting ahead of themselves

Fortunately for Wylie, JB has already solved the case. The killer has fallen neatly into her trap.

Spoiler alert: it wasn’t Batman.

Yeah. Surprised I am not.

Yeah. Surprised I am not.

Farley, you see, had been the mysterious person getting all the money for the video sales. Farley had been embezzling money from Mack and Murray for thirty years. And when Phil cottoned on to him, he had to go.

But it’s not all bad news. Mack and Murray buried the hatchet, Corrie and Batman were more in love than ever, and Murray finally asks Norma to marry him.

And they all lived happily ever after. Probably.

The End.

Later Fletcherfans!

Later Fletcherfans!

S03E10 – Stage Struck


Don’t know where JB is this week Fletcherfans, but wherever it is has something called an Applewood Playhouse where two of her friends Julian Lord and Maggie Tarrow are reuniting for a revival of the play that got them famous back in the day, Apparently what got them more famous were the hotel rooms they trashed when they fought it out. The Applewood Playhouse, it turns out, was the place where Jessica met a bloke named Frank Fletcher. Nawww.

JB catches up with Maggie in her dressing room, in that Maggie talks at her for a while, opens her makeup case and completely freaks out. (This tallies with my experience with actors).

The calm before the storm (Fun fact: this is Julie Andrews's rival in The Sound Of Music)

The calm before the storm (Fun fact: this is Julie Andrews’ rival in The Sound Of Music)

She flounces out of the dressing room, yells at her former husband (twice former, I think), yells at her understudy and departs to yell at another actor, Larry Matthews, who was having a marvellous time making out with the stage manager Pru, whom Maggie accuses of being a bedspread. I’m not entirely sure what this means, but it sounds like a burn. Later, while Maggie and Larry are rehearsing Maggie loses her shit again, when a silhouette turns into a man. Not only a man, but a man who had previously been making snide remarks at Maggie and Julian’s press conference. Maggie’s understudy, Barbara Bennington, comes forward to announce that that’s no man that’s a space station it’s her fiance from New York. Except as they leave the stage he thanks her and tells her to make sure Maggie never finds out who he really is.


While Maggie regroups, the actor playing the butler (who also happens to be the Chief of Police) comes on to ask what his motivation is in this scene. “You’re a butler, chief. Your motivation is to buttle.” Says the director.

Disclosure: I judge people who don't like the movie Clue. (Image credit)

Disclosure: I judge people who don’t like the movie Clue. (Image credit)

Rehearsals continue, and then Maggie loses it again when a mysterious thing appears in the prop scrapbook she is reading, causing her to faint. They lay her down on the casting couch in her dressing room and she informs Julian that “It was…HIM!”

I’m not gonna lie, I think she’s a zombie now.

While Maggie recovers back at the hotel Jess investigates the scrapbook, which has suddenly reappeared, but it’s completely empty. Later that night, Julian has an argument with producer Nicky Saperstein and show director Alexander Preston but Nicky is convinced: the show must go on, with Barbara Bennington in the lead role. Julian declares that Barbara can perform in the show if Nicky wishes…but not with Julian! *cue door slam* A short time later, JB comes across Barbara leaving Julian’s dressing room saying “Believe me, I support your decision 100%” Isn’t that nice?

JB tells Julian that she’s worried someone is trying to frighten Maggie. Julian tells her that her imagination had been running a little wild lately, but before he can explain Alexander turns up to defend the decision to go on with Barbara, saying that Maggie had bailed on a production before and he was damned if she was going to do that to him again. Julian agrees to go on that night on the condition that Maggie resume her role the following evening.

The curtain goes up and the first act goes off without a hitch. Unfortunately the second act is cancelled when Barbara Bennington drops dead. Seems like a legit excuse, really. Fortunately, the chief of police is already on hand. Unfortunately, he’s decided that he can only solve the case if he pretends to be Poirot.

If you ever wondered what Poirot would sound like with an American accent, watch this episode.

If you ever wondered what Poirot would sound like with an American accent, watch this episode.

Our Heroine’s reaction to this new development is measured and appropriate.

It could be worse, really...

It could be worse, really…

JB follows him into Barbara’s dressing room and finds him having a panic attack. He asks her how his performance went – he doesn’t think he can perform the role of investigating this case as himself, only as Monsieur Poirot.

Fair question.

