Hola Fletcherfans! Bienvenidos a Ciudad de México, where a mysterious masked figure is breaking into a museum and pinching a gold mask, and JB is in town to “do research” for her next book.
JB’s next book is about an archaeologist, so lucky for her she is good friends with one – Cyrus Ramsey, who also happens to be the curator of the museum that got broken into just the night before, I mean what were the odds. Cyrus is happy to have JB follow him around to see how an archaeologist goes about his business, but his assistant Scott Bakter pops up to announce that the police have questions and paperwork for Cyrus to sign, so Cyrus pledges to meet Jess later.
Cyrus is being played by James Coburn. I mention this only because as soon as he appeared I said “That’s James Coburn” but I couldn’t tell you a single James Coburn movie. (I can now, I googled).
Before JB heads out looking for tequila to explore the zoccalo, Cyrus introduces Jess to Police Chief Quezada, who explains that all they know is that the thief abseiled in through the roof, which leads them to think that it was professionals. Cyrus warns Quezada that Jessica will have it solved before she leaves the building.
Back at her hotel, Jess is thanking Juan the hotel manager, who always looks after her when she’s in Mexico. He tells her he has already reserved her favourite table and she thanks him again before heading out tequila hunting. Juan has no time to rest though, a colleague wanders past to tell him that Enrico Montejano would like a word.
Enrico Montejano, it turns out, has a mutual interest with Juan – Juan’s daughter Rosa. Apart from being the owner of the hotel, Montejano is on the board of the ballet where Rosa dances, and has taken quite a shine to her. Juan says that anyone who disrespects his daughter will have their heart cut out, which doesn’t please Montejano who asks if Juan is threatening him but Juan says it’s fine. Montejano is only interested as a a patron of the arts, obviously he’s not going to threaten him. Montejano tells him to get out, just in time for Rosa to walk in from the next room.
Downstairs Jess and Cyrus discuss her plans for the next book, and Cyrus promises to take her to all his favourite places when Montejano pops up to invite Cyrus and Jess to his hacienda that evening for a small shindig. Jess can see Cyrus isn’t keen so promises Montejano that she will get back to him.
Cyrus later concedes he is not Montejano’s biggest fan, but the man does have an excellent art collection – including a hidden stolen art collection – and more to the point it will be excellent research for JB’s book.
Cyrus takes Jess to the town of San Ignacio, where the dig site is located. Preparations for Day of the Dead are well underway, and Cyrus explains the festival to JB – people write songs or poems, called calaveras, that mock the dead. In San Ignacion the townspeople put on a play mocking the rich and powerful (because everyone is same-same when it comes to Death), and Cyrus introduces JB to the person behind the calaveras, Ramon – former circus clown and current heartthrob.
Despite his own troubles – his wife is in hospital and as a result they are behind on the rent, a fact that that has not escaped Montejano’s notice – Ramon tells Jess that Cyrus is playing the lead in the production, a fact Cyrus neglected to mention. Ramon asks if JB will come and she says she’d be delighted.
That night, Montejano’s party is in full swing, but Montejano can’t help but notice his beloved wife Consuela is yet to make an appearance. He goes up to check on her and she says they’ll just have to wait, maybe his new mistress can entertain the guests instead. Montejano tells her they can just get divorced, but Consuela says no, she made a promise – til death. She also tells him that she will celebrate Day of the Dead like never before, once he has shuffled off into the afterlife.
To sum up: everyone wants Montejano dead.
Jess and Cyrus roll in to the party and Jess tells Montejano how admiring she is of his art collection. Montejano commiserates about the lapse in security that caused the loss of the Montezuma death mask that was stolen from the museum. Cyrus excuses himself, leaving Jess with his assistant Scott, and Montejano. Consuela appears and tells JB how much she enjoys her books and mumbles something about broken vows before moving on to work the room.
The next day, Juan confronts Rosa about her relationship with Montejano, but she says they didn’t do anything. Juan is furious, and asks her what Jason would think. Rosa orders him to never talk to her about Jason again. Juan forbids her from seeing Montejano but she just apologises and leaves. Drama-rama. Meanwhile Cyrus and Scott have taken JB to the dig site, giving Cyrus a chance to show off his local knowledge and his muscles, stepping in to help some people lift a stone tablet out of the pit. Scott tells JB he has trouble keeping up with Cyrus sometimes.
