Murder, She Wrote s05e17 Episode Script

The Sins of Castle Cove

- I don't believe a word of it.
- That book has me so nervous.
Well, I didn't write it for the money.
[Woman] Tonight on Murder, She Wrote.
- Freeze! - Who would want to buy sausages from a man that played around with married women? - Is she still having an affair with the butcher? - That is irresponsible.
Oh, where was their responsibility? I'm surprised she didn't send you an advance copy.
I never hear any gossip.
This sort of filth shouldn't be allowed in print.
Obviously I haven't got to the good part.
[Eve] I swear to you.
A lice showed up at the Harbor House wearing shorts, and they wouldn't let her in.
Shorts? She must be older than God's mother.
Oh, but she's so proud of her legs.
[Woman] I don't know why.
Her knees look like two fat boys bumping their heads together.
Oh, what time is it? Oh! Oh! I'm missing my show.
Loretta, be a dear and turn on the TV.
There's nothing on this early except talk.
Now, you can get that here.
Oh, I do hope it isn't educational TV.
I hate educational TV.
Oh, this isn't educational.
It's network television.
Loretta, please, turn it on.
I'd rather see Days of Our Longing.
Please, everyone, keep still.
That'll be the day.
- Oh, that's it.
That's it.
- [Woman On TV] Welcome back.
This is Janet Paisley in Top o'the Morning's "Book Nook.
" The book: The Sins of Castle Cove, an exciting first novel.
Its young author is here today: Sybil Reed.
Tell me about Cabot Cove, Maine.
Well, Janet, Cabot Cove is a small New England seacoast town.
That's Sybil.
Why, I know her.
What's she doing on TV? She- She's written a book.
And now she's trying to sell it.
- Shh! - Your first novel, The Sins of Castle Cove, is set in a small New England seacoast town, where some rather shocking things take place.
Sybil, how much of your book is true? The geography.
The rest is purely fictitious.
Sybil looks real pretty, doesn't she? Being 23 doesn't hurt.
Please, I am trying to hear this.
Well, I may have drawn on some of the characteristics from people back in Cabot Cove.
But what about all that sex and violence? Well, that was purely my own imagination.
[Paisley] Sybil, you're not the first author from Cabot Cove to be sitting in that chair.
I presume you know the mystery writer,J.
Fletcher was my high school English teacher.
She encouraged me to write.
I would say that Mrs.
Fletcher has been a very great influence in my work.
- Oh, my.
- Well, now, that is something.
[Paisley] Who else have you been influenced by? Barbara Cartland and Jackie Collins.
You're in pretty fast company, Jess.
[Sybil] But mainly Mrs.
Fletcher deserves the credit.
She taught me everything I know about writing.
Just talking about her makes me homesick for Cabot Cove.
Thank you, Sybil Reed.
And congratulations on your first novel, The Sins of Castle Cove, already being touted by the literary press as a surefire best seller.
And we'll be back.
Could be a new literary classic.
And to think, you were the first to discover her genius.
Imagine that.
Well, Sybil was a very bright student, but she had her share of problems.
First of all, her mother ran off to heaven knows where.
Then her father died, and then she moved in with her grandmother, who passed away while Sybil was in high school.
As I recall, they lived in that old eyesore at the end of Hedgehog Lane.
Well, Sybil still owns that place, but she had Eve Simpson rent it out while she was writing in the city.
I'm surprised she didn't send you an advance copy, you being one of her three greatest influences.
And also her severest critic.
She's probably very proud of herself, getting that book published without my help.
Well, um, I don't know about you, but I think I'll amble over to the bookstore and see if I can- Well, perhaps I could, uh, pick you up a copy.
Well, thank you, Seth.
I'm- I'm curious, of course, but, uh, I can wait to read it.
I mean, I'm not in any hurry.
I'll be back in half an hour.
Half an hour will be fine.
[Chattering] There you go, Ellie.
Thanks very much.
Ah, Sylvia.
Good to see ya.
[Chattering] [Register Bell Dings] When poor Sybil was left all alone, I did my best to help her.
I was the one who rented that big, ugly house for her.
Her mother was the first girl in junior high to ever stuff gym socks in her bra.
Well, I slapped her daddy's face once.
But l- I don't remember why.
[Laughing] Ideal.
[Chattering] [Clears Throat] Excuse me.
Doctor coming through.
Bit of a hurry here.
Excuse me.
Well, Sheriff.