Fair question.

In light of the Chief’s tenuous grip on reality JB agrees to help him, and suggests they take samples of all the liquids around to see which was poisoned. The next morning, Jess visits Maggie at the hotel to find her even more rattled. She’s convinced that someone is trying to kill her and doesn’t want to return to the theatre but Julian convinces her.

JB runs into Alexander at the theatre and asks him what he meant the previous night about Maggie having run out on him before. He tells her that during the first run of the play thirty years ago Maggie begged out of her contract “to do a movie” and disappeared for about a year. JB points out that Maggie didn’t make her first movie until much later, and Alexander tells her that it was just an excuse to get out of the play.

While Nicky the theatre owner revels in his new-found notoriety, the Chief informs JB and Alexander that cyanide in the decanter of wine on the stage “was responsible for the death of our luckless thespianette.” (Thespianette apparently has about twelve syllables).   He decides that Julian is the guilty one, then changes his mind and decides Maggie is the guilty one, JB, showing infinite patience, tells him that he’s an idiot the clue to solving the case has something to do with the scrapbook that caused Maggie’s fit the previous day. Apparently no one agrees with her as  she is left to investigate the stage on her own, but is immediately distracted with memories of the first time she met Frank, all those years ago.

(For the record, she's listening to the voice of her dead husband explaining how to paint the sets. Basically, Ghost)

(For the record, she’s listening to the voice of her dead husband explaining how to paint the sets. Basically, Ghost)

JB’s walk down memory lane is interrupted by Larry and Pru having a bit of a makeout. Honestly, kids these days *shakes fist*

That night, the show goes off without a hitch…until the end of the first act when Julian smells cyanide in the wine again and knocks the glass out of Maggie’s hand with an outlandish flourish. Pru brings the curtain down and the accusations start flying.

Down at the police station, JB gives the chief a lesson in how to find evidence.

(One is called Amos and the other is Seth. #factsIjustmadeup)

(One is called Amos and the other is Seth. #factsIjustmadeup)

Back at the theatre, JB asks Maggie to come clean about why she thinks someone is trying to kill her. Maggie shows her the note left in her makeup case that reads 30 YEARS CAN’T’ CHANGE WHAT YOU DID TO ME. Subtle.  She refuses to give JB any more information. JB tries to get Julian to talk about the year Maggie disappeared, saying that nine months is close to a year. (Life Lesson #49)

“I’m sorry, but this is a scene in which I have no lines.” Says Julian, and walks off. For the record I will be stealing this line and using it to get out of conversations I don’t want to be a part of. Fair warning.

JB asks Alexander for Larry’s resume. to check his vital statistics but is interrupted by the Chief barreling with an arrest warrant. Apparently it’s clear that Alexander set the whole thing up to kill Maggie as revenge for walking out on the play thirty years ago. While JB explains to the Chief why the whole thing is preposterous Larry spots Barbara’s mysterious fake fiancée rifling through her dressing room and gives chase, bringing him down with an epic tackle.

The Chief decides to multi task and interrogate the man, Terry Holt, while dressing for the show. Terry admits to being an investigative reporter looking to do a story on Maggie and Julian. Barbara was an acquaintance looking to further her career by taking over for Maggie by freaking her out – notes in makeup cases, birth certificates in scrapbooks, that old chestnut. JB thinks that Maggie thought that Terry must have been her son, which is why she said “It was….HIM!” earlier on. She explains it all very clearly to the Chief, who promptly tries to arrest Terry for poisoning Barbara’s red wine in order to steal the birth certificate.

JB's patience is cracking.

JB’s patience is cracking.

Terry tells them that Barbara couldn’t have been poisoned by red wine as she was allergic. This gives Jess an idea.

That night, the show finally goes ahead without any attempted murders. While the cast celebrates, the Chief decides to have one last stab at arresting someone, this time arresting Terry for being the long lost illegitimate son of Maggie and Julian. Also a murderer.

Of course, he’s completely wrong. Fortunately JB is there to set things right.

I'll be honest, my care factor is not high.

I’ll be honest, my care factor is not high.

There you have it. It was all an attempt by Julian to be free of that role-grabbing little so-and-so Barbara. Actors, man. What are you going to do?

Later gang!

Later gang!

S02E22 – If The Frame Fits


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!”