Back at the hotel, Juan has the bright idea to go into Montejano’s office with a gun, but he can’t go through with shooting him and Rosa begs him to leave. Montejano says for Rosa’s sake Juan will leave with his life, but he is fired from the hotel. Jess bumps into him in the hotel lobby, and asks if there is something wrong. He tells her he is leaving, he won’t be managing the hotel any more, and walks away. Jess follows him into his office to demand an explanation, and he tells her he tried to kill Montejano but that he couldn’t go through with it. Jess asks if it is to do with Rosa and he says yes – she was engaged to an American named Jason, but that he had died, and now she’s taken up with Montejano and he is evil but Rosa won’t listen. Jess asks him if there’s anything she can do and he says no, he knows what he must do. He packs up his suitcase, and leaves. Upstairs, Montejano gets a phone call from a mysterious voice telling him that if he wants his merchandise, meet him in the stables during the calaveras and to come alone. Montejano hangs up, as does Rosa in the next room.
That night, the Day of the Dead festival begins in San Ignacio and JB’s outfit is amazing, as usual.
Cyrus gets all suited up to play Death, and the calavesas is ready to begin. JB notices Montejano in the audience and Ramon tells her he comes every year, and every year doesn’t realise that the play is about him.
The play kicks off and JB is loving it.
As the show continues, JB sees Montejano leave his sidekick at the table and go outside. She returns her attention to the stage, where Death has just appeared to take down the fake Montejano.
As the play comes to a close, a woman comes in yelling. The audience follow her out to the stables where they find Montejano dead on the floor, wearing the missing Montezuma death mask. Quezada and his men arrive on the scene and quickly take charge. JB tells him Montejano leave the show alone, despite his bodyguards protests, and Quezada thinks that the whole thing has gone down as a business deal gone wrong. Jess excuses herself, saying she doesn’t want to interfere with his investigation (LOL) but Quezada says on the contrary and gives her his business card in case she has any more insights.
Jess pays a visit on Consuela, who tells her she can only assume her husband was killed by a business rival. She tells Jessica that she didn’t know much about Montejano’s business dealings, her husband preferred it that way. She hadn’t gone with him to the fiesta as she’d made other plans – her husband often went without her for business, and for other things.
As JB leaves, she has a quiet word with Montejano’s bodyguard, Oso. He tells her he owes everything to Montejano and that he should have been there. He also tells her that Consuela was horrible to her husband and that Ramon was trying to take advantage of Montejano’s good nature. JB does not pass comment on this, but gets into the car. Montejano’s chauffeur drives her away, under the watchful eye of a guy wearing binoculars and a Hawaiian shirt.
Back at the hotel, JB is delighted to see Juan back at work, thanks to Consuela. Rosa is also delighted but suspicious – her father did not come home until late, but he tells her if she won’t tell him what she’s up to, he won’t tell her. Over at the museum, Scott is setting the alarm on the newly returned Mask of Montezuma. JB still can’t believe how the thief got out, but Scott tells her all it would have taken is some specialised climbing equipment. He started climbing at the recommendation of his friend Jason, the one who died the year before. Jess asks if it was a climbing accident and he says no, it was a car crash. He couldn’t believe it, Jason wasn’t into drugs…Cyrus appears and tells Jason to go meet his friends, he’s taking Jessica to Teotihuacan to see the pyramids.
That night, Jessica returns to her hotel room to find Hawaiian shirt guy in her hotel room. It turns out he’s DEA Agent Ramirez, and has come to politely request order JB to stay out of his investigation. He still has an informant inside Montejano’s operation and that despite Montejano’s death, the investigation can go ahead. Jess asks him about Jason Powell, the dead boyfriend of Rosa, and he tells her that Jason got mixed up with Montejano and ended up doing a drug run into the states. The DEA caught on, Jason panicked and crashed his car. Fun fact, he went to the same university as Scott the assistant, and Cyrus’s grandson, seen only in a photograph up until now.
Jess finds Rosa at the hotel and casually mentions she knows how Jason died. Rosa admits to being the informant, but says that she didn’t kill Montejano. When she’d heard Montejano’s phone call about the meeting she called Ramirez to set up a sting because she thought it was a drug bust and that they finally had him.
Jess and Quezada go to visit Ramon’s shop, where they meet Ramon’s wife, newly out of hospital and relieved to announce they have come up with a solution to the rent problem. Jess wants to look at the costumes, and she explains that she always used to make them for Ramon when he was in the circus and does them now for the day of the dead. Jess pulls out two identical Death costumes and Ramon’s wife tells her she only made one. Quezada notices stains on the second costume that look like blood. At that moment Ramon appears and realises what’s happened. “Ah, so you know.” He says.
I was ADAM-ANT that Scott was the killer, but I was in fact, wrong. This is a story all about how a grandfather wanted revenge for the death of his grandson, and so asked his good friend Ramon to stand in for him as Death while he went round the back and busted a cap in Montejano’s head.
Seriously though, go and look at that screen cap of Death. It’s not James Coburn abut it’s not Ramon either. TRUST ME IT LOOKS LIKE SCOTT, WHAT IS HAPPENING I NEED A LIE DOWN AND ALSO PROBABLY A TEQUILA.