Oh, hi, Doc.
Don't tell me you're taking up some serious reading.
Uh, oh, no.
It's a present for Adelle.
She's laid up with some terrible pain.
Maybe you can look in on her later.
What seems to be the trouble? Well, she was teaching her self-defense class and accidentally dropped a 200-pound student on her foot.
Thought this might cheer her up.
[Ideal] Oh, Sheriff, I understand it's a bit spicy.
Oh, yeah? That shouldn't be too tough for an ex-marine.
I hope it's a love story.
The only books I ever read are romantic novels with happy endings.
I like realism.
Lots of tall, attractive, single men fighting over one mature working lady.
Well, I always look at the cover, and if the man is bare-chested and the woman isn't, I buy it.
Ideal, Phyllis, Eve.
Lovely as ever.
Oh, thank you, Mr.
What a nice thing to say, Ellis.
It's my pleasure.
Miriam, I was, uh, hoping you'd show up.
It's been too long.
Isn't there some way to speed this up? I'm in a hurry.
Sorry, Mrs.
Good morning, Dr.
Doctor who? You know perfectly well my name is Hazlitt.
Not in my book.
Ah! 18.
For one book? I can remember when you could buy a whole set of encyclopedia for $15 and still have enough left over for a seafood dinner and a picture show.
I will take it off your next doctor's bill.
[Holgate Chuckles] Uh, just a minute.
Uh, Dr.
Page 14.
[Crowd Gasps] [Jessica] "Dr.
Sam Valiant is a typical small-town doctor, "good at heart, though he appears to be a cross between a leprechaun- [Laughs] And a curmudgeon.
" I am much too tall to be called a leprechaun, and good-natured to be a curmudgeon.
Well, obviously that's not what Sybil thinks.
Sybil may stuff her brain into a small mayonnaise jar, and send it to Harvard to have it scrutinized.
Oh, Seth.
Aren't you being overly sensitive to a work of fiction? I skimmed it on the way over here, and believe me, Jess, there are a lot of people here in Cabot Cove that are going to be offended by it.
Well, I'm quite sure that she doesn't call them curmudgeons.
Oh, no.
There's a full assortment of thieves, philanderers, liars, moral deviants and a particularly odious bookworm called "the Geek.
" Oh, no, no, no, no.
That's your copy.
I suggest you read it posthaste.
Pay particular attention to the high school English teacher, Mrs.
That should stiffen your syllabus for quite some time.
[Door Opens] [Door Closes] Oh, my.
[Doorbell Rings] Oh, Eve.
Jessica, I have just had the worst experience of my life! Ah, well, I see you're reading it too.
Well, actually, l- I've- I've just started it.
I'm sure you will be as disgusted, appalled and horrified as I was.
This sort of filth shouldn't be allowed in print.
Well, obviously I haven't got to the good part.
How can you joke about it? Suppose this should fall into the hands of innocent children? But, Eve, you've always been passionately opposed to censorship.
Well, this is different, Jessica.
Wait until you read about the man-crazy real estate agent who makes a pass at every husband in town.
Well, surely that's not you.
Well, of course it's not me.
It's nothing like me.
Except for the description of my house, my office and the birthmark on my fanny, which, incidentally, is on the wrong side.
But how many people would know that? Look, Eve.
This morning on television, Sybil went out of her way to say that all of the incidents in this book are purely imaginary.
She is slandering the entire population of this town, Jessica.
This ambitious little hussy, whom you so carelessly inspired.
Oh, now wait a minute, Eve.
The little witch should have her mind washed out with soap.
There are things in this book that I wouldn't discuss with my own mother.
Mother, hell.
I wouldn't tell them to my psychiatrist.
Oh, Eve, aren't you making too much out of this? It seems like a harmless first novel.
Harmless? What did you think of Mrs.
Feather, the school teacher turned mystery writer? Oh, I haven't gotten to her yet.
When you get to her, we'll talk.
Eve, wait.
[Man] Hey, Noah.
Yeah, how you doin', George? You, uh, read any good books lately? [Laughs] No.
[Door Closes] [Noah] Miriaml I swear that George Greer's got too many worms in his bait can.
Spaghetti sauce, honey? Is that all you know how to fix? Well, I just had so much to do.
And wouldn't you know, I ran into Eve Simpson, and you always said she could talk your ear off.
She started talking about- I don't wanna hear about Eve Simpson.
She's a waste of time.
I don't want you seein'her anymore.