I think it's going to be one of those days for Our Heroine

I think it’s going to be one of those days for Our Heroine

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.

Poor Binky. Seriously though, the hell name is Binky?

Poor Binky. Seriously though, the hell name is Binky?

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)

Chief 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!

Since there's still half an hour left in this episode I'm assuming a lengthy explanation will be forthcoming

Since there’s still half an hour left in this episode I’m assuming a lengthy explanation will be forthcoming

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!”

Mildred fails at the concept of the double entendre.

Mildred fails at the concept of the double entendre.

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.

(Definitely better than my old computer!)

(Definitely better than my old computer!)

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?

This brings the total number of awesome cat burglars to 2.

This brings the total number of awesome cat burglars to 2.

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.

Later gang!

Later gang!

S02E09 – Jessica Behind Bars


Every time I say the title of this episode, the music from the Dramatic Hamster video plays in my head. True story.

As you may have guessed, this week’s episode is set in the slammer, and not actual bars as some of us I hoped. JB is off to the West Barrington Institute for Women (a much more official way of saying lady jail) to substitute teach a class while the regular teacher is off sick. As you can see, there’s nowhere Our Heroine would rather be on a dark and stormy night

Still beats going to see Grady, AMIRITE?

Still beats going to see Grady, AMIRITE?

JB is met by warden Elizabeth Gates, Deputy Warden Amanda Debs, Official Prisoner Welcoming Committee member Mary Stamm (previously seen here, make your own jokes about going from Washington to jail), and Doctor Irene Matthews, who doesn’t seem to be pleased about anything, least of all the warden for reasons that I’m sure will become clear.

As Mary escorts JB to the classroom, JB praises the short story Mary wrote. Mary confesses she’s always wanted to be a writer and JB tells her it’s never too late, and that she’s living proof. Mary points out that JB didn’t have to get past the parole board and JB pffts at that, asking Mary “Why, what are you in for?”

“I murdered my husband”. Says Mary.



A little anxious about teaching a flock of hardened criminals about how to write, JB comes up with a sure fire way to win her students over.

Life Lesson #38 - There is never an inappropriate way to win over a group of people

Life Lesson #38 – There is never an inappropriate way to win over a group of people

Job well done, JB tells them how much she enjoyed their stories, and singles Mary out again, but she’s not there. She sneaks out of the class and goes to visit her friend Suzie who is sick in the infirmary. For reasons that I’m sure will become clear later on, Mary has a key to the infirmary, and to the Doctor’s office, where she steals the key to the pharmacy to get some medication for her friend. JAILBREAK FAIL.

Before she can sneak out of Dr Matthews’s office, the Doctor returns, forcing Mary to hide in the next room. A guard walking past the office hears Dr Matthews typing on her typewriter and knocks on the door. In response, the riot alarm goes off and the prison goes into lockdown. (Understandable really, I’ve often wished I could do that to avoid people I didn’t want to speak to).

The warden is called, and she comes running along with her deputy and a couple of guards. Doctor Matthews is on the floor, dead. The warden orders a search of the neighbouring rooms, Mary tries to make a run for it and fails dismally.

Now, for reasons that I’m sue will become clear later on the prisoners of East Barrington Institute for Women are free to just roam about, so when they find out that the Warden has the Doctor’s murder pinned on Mary a riot breaks loose. The prisoners take the Warden, the Deputy Warden and JB hostage, and then proceed to bicker about their demands. Seriously, it’s just like all the episodes of Prisoner that I haven’t seen. Most of the prisoners want the charges against Mary dropped, and for conditions at the prison to improve (which I’m sure we’ve all said about our jobs from time to time), but a smaller group have decided this is a prime opportunity to get the hell out of Dodge.

For the record, here is their leader:

And 98% cliche

And 98% cliché

They start fighting over whether they should spring Mary from the prison, before Louise the prison librarian has a brainwave – they need someone the police can trust to resolve this brouhaha.

Still better than an evening with Grady

Still better than an evening with Grady

Our Heroine doesn’t waste time. She goes to the scene of the crime, finds a sterile swab under the desk, guesstimates that the doctor died of respiratory failure after a massive injection of morphine, and convinces Scary Lady to get the vial tested for prints. She asks the Warden how she thinks the doctor met her untimely demise, and the Warden give a long and borderline hysterical account of what she thinks happened. Jess asks her who else came to search the offices after the body was found and discovers the prison cook was one of the first on the scene, so off they all troop to interrogate her.

