Realization. Reading, "The Count of Monte Cristo" is not as much fun as watching Guy Pierce and Jim Caviezel sword fight in the movie. Le sigh. Perhaps the "Murder She Wrote" books are more satisfying. Onward!
We are in New Mexico this week, where Jess is researching her new adventure novel on an archaeological dig. I love to see archaeology glamorized. So divorced from the reality of shifting through endless buckets of dirt followed by evenings of heavy drinking. When a shady Native-American-wannabe kicks the bucket under suspicious circumstances, Jess is on the case.
Cynthia Armstrong- Bored housewife of Dr. Armstrong who would have rather stayed in Phoenix. Too bad for us, she didn't.
Gideon Armstrong- Proprietor of the dig who is finding some really nice artifacts in unusual places. Gideon was linked to some shady business dealings in the past. Was the death of Raymond Twofeather linked in some way?
Dr. Benton- Treasure-hunter and "documentary" filmmaker. He even suggests Jess might ghostwrite his memoirs for him. Benton has no alibi for the time of Raymond's death, but Gideon claims he was with him, who is lying?
Not so much bad 80's wear as it is really bad Southwestern wear. Unfortunately, people still wear this type of thing. I wonder if the Navajo had this in mind. Wait! I don't wonder. I know, they didn't.
Connie Stevens star of the TV show "Maverick," amoung other things. Apparently, she started as a singer a witnessed a murder in Brooklyn before moving to LA. Lifetime movie stuff, if I do say so myself.
Our good friend Seth is a volunteer on the dig, and shows Jess around to meet our suspects. She starts by reenacting the death, determining that the angle Raymond fell is complete poppycock. Seth takes a look at the body and further complicates things, Raymond didn't die by falling. He was drowned.
Establishing that little mystery, Jess goes off to interrogate Dr. Benton. Benton is jumpy, and let's on that the Armstrongs had dealings with Raymond in the past. She also ferrets out that Barnes never called the police about Raymond's death, AND that Raymond Twofeather was no more Native American that my Irish grandma. He was play-acting, all the while sneaking valuable artifacts from museums. How's that for taking a dump on our nation's heritage? Those stolen artifacts start turning up in the dig, and even our amateur Jess knows a marked artifact couldn't possibly have been a recent discovery.
Rounding up our suspects, Jess surmises that Cynthia and Raymond were planting the artifacts to drive up the cost of the land, which Cynthia owned. When he got too greedy, Cynthia drowned him in a convenient underground cavern. Using her feminine wiles, she got an accomplice to drag the body up on the cliffs to "fake" his death. Cynthia claims her marriage was just too awful to bear, she had to get out of it. Jess pats Mr. Armstrong on the hand, and murmurs soothing condolences before departing for Cabot Cove. It's just far too hot to say anything else.