- There better be a cold beer in here.
- Noah, get- What the hell is this? I wondered where that was.
I must have had that in my hand when I was looking for the garlic.
Must be pretty hot stuff if you have to keep it in the fridge.
What's it about? Oh, you wouldn't like it.
A woman wrote it.
I don't know how you can stand this junk.
Hurry up.
Get some dinner on the table.
[Doorbell Rings] Sybil.
Hi, Mrs.
Well, my heavens, what an unexpected surprise.
- Oh, I guess I should have called.
- Well, come inside.
I was watching you on television this morning.
What happened to your book tour? Oh, the parties and interviews and the flashbulbs in my face- It just got too much for me.
Yes, I know the feeling.
I just had to come home.
The only trouble is, I forgot that I'd rented my house to somebody else, so l- Well, l- I thought, if it wouldn't be too much trouble, l- Well, I'm afraid I wouldn't be a very good hostess.
You see, I'm in the middle of writing my new book, and, um- Well, actually, it's not going very well.
Oh, I understand.
I had the same trouble.
You just have to fight through it.
So I'll be as quiet as a mouse.
Is the guest room still at the top of the stairs to the right? Well, yes.
Oh, thank you, Mrs.
You are my favorite person in the whole world.
It's so good to be home in Castle Cove.
Cabot Cove.
[Jessica] Seth.
Morning, Jessica.
Seth Hazlitt on foot- I don't believe it.
Well, I'm filling my lungs with good, clean salt air.
Been telling my patients that for years.
I thought I'd try a little bit of it myself.
What brings you out on this fine morning? Well, an unexpected houseguest arrived last night, and I woke to the realization that my cupboard was bare.
That unexpected houseguest wouldn't be a budding young novelist off the Portland bus last night, now, would it? - Now, how did you know that? - Well, the taxi driver at the diner this morning mentioned it while I was having my morning oat bran.
Well, that's not the only reason I left the house early this morning.
I read the book.
Lfinally get a decent-selling book, and look.
This has to happen.
Holgate, can you think of anybody who might have a grudge against you? Oh, this goes deeper than a grudge, Sheriff.
I regard this book burning as a brutal attack on freedom of speech.
Book burning? Yeah.
A fisherman comin' in last night in his boat, uh, saw the flames and a figure dressed in black running away.
- He was too far away though to tell if it was a man or a woman.
- How dreadful.
Were many books burned? None of them yours, Jessica.
Still got plenty of those left.
No, it was The Sins of Castle Cove.
The cretin who did it left a threatenin' note taped to the window frame.
Made from letters cut from magazines.
[Jessica] "Stop selling this filth or next fire will burn all.
" Ah, it's gotta be some kind of nutcake.
Wonder why he's pickin' on this book? My book? Why would anyone do a sick thing like that? Well, very possibly because they read something that they didn't like.
Well, it's only a made-up story for the most part.
Well, it's that other part that seems to have everyone upset.
Fletcher, that really isn't fair.
I mean, I didn't write about them exactly as they are.
I disguised them.
L- I made some people taller, some people shorter- You made me older.
Sybil, look.
You've written things about recognizable people that are bound to hurt.
Well, I was only following your advice.
My advice? Write about things you know.
All I know is Cabot Cove.
I had no idea you knew it that well.
[Phone Rings] Yes? Yes, this is Jessica Fletcher.
Yeah, she's right here.
It's for you.
Hello? Oh, hi.
No, nothing much.
Just-Just resting.
All right, Corinne.
What have you heard? Spill it.
Somebody trashed the bookshop last night.
Yes, I know.
Isn't it fantastic? People are going crazy.
Tell me about it.
Eve Simpson is climbing the wall.
Oh, and how is dear Miriam Harwood? Miriam? She's a total wreck.
Oh, I love it! [Laughs] Corinne.
Corinne, Mrs.
Simpson's waiting to have her nails done.
- Sorry, Mom.
Gotta go now.
- All right, listen.
Keep your ears open.
I'm already thinking about a sequel.
You just stay in bed and try to feel better, and I'll see if Loretta will let me go early.
Bye, Mom.
Your mom looked fine an hour ago when we took our aerobics class.
Now, my dear.
You just hustle your little buns, baby.
Corinne, speed it up.
I have an appointment with a hot client.
Give me something orangey-pale to remind him that I'm a woman, without threatening him with my sexuality.
Oh! [Laughs] Oh, God! Did you hear me? I sound like the character in that slimy book.