They find the cook knocking back a beer in the kitchen, which is the first sensible thing any one has done this episode. While the prisoners riot their way through the pantry JB samples the local cuisine.

(Seriously, what were the odds of getting to do this twice in a row?)

(Seriously, what were the odds of getting to do this twice in a row?)

They ask the cook how she came to be in the locked corridor and after she lies, they investigate the back stairs and find the driver of a grocery truck hiding in the basement. Ah yes, says JB. I saw your truck when I arrived.

The cook tells Our Heroine that she thought it would be safest for Mrs Mimms the grocer to hide, to avoid capture. “She has you to thank for this honey.” says the cook.



The whole riot lockdown mode seems to have the Cook off the hook, so to speak, but Kat the Scary Prisoner has made up her mind. There’s only one person who can get through the riot locks, and that’s the warden. Ergo, the Warden is the killer. (Not a direct quote).

Now we must pause for a moment and BASK:

You're welcome.

You’re welcome.

Scary Kat decides to hold a mock trial to convict the Warden of the murder of the Doctor, but Mary steps in before they can get crazy with the shotguns.  A phone call from the outside informs Jess that a) the morphine was diluted and b) there were two sets of fingerprints on the vial – Mary’s and an unknown set. This sets Scary Kat off again, and she orders a cell by cell search to find the killer. JB hurries back to make sure that Mrs Mimms the grocer is safe. On the way to the classroom the lights go out and someone screams. By the time they get there, Mrs Mimms is no more. The Warden accuses Mary, who runs off, Scary Kat accuses the Warden and JB tells them all to chill.

Jess finds Mary in the infirmary with her friend, and demands to know how she got the key to the infirmary. Mary tells her that Dr Matthews gave her the key so that she was able to type up the Doctor’s reports. Apparently Doctor Matthews wasn’t so good with the whole ‘taking care of patients’ thing. Or the not diluting medicine thing it would seem.

Any further conversation is cut short by news that Scary Kat is off her tree again, and planning to shoot her way out of the prison using the Warden as a human shield. JB calms them down and they burst into song.

JB finally interrogates the Warden, who refuses to explain why she just happened to have the riot key on her, but JB’s worked it out. She was on her way to see Suzie in the infirmary, to talk about the dodginess that was going on in the prison. JB gets on the phone to the outside world to see if they’ve matched the second set of prints on the vial of morphine yet. The answer is no, and Scary Kat arrives to rip the phone from the wall and announce that they’re busting out. Again. Sheesh.

Never fear though. Our Heroine calms them down (again) and explains that she knows what happened.

Firstly, Doctor Matthews committed suicide. Well and good, say the prisoners, but why would someone want to make a suicide look like a murder?

Someone who needed to escape. Because she was about to be found out. For twenty years worth of corruption and embezzlement.

Debs of Death is also the reason I never wanted to do the whole Deb Ball thing. True story, probably.

Debs of Death is also the reason I never wanted to do the whole Deb Ball thing. True story, probably.

Apparently it all came about after Debs was rejected for a promotion again. But whatever, really.

Until next week…

You're welcome.

Later, Fletcherfans

S01E21 – Murder at the Oasis

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Apologies for the delay, Fletcherfans! It turns out the Murder, She Blogged typewriter is very much like Melbourne’s public transport system in that it freaks out when it gets hot.

This week Our Heroine is back on the road, this time catching up with an old school-friend who has tickets to her ex-husband’s tennis tournament. You know, that old story. I can’t imagine why he’s her ex though…

There’s a lot going on here…

Or maybe I can. In any case his name is Johnny Shannon, his kids hate him, and he has upset the local Mafia representative. I can’t imagine any of these being a problem…

It’s not all bad news though – he has his very own minion, who travels with him everywhere. An Amos to his Jessica, if you will.

For some reason, I’ve started humming ‘All The Single Ladies’.

Johnny and his jester-friend are on their way to meet JB and Peggy Shannon, who are reminiscing about their shared hatred of brussel sprouts while watching a John McEnroe wannabe spit the dummy out on the tennis court. Jess can’t help but notice that said dummy-spitting man is a bit of all right.

You know what I love about tennis? The double entendres.

