Jessica is at the Red River Recording Studios in Green Hills (possibly Nashville, Tennessee), recording an audio version of her book The Mystery of the Mutilated Minion for the “Mysteries for the Blind” initiative.
In this episode, we get some glimpses into J.B. Fletcher’s writing style from what we can hear of her recording sessions:
The body was discovered by Edie Babish on November 2nd, at 3:30 in the afternoon. She knew it was 3:30 because she was late returning from her marketing. She checked her watch in the elevator, bothered that dinner wouldn’t be ready. Nothing fancy, just her husband’s favorite stuffed cabbage, but it took at least four hours.
She was equally certain about the location of the body. The man’s throat had been slit, and he was making a dreadful mess all over her freshly scrubbed kitchen floor. It had not been Edie’s day.
… But what really bothered Mrs. Babish was that the body was dressed in her only formal gown.
…only 10 minutes before Lieutenant Garfield arrived. Garfield took in the scene quickly. It wasn’t a pretty picture, but he’d seen worse. He looked at the swarthy man with the hideous bloody grin cut into his throat, noted the gown he was wearing, and dryly observed that he appeared to be wearing a size 12.
It seemed bizarre that he was wearing a dress belonging to the lady of the house, but as Garfield said they were lucky at least the corpse wasn’t wearing makeup. Even more bizarre was the fact that there were no blood stains on the dress.
Just the facts ma’am:
Spoilers are in white font, so highlight the text below to reveal the answers.
- The victim was… a co-owner of the recording studio!
- killed by… one of the sound engineers!
- in… his office in the evening during a power-outage! (But he died later in an ambulance on the way to the hospital.)
- with… a steak-knife in the back!
- because… the engineer was bootlegging tapes!
- vital clues: a motorcyclist not wearing his helmet; and hearing voice recordings over the phone.
Charlie Daniels, who wrote “The Devil Went Down To Georgia”, plays Rhythm and Blues artist Stoney Carmichael.
G. W. Bailey plays Lt. Faraday. You might know him as Rizzo from M*A*S*H, or as Harris from the Police Academy movies, which makes him also a big name on the show. G. W. Bailey later appears for a second time on MSW to play another cop.
Other actors who will come back to appear on MSW for a second time, from Left to Right: Fredric Lehne playing sound engineer Al Parker; Jonna Lee playing Stoney’s niece Sally Ann Carmichael; and Michael Cole playing sound engineer Earl Tuchman.
Michael Callan, playing the recording studio’s second co-owner Carl Anglin, will come back to appear on MSW in three more episodes.
William Atherton, playing “Mysteries for the Blind” producer Greg Dalton. This is his second of three total appearances on the show.
One of the most memorable parts of this show were the interactions between Jessica and the sexist (old fashioned?) Lt. Faraday.
Lieutenant: “Mrs. Fletcher, the sergeant here tells me that you’re a mystery writer. Oh, I think writing is a real good hobby for a woman. You can cook up some supper. You can chat on the phone. Then pop over to the old typewriter now and then for a few minutes.”
Jessica: “Yes. When I’m not too busy beating the laundry against the rocks in the river.”
Lieutenant (trying out a shot-gun): “Oh, this night scope is great. The deer don’t even see you comin’.”
Jessica: “Maybe that’s why they call it ‘sport shooting’.”
And that’s it! That’s all she wrote!