Oh, forget it, Corinne.
I'll have the usual.
Red on red.
Loretta, come here.
Did you read this part? Sybil calls the beauty shop "a gossip communication center.
" I never hear any gossip.
Just good talk among good friends about other good friends who aren't here to defend themselves.
[Gasps] I don't believe a word of it.
Nothing like this has ever happened to me.
Oh, Ideal.
I'm so sorry to hear that.
Now maybe you'll let me streak your hair.
Oh, it's easy for all of you to joke about it.
But that- that book has me so nervous.
L-I'm afraid to stay in my house alone.
Honey, after the men in this town read that book, you'll be lucky to have a moment alone.
Has your husband read the book? [Eve] Are you serious? I've never seen Noah read anything but a stop sign.
Even then, his lips moved.
L-I'm just afraid one of the guys at work will hear about it from his wife and tell Noah, and- Loosen up, Miriam.
I was only kidding.
Not everyone will identify a certain character with you.
That's true.
The unfaithful wife in the book is a redhead.
Oh, gosh.
I gotta go.
Eve, I'll call you later.
Don't worry.
Good-bye, everybody.
[Phyllis] Bye-bye, Miriam.
Here, dear.
[Ideal] Bye, Miriam.
Good-bye, Miriam.
Thank you.
Oh, your purse.
[Bell Jingles] So, tell me.
Is she still having an affair with the butcher? Just like the book.
I don't want to hear it.
I haven't read that far yet.
Eve, darling, it also says in the book that you had an affair with the butcher, but you broke it off because ofhis mother.
I won't dignify that with an answer, but, uh, that mother of his is something else.
Afternoon, Noah.
- Where's my wife? - Haven't seen her.
Don't hand me that.
Maybe you got her hidin' in there in that famous walk-in refrigerator everybody here in town's been readin' about.
You've been drinkin'.
I have a mind to kill you, Mulligan.
Go home and sleep it off.
Look at yourself, Harwood.
You're out of shape.
You want to feel somethin' solid? Feel this.
I'll show you somethin' sol- Tim, Noah, please! Let him go, Tim.
[Woman] Stay away from himl You stay away from him, you hussy.
I know all about you.
Ma, please stay out of this.
My son is a pure and decent boy.
Mom, this is not the woman in the book.
This is Mrs.
What's the matter? Don't you know any single women? Mulligan, this isn't over yetl Go home and lock up your wife! [Tires Squeal] Are you sure you're not his wife? Quite sure.
Would you go home and watch your favorite dirty soap opera? Why were you hangin' around my boy in the first place? Did the book give you ideas? [Mulligan] Ma, Mrs.
Fletcher is a customer.
I don't care who she is.
The woman that seduced my boy will be struck down, as if by the hand of God.
How can you say a thing like that? I didn't make it up.
It's the way it was wrote.
Mulligan, it's just a book.
It-It's a work of fiction.
We'll see, deary.
We'll see.
[Cackles] [Police Radio Chatter] [Door Closes] [Mort] Floyd? In the kitchen, Sheriff.
Okay, what have we got? Mrs.
Harwood's dead, Sheriff.
And there's the murder weapon- that fryin' pan.
Murder? Yep.
[Sighs] Call the state police, get the print guys out here and dust the house.
Well, yes, sir, I'll do that, but it's not really necessary.
I already know who did it.
It's in the book.
- Freeze! - [Snoring] Come on, Noah.
Wake up.
[Snoring] Good morning, Mrs.
Oh, good morning, Sybil.
Well, it looks like another lovely day in Cabot Cove.
I hope I'm not interrupting your work.
Oh, I'm just researching my next book.
I want to get all my facts straight before I start writing.
And how are you planning to spend the day? Oh, a little research on my own.
Actually, later on, I have a date to go antiquing with Seth Hazlitt.
- That doesn't sound like much fun.
- Well, we enjoy it.
Except when a dealer tries to sell Seth a cereal bowl with a picture of Shirley Temple in it.
He hates antiques that are younger than he is.
Actually, you'd be very welcome to come along with us if you'd like to.
I think the fresh air and exercise would put some color in your cheeks.
Oh, I couldn't go out.
I'm in hiding, remember? Besides, I'm not really into antiques.
Tell me, Sybil.
What are you into? That's an odd question.
Not really.
You're going to have many choices, now that your book is a best seller.
You're going to be a very wealthy young woman.