They are soon joined by Johnny (the jester and the bodyguard/Hulk relegated to another table) and by Peggy’s daughter Terry, who doesn’t stick around long – she’s got a hot lunch date with He-Who-Thinks-He’s-John-Macenroe. It’s obvious she’s only doing it to spite her Dad, and has a great old time watching him get into a shoving match with El Dummy Spit. Only the convenient arrival of the local constable calms everyone down.

Later that night, Johnny’s jester comes down to his study to deliver a ‘glass of milk’ (actually, it looks like it is just milk…huh) but finds the door locked. While he bangs on the door, his son Mickey runs to find his sister – who is in her bedroom with El Dummy Spit. Nudge nudge wink wink say no more. Lou the friendly bodyguard/Hulk breaks the door down and they find Johnny more dead than ususal.

The next morning JB and Peggy go to comfort the recently bereaved. Except Terry, who’s gone to the tennis club to suggest that El Dummy Spit gets out of the country before the po-po start knocking on his door. At least I think that’s what she’s saying. I can’t hear her over her necklace.

Seriously though, what is that?

Back at the house, recently relocated from Chicago Lieutenant Barnes (previously only known as The Constable) informs Peggy, Mickey and JB that he’s on the case, since there is no homicide division. Mickey suggests that JB help him out, but JB humbly says that her occasionally exploits are grossly over-exaggerated. (Liar!). Lieutenant Barnes says he doesn’t mind though – JB has covered the subject of murder fairly well in her books, even if she isn’t always accurate.

For insulting her honour, JB considers punching him in the face.

He takes her down to the scene of the crime, where they quickly establish that there was no way someone could have snuck in via security. THE CALL KILLER CAME FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE! They are interrupted by Buster-the-Jester, who tells them that Lou is out on the patio trying to kill Mickey as payback for Mickey killing his father. Lieutenant Barnes deftly handles the situation by shoving Lou into the pool.

According to IMDB, you will know Lieutenant Barnes from such things as 30 Rock and Grey Gardens.

The reason for the confusion, it seems, is that Lou saw Mickey going into the den and obviously 2 + 2 = 5. Mickey explains that while he did go into the den he came out of it again, and at no point did he shoot anybody. I believe him – he’s starting to remind me of Grady.

Peggy comes running up to inform everyone that Mickey didn’t do it and admits to sneaking El Dummy Spit in through the service entrance. This is enough for Lieutenant Barnes, who demands to know where El Dummy Spit is. Peggy admits to giving him money to get out of town, but Lieutenant Barnes doesn’t give up that easily.

Our Heroine asks Lou where he was when Johnny got shot. Apparently Johnny told him to get lost, which is code for having a girl over according to Buster. Lou says that this is impossible, since he didn’t have a name to call down to the security gate.

Ah, says JB. Which is short for, “But what if it was someone the guard knew by sight? Someone who might have been married to Johnny once upon a time?”

Back at the tennis club, Peggy admits to ‘paying her ex-husband a visit’, if you know what I mean. She swears she didn’t kill him, and her children didn’t either. Jess apparently accepts this and talk turns to Johnny’s enemies, of which apparently he had a few of. Like Milo Valentine, the friendly neighbourhood Mafia guy.

Hanging out in Lieutenant Barnes’s office, JB sketches out her mob hitman theory, and he agrees. He seems convinced that El Dummy Spit is a tennis player by day and a mob hitman by night. Which is a genius set-up for a television show, and you’re welcome TV land.

Back at the house, Terry overhears Buster on the phone trying to get in touch with said Mr Valentine. SUSS.  JB arrives in a taxi (and says to the taxi driver “Thank you for a lovely ride!”). She goes to visit Terry who tells her about overhearing Buster on the phone to Mr Valentine. JB notices a video tape missing from Johnny’s collection and Terry says it’s from the camera over the billiard table. Johnny used to film himself ‘playing’ so that he could ‘correct’ his mistakes. I bet he did.

Lieutenant Barnes arrives, and wants to know what JB’s doing there.

“Taking care of business,” she says sweetly.

Seriously though, she’s the best.

Turns out Lieutenant Barnes just wants Mickey’s statement. They’ve found El Dummy Spit making a break for Mexico.

Having his ass busted on the border, El Dummy Spit is hauled back for questioning. He insists that he didn’t kill Johnny Shannon, and that Terry did. JB quietly suggests he might want a lawyer, and the interview is over. Peggy, Mickey and Terry head home, accompanied by JB who has some unfinished business to take care of.