Well, I didn't write it for the money.
I'm wondering why you did write it.
A book so filled with dark themes and unhappy people.
It's the way that I see life.
All life, or just life in Cabot Cove? My life.
Kids made fun of me because of the hideous clothes that my grandmother made me wear.
And then she wouldn't let me go out with boys.
L- I was a real freak by the time I reached your class.
I guess that's why I became so interested in writing.
- But none of that is in the book.
- Well, I didn't write it about me.
No, you wrote about all those other people- those- those people that you felt had made your life miserable.
You wrote for revenge.
That's the only weapon I had.
What's wrong with using it? But that's ridiculing real people.
That is irresponsible.
Oh, where was their responsibility? What possible harm could Eve Simpson have done to you? Only one little insignificant thing: She's the one who introduced my mother to the man that she ran off with.
But surely you can't blame- Excuse me.
[Phone Rings] Hello.
[Seth] Jessica.
- Oh, good morning, Seth.
- I'm afraid I'll have to cancel our antiquing expedition.
I'm at the coroner's.
Miriam Harwood was brought in last night.
Miriam Harwood dead? But she was so young.
What happened? Seems to be a case of domestic murder.
I don't have all the details.
I'm sorry about today.
- Oh, that's all right.
We'll do it some other time.
- Yeah.
- Uh, Sybil? - [Doorbell Rings] Oh, Deputy.
Uh, Mrs.
Fletcher, Sheriff sent me to pick you up.
- Pick me up? - Yes, ma'am, and bring you in.
Sheriff, you-you could have picked up the phone, you know, and simply invited me to your office.
Back up.
I only sent Floyd because you don't drive.
Which I could understand if you lived in New York, where the average traffic condition is gridlock.
But in Cabot Cove, the nearest thing we have to a Sig-Alert is somebody's cat havin' kittens in the middle of Main Street.
Would this have something to do with Miriam Harwood's murder? Now, how did you know about that? It's a small town.
Well, I didn't read the book, but Adelle tells me that the victim's husband knocked her off because she was playing around with some pork chop pusher.
In the book? Look, don't confuse fiction with reality.
I know that.
The trouble is, it fits.
The husband's got the same motives.
They fight in the kitchen.
He loses his head and clips her with a frying pan.
- Just the way it is in the book.
- Uh, not quite.
In the book, he killed her with a lamp in the living room.
Are we gonna split hairs? The guy next door was walkin' his mutt when Noah runs out of the house, jumps into his truck and takes off like a shot.
This morning, Floyd spots Noah's pickup, calls for a backup, we make the arrest and bring him in.
You mean you arrested a man because he acted like a character in a book? Uh, not so loud, Mrs.
We haven't filed charges yet.
He's in the drunk tank in the back, sleeping off a big bender.
You see, that's my problem.
When he wakes up and is sober enough to drive, will I be turning loose a killer? But if you have a witness who places him at the scene of the crime, and you felt so sure that he was guilty that you went looking for him- I mean, why in the world would you let him loose? I don't think the book will hold up in court as evidence.
The book.
The way I got it figured is like this: It's like the guy wanted to kill his wife but didn't know how.
Probably his first murder.
So he reads about it in the book, and he says, " Yeah, that's a good way.
I'll do it like that.
" Can you see a judge buying that? No.
And I don't buy it either.
Well, now, what about the scene of the crime? Were there any prints? Oh, sure.
Coffee? - Uh, no.
No, thank you.
- Noah's prints were all over the place.
He lived there.
And the kitchen was loaded with prints- everywhere- except on the frying pan.
That had been wiped clean.
Now, that makes no sense.
I mean, that a man would kill his wife in his home and then pause to wipe the prints from the murder weapon before fleeing the scene- - Oh, dear.
- What? The killer wiped the prints off the lamp.
- Off the pan.
- No, no.
I mean the lamp- in the book.
That didn't make any sense there either.
I knew this was gonna be one of those squirrelly cases.
Okay, Mrs.
Fletcher, do me a favor, please.
Don't mention the details of this killing to anybody else until I have a case, okay? - I'm sworn to secrecy.
- Thanks.
Believe me, I'm as bewildered as you are with this case.
Oh, hey, I appreciate that.
I was beginning to feel like the dummy sheriff Adelle told me about in the book.
About an hour ago, a deputy tookJessica to see the sheriff.
I want to know what's going on.
Hardly anybody here.
Loretta left Eve Simpson under a dryer and went out to look for a purple purse.
[Bell Jingles] Good morning.
Good morning, Mrs.
Oh, Phyllis, thank Godl Miriam's late for her appointment.
I was going mad with no one to talk to.
[Kisses] Did you hear? I'll get back to you.
Bye, Mom! Oh, Corinne.
I need emergency nail repair.
L- I'm coming, Mrs.
So, uh, how was your date last night? Boring.
I spent the entire evening peeling off my nail polish.
I could swear you had your hair done day before yesterday.
Loretta left in too much gray.
I got home late last night.
I caught my reflection in the hall mirror and screamed.
I thought I was being attacked by some senior citizen.
[Bell Jingles] Oh, hi, girls.
I'm sorry.
It took me longer than I thought.
Eve, are you okay? I don't smell any singeing hair, if that's what you mean.
Show me the purse.
Well, I'm not sure about the shade.
What do you think? Heavenly.
I'll take it back.
Ideal Molloy was in the boutique.
She said that she was out early this morning, and she saw Noah Harwood in the back of the sheriff's car.
Noah? Well, she only got a glimpse of him, but she said he looked terrible.
Now, isn't that funny? I saw Jessica Fletcher riding with the deputy sheriff as I was leaving my house, about an hour ago.
Oh, well, when Amos Tupper was sheriff, he used to ask forJessica's help whenever he had a difficult case.
Such as? Well, such as a murder.
Something's happened.
To Miriam Harwood.
Ouch! - My cuticle.
- I'm sorry, Mrs.
Well, it wouldn't have happened if you were doing what you were supposed to do.
It's very naughty to eavesdrop.
Sybil told me that being a good listener was how she researched her book.
Sybil Reed? When did she tell you? Yesterday.
Sybil? Here? In Cabot Cove? Where, Corinne? Well, Sheriff, it's certainly nice to meet you, though I really don't know how I can help you.
Well, the sheriff feels that you might be able to provide him with some information that he needs.
What information? Well, why you disliked Miriam Harwood so much that you killed her off in your book.
No, I didn't.
L- Sybil, please.
Miriam is dead.
Now, the sheriff feels that her husband might have killed her because that's the way you wrote it.
- No, that's not what I wanted to happen.
- Then what did you want to happen, Miss Reed? Before she was married, Miriam worked for the county.
I was 16 when my grandmother died, so she said I had to live in a foster home until I came of age, even though my grandmother had left me a house and a trust fund.
So I had to hire a lawyer and go to court in order to live in my own house.
I see.
And writing about her affair with the butcher was your way of paying her back? Well, killing her off seemed the easiest way to end it.
Somebody else thought so, too, and used your book as a road map.
- [Doorbell Rings] - Excuse me.
Where is she? I know she's here.
Eve, just a moment.
There you are.
I just heard on my car radio that Miriam is dead.
- You are responsible.
- No, l- I didn't kill her.
- You stirred up the mud.
That's good enough for me.
- That's not fair.
Miriam told me she was going to break it off with Tim Mulligan last night.
Apparently she never got the chance.
[Mort] Now hold it.
Maybe she didn't, and maybe she did.
What do you think, Mrs.
Maybe Mulligan did go over to see her.
Maybe he didn't like what he heard.
It's possible.
Simpson, could you verify the conversation you had with the victim? No, not really.
I mean, we were alone at the time.
I was having my nails done, and Loretta was shampooing Phyllis Grant's hair.
Eve, just one moment.
You say you were having your nails done? Yes.
By Corinne, of course.
Would that happen to be the same Corinne that calls you several times a day? Well, l- How do you like that? The little weasel has a mole in the beauty parlor.
What did she tell you about Miriam's conversation with Mrs.
Simpson? I don't really know if l- I should repeat it.
Why? You saving it for the sequel? Miriam said that she was going to drop the butcher like a hot sparerib and she didn't know how he was going to take it.
Her exact words! I never laid a finger on that dear, sweet lady.
I heard about it on the TV.
Okay, I was supposed to meet her last night.
I was supposed to.
But I waited there for more than an hour.
She never showed.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Listen, Mulligan.
You want to know how it was? Try this on for size.
You waited for her, all right.
But when she didn't show up, you went over to her place.
She tried to break it off with you.
You got steamed, and that's when you remembered the book.
You bopped her with the skillet and then wiped the prints off [Door Opens] So the dummy sheriff- which incidentally is not me- would think that the husband did it.