Out on the patio, JB grills Buster on his phone call with Milo Valentine and he admits to calling, but only to make sure there was no hit out on him. This is just like The Sopranos, probably. Buster explains to Jess that Milo got Johnny started in show business, but when he got famous Johnny resented being told what to do. One night, to clear the air, Johnny had Milo over for a friendly game of pool.

Aha! That explains the missing tape! SEE HOW IT ALL COMES TOGETHER. JB has it all figured out. The killer had two assignments – kill Johnny and steal the tape. More than that, she knows who the killer is.

I’m glad she knows, because I didn’t see this one coming.

Sigh. Can we trust no one in this crazy world?

I liked the Lieutenant of Death, right up until he pointed a gun at JB and said “You’ve won a prize – a trip to oblivion!” It turns out he’s a cop by day, mob hitman by night. The opposite of Batman, if you will.

Before things get too out of control Jess hollers and her posse come running.

There you have it, Fletcherfans. Another case neatly tied up by our heroine. Stay tuned for the season finale next week!

Until then, dear reader.

See you next week!

PS – I’ve made a Facebook page for Murder, She Blogged. Go and like it, and enjoy the random pictures that people send through!

S01E17 – Sudden Death


Our heroine still hasn’t made it back to the Cove, and I for one am having serious Amos withdrawals. How on Earth is the town coping in JB’s absence?

To be fair, JB isn’t doing too badly outside the Cove, even though she’s at the funeral of her great-uncle Cyrus

Catching the bus from Happy Vale Retirement Home to the Home of Eternal Rest = HILARIOUS METAPHOR

At which funeral she is accosted by her great-uncle’s attorney, Bosley Brad Lockwood.

Fact: for a long time I thought Bosley and Amos Tupper were the same person. In my defence, I was probably drunk. (I don’t know who I thought Howard Cunningham was)

It turns out the old boy has left JB some shares in a Mystery Company, and is eager to get her signature on some documents. Our Heroine is no slouch though, and refuses to sign. Why the hell would she? She’s just inherited shares in a football team!

A football team? You know, that’s very exciting Mr Lockwood. (pause). I think I’ll just take a look… – JESSICA FLETCHER

Sidenote: here’s what I know about American Football – nothing. And when I don’t know/understand/care about a sport I happen to be watching (which is usually rugby) I apply Australian Rules football rules to it in order to make sense of it/fake an interest. So, if in reading the rest of this post you think I may have missed some of the finer points of American Football, that will be the reason.


Jessica hurries to the stadium to checkout her latest arses assets, but is rudely interrupted by a giant helmet on wheels (not code):

If I had a dollar for every time I was nearly run down by a giant helmet on wheels…

The helmet-mobile is being driven by an 8-year-old deaf girl and someone who turns out to be the Kardashian step-father in real life, thereby answering something I’ve always wondered about – what exactly does a Kardashian do?

Kardashian-man apologises for nearly running Our Heroine over (and for inflicting his stepdaughters on us all (lol j/k no he didn’t) and they cruise off into the sunset in their Helmet-Car-of-Wonder. Meanwhile, JB interrupts an incredibly helpful scene where the owner of the team, Phil Kruger reminds himself who else works there by yelling at them loudly and including their job titles – Lockwood-the-lawyer, Patillo-the-coach, Dillon-the-equipment-manager/token-black-guy and Mason-the-defensive-captain/Ron-Swanson-lookalike.

Kruger is less than thrilled to see someone with a vagina walking into his office, but takes it all back when he discovers that Our Heroine holds the balance of power in the ownership stakes. Phil immediately throws everyone out and takes JB on a tour of the facilities, mostly so he can offer to buy her out. JB is flattered, but not interested. Undeterred, Kruger offers to pick JB up later that night and take her to the player party being thrown by local man-about-town Web McCord (not kidding. WEB MCCORD!)

Back at the hotel JB is accosted by Coach Patillo, who offers to buy her out. JB is delighted at having so many men throwing money at her, but she declines. Later, when Kruger picks her up he throws some more money at her, but JB holds out. She’s got no interest in business discussions, or keeping track of who’s going where right now – she’s at a party dammit!

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single party in possession of a large amount of alcohol must be in want of Brendan Fevola.