Sheriff, come look what I found in the basement.
A black outfit with a hood and a baseball bat with slivers of glass stuck in it.
Well, that cinches it, Mulligan.
You dressed in black, you broke the bookshop window with the bat and burned the books.
But why? To protect the lady's reputation.
You loved her, all right.
You couldn't take it when she told you to get lost, so you killed her.
Floyd, come on down here and cuffhim, read him his rights and book him.
Thanks for all your help, Mrs.
I'll take it from here.
[Mort] You want to sign right there, please, Mr.
Holgate? God'll get you for this, Ellis Holgate.
Would you mind, Mrs.
Mulligan? I'll get to you in a minute.
Seems kind of silly signing a complaint for vandalism when you're gonna try him for murder.
Well, this will allow us to hold him on charges while we're building up evidence in the homicide.
Thanks a lot for coming in.
On the contrary, thank you, Sheriff.
Now then, Mrs.
What can I do for you? I'm here to bail out my boy.
Bail hasn't been set yet.
Well, then set it.
Here's $50.
This should cover it.
Ma'am, this is not a parking violation.
My Timothy did not kill that awful woman.
I know how you feel, Mrs.
Oh, good.
Another one ofTimothy's girlfriends.
Don't get yourself killed.
He's in enough trouble already.
And he was always such a good boy.
Oh, I know how hard you tried to protect him.
I mean, it must have been an awful shock when you heard about that book.
Who'd write such garbage? I mean, you must have hated the idea that soon all your friends would be reading about Timothy and Miriam.
What's goin' on? Would you mind letting me in on it? Sheriff, there's a little problem about some evidence that your deputy collected from Mulligan's basement.
Well, it wasn't planted, if that's what you think.
Mulligan's initials were on the bat, and the glass slivers definitely came from the bookshop window.
Rose, how tall would you say Timothy is? He's 6 foot 4.
He's a big man, like his father.
What do you think, Sheriff? You knew they were too small.
I think that these belong to someone else in the Mulligan family.
I think these are your size, Rose.
Sure, pick on an old lady.
I think that you dressed in black, that you took Timothy's old baseball bat with you when you paid that late-night visit to the bookstore.
You may have thought that all of the books were in the window.
The note you left was designed to scare Ellis Holgate from ordering any more.
I didn't know what else to do.
My boy Timothy's reputation was at stake.
Who'd want to buy sausages from a man that played around with married women? Mrs.
Fletcher, can I see you a minute? You realize, of course, I'm gonna have to bring the old doll in on breaking and entering and destruction of private property and maybe even violating the First Amendment.
I feel like I'm bustin' my own grandmother.
Well, why don't I have a little talk with Ellis, and maybe we can work something out.
[Sighs] Hey, you don't suppose- Oh, no, no.
It was bingo night at Saint Bartholomew's, and she spent the entire evening there.
I checked.
That's great.
So who am I left with? - Wait a minute.
I still got the guy in the drunk tank.
Floyd! - Yo.
- Did Noah Harwood ever wake up? - He sure did.
- Good.
I want to talk to him.
- You said we weren't gonna book him, so I let him go.
Isn't that all right? You let him go? You let the killer go? He let the killer go.
Oh, Ideal, let me get the door for you.
Oh, thank you, Jessica.
My goodness.
You must have bought out every copy.
I thought I'd do my Christmas shopping early.
And when I heard from Phyllis that Sybil Reed was right here in town- Well, I mean, I just know she'll sign all those copies for me.
Oh, Jessica, my cousins in Altoona will be so thrilled to read about me.
Ideal, I didn't know that you were in the book.
I'm not.
But I've underlined all the parts about Eve Simpson.
That should give them something to think about in Altoona.
[Engine Starts] Bye-bye.
[BellJingles] Oh, hello, Ellis.
Jessica, what a pleasure to see you so soon again.
Ellis, have you heard about Rose Mulligan? The sheriff just called.
Say, while you're here, would you mind signing a few copies? Folks always hate buying one naked.
Oh, certainly.
Ellis, I'd be most grateful if you could find it in your heart not to press charges.
I've given it some thought, Jessica.
The law's the law, you know.
Still and all, a mother's love.
Bless her heart.
Tell you what.
LfTim agrees to pay for the damage, I'll let it go at that.
Oh, thank you.
That's very generous.
I'm glad it had nothing to do with the murder.
Harwood was a- a steady customer.