Alas, Kruger is not having such a good time, what with being dead in the bathtub at the stadium. The local constabulary arrive to do their thang, and an early favourite for Most Likely Suspect is established – they think the Kardashian did it. (Impossible, as Kardashians don’t do anything).

JB is at the scene, flexing her owner muscle (although sadly not literally, because that would be amazing). The detective quickly changes his tune when he realises she’s the owner and agrees to everything that she says, but he’s still convinced that Zack Kardashian Dude, even more so after they find his watch in the bathtub. They pick him up, but he protests his innocence. He had his reasons for killing Kruger, but he’d rather keep them to himself, and more to the point he claims someone broke into his locker and stole his watch.  Meanwhile, Bosley is on the phone to Charlie Kruger’s almost-ex wife, telling her to get back into town and claim her money.

JB heads to training, and promptly starts a melee on the field with her presence, in which her probable new boyfriend the defensive captain is knocked out. Oops. Undeterred, she steps over him to find out from the coach what Zach’s no-cut contract meant. (Turns out it means that even though he’s injured, he still gets paid. Sweet deal huh?) Still on the trail, JB goes to see Dillion the equipment dude who is hanging out in the locker rooms. Soon after the team arrives, including JB’s new probable boyfriend, who is without pants and a little embarassed.

It takes a little while for JB to notice the unexpected penis, but she gets there.

Turns out he was pleased to see her.

JB quickly departs the locker room for the shooting gallery (can someone say METAPHOR?) where she finds the football commissioner, the investigating lieutenant and Web McCord shooting clay pigeons. They are all convinced of Zach Kardashian’s guilt, but JB isn’t giving up just yet. She goes back to the arena to hunt for clues – sneaking past the worlds worst security guard to do so – and breaks into a locker to prove a point. It all goes a bit wrong when she is locked in the sauna by a Mysterious Gloved Hand, but Mr Dillion the equipment dude comes to her rescue. Rather than be scared off, JB is delighted! She’s on the right track!

To celebrate, she heads to the track to catch up with her probable new boyfriend and Ron Swanson lookalike, and engages in a bit of light stretching, if you know what I mean.

*insert inappropriate joke here*

Still without a suspect, she goes to visit Zach Kardashian again, wearing her Serious Neckerchief.

Life Lesson #30 – To show you mean business, wear a neckerchief.

It turns out that their daughter, the deaf girl, is adopted and that someone suspiciously Kruger-sounding was making threatening anonymous phone calls, suggesting that the adoption wasn’t strictly legal and that he would report them to the authorities.

JB takes time out to call Amos and make sure she hasn’t left the back door open (not kidding), and is about to jump in the bath when she is rudely interrupted by the commissioner, who wants to suss out Jess’s chances of selling her stock to Web McCord. Jess politely throws him out, but not before she learns of the existence of Mrs Kruger, who Bosley was on the phone to earlier.

A hot bath and a good night’s sleep later, JB goes to pay Mrs Kruger a visit, not bothering to worry about things like permission. Life Lesson #31 – Open door = open invitation. Upstairs she discovers that the bathroom carpet is soaking wet (but doesn’t appear to be concerned that the bathroom is carpeted. These wacky rich men and their wackiness). While she mulls this over, a shadow ninja threatens to shoot her…


…but it turns out to be the devastated widow of Kruger, and by devastated I mean dollar signs for eyeballs. She very helpfully calls the police, and  the lieutenant pops in to give his two cents worth. It is agreed that Kruger was probably killed here, but who could have done it? Every single person in the world had a motive, so how could they prove it?

Stumped, Jess is hanging out in the locker-room before the big game (LIKE A BOSS), when she notices a cork board filled with photos from the party. She notices that a certain somebody has changed jackets halfway through the night – because the first one got soaking wet in a bathtub, perhaps?

Damn straight. One disguised phone call later and JB catches the killer with his hand down the drain.

I told you Kardashian’s don’t do anything.

The man with the terrible name had hatched a plot to gain total control of the football team, and get Zach Kardashian off the team in the process. And he would have gotten away with it, if it weren’t for that meddling JB.
To celebrate, JB does a lap of the field in the helmet car – something I have now added to my list of things to do – and says goodbye in the traditional Cabot Cove manner.

Peace out dawg.

Until next time, dear reader.

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