Always had a kind word and a smile for me, I can tell ya.
If things were slow, I'd brew a cup of herbal tea, and we'd discuss fine literature for hours on end.
It's ironic that, uh, her death should be so much like the one in Sybil Reed's book.
Poor woman.
Struck down by her bully of a husband in her kitchen.
Do you know if they've caught Noah yet? I haven't heard.
But then, Sheriff Metzger doesn't necessarily confide in me.
I don't know about you, but I kind of miss the dummy in the book.
[Seth] I'm afraid we didn't get as much from the autopsy as we'd hoped.
Miriam was killed by a severe blow to the head with a kitchen utensil somewhere between 8:00 and 11:00 p.
And even though Timothy Mulligan couldn't prove that he waited for Miriam until after 11:00, they released him.
On the other hand, Noah Harwood is being hunted down by hounds and helicopters, although there isn't one shred of evidence against him.
Figure that one out.
Well, I have one consolation.
The teacher-writer in the book couldn't solve the murder either.
If I recall properly, it was that bright student of hers that solved it.
[Sybil] Mrs.
Fletcher? She's in here.
I've got it.
I know who killed Miriam Harwood.
It's so obvious.
I don't know how I missed it.
It was the woman who'd previously had an affair with Tim Mulligan.
She discovered that Tim was seeing another woman and raged with jealousy when she learned that it was none other than her best friend, Miriam Harwood.
Don't you see? The killer is Eve Simpson.
If I may hazard a guess, this theory possibly comes to us via Loretta's beauty parlor? You're not taking me seriously.
[Jessica] Uh, Sybil, I'm sorry, but I've known Eve Simpson for years, and, uh- She might sell a house not mentioning a few termites in the attic, but she'd never whack anybody over the head with a skillet.
Skillet? She was hit over the head with a lamp.
That's the way it was in your book.
But the real murder didn't take place in the living room.
It happened in- - Oh.
Good heavens.
- What's the matter? I just thought of who the Geek is.
Ellis, don't you think it's time that you told us the truth? I don't know what you're talkin' about.
I've always told the truth.
Not about Miriam Harwood.
You told me that she always had a kind word and a smile for you.
- So? - Then what happened when I was in here tother day? Miriam, I was, uh, hoping you'd show up.
It's been too long.
Isn't there some way to speed this up? I'm in a hurry.
That seems colder than a lobster trap in the middle ofJanuary to me.
Really? L- I didn't notice.
You also told me that you discussed fine literature with Miriam.
We did have those discussions.
I recall Miriam's idea of fine literature.
I hope it's a love story.
The only books I ever read are romantic novels with happy endings.
[Laughs] Well, Miriam always loved her little joke.
Ellis, you know, it's not unusual for lonely people to create imaginary relationships, to dwell in a fantasy existence.
I don't know what you're talkin' about.
The Miriam character in Sybil's book thought that a certain store owner was hung up on her.
A bookworm.
She called him a geek.
Possibly you recognized yourself in the book, and you couldn't cope with Miriam's real feeling for you.
You felt humiliated.
L- I won't listen to this.
- And that's why you went to her house.
- I never went to her house.
But you described the murder scene so perfectly.
It's ironic that, uh, her death should be so much like the one in Sybil Reed's book.
Poor woman.
Struck down by her bully of a husband in her kitchen.
You meant to describe the murder scene in the book- the living room.
But instead, you described the real murder scene- the one that Sheriff Metzger had managed to keep secret.
Her husband knew because he had discovered her body.
The killer knew too.
You were there, weren't you, Ellis? [Dialing Rotary Phone] The killer in the book made one little mistake.
I thought if I avoided that mistake it would be the perfect crime.
So I made another one.
Wasn't that stupid? She should have loved me! I loved her so much! [Loretta] Jessica, what's this I hear about Sybil leaving Cabot Cove again? Well, I'm afraid she's sold her book to Hollywood, and she's going out to write the screenplay.
I wonder who they're gonna cast as this bunch? Well, don't let one of those Brat Pack kids play me.
I want an old-timer like, uh, Bo Derek.
What about Cher? Well, I just adore Meryl Streep.
Well, I don't care who plays me, as long as I wind up with Robert Redford.
Well, I'm sure you'll all be delighted to hear that Sybil has promised to tone down her portrayal of Cabot Cove as this decade's Peyton Place.
Well, she better.
If America sees what's going on, everybody will want to live here, and I don't have enough chairs.