Jess is in the Blue Ridge mountains this week, visiting horse trainer (old friend) Matt Cleveland to research her new novel. Hmm, the Blue Ridge mountains, are those the ones where thieves always stole money and oxen from me at night? I think they are... Anywho, Matt kicks the bucket and Jess gets suspicious. Per usual.
Lloyd Mentone- Partner of the Nobles, replete with evil, money grubbing intentions. You know, like most partners.
Tracey Noble- Daughter of Catherine Noble, owner of a troubled ranch. Did she take matters into her own hands to ensure the success of mommy's ranch?
Gus Tarido- Assistant horse trainer (demoted) due to Matt's poor opinion of him. Did he get jealous and off his competition?
A few, methinks the coolest is our boy Mickey Rooney. Also, Patrick Swayze's bother, Don. I know, right? Coolness.
Nothing truly offensive, just lots of synthetics.
Jess is concerned with the needle found "in the proverbial haystack" near the ranch's star horse, Swift Prince. She fears he was injected with some sort of steroid, however, his bill of health comes out clean. Jess picks up on a tape Matt left before he died, a video of Swift Prince when he was young. Jess realizes the horses have been swapped, allowing Lloyd Mentone to reap in the millions through a gambling scheme.
But Mentone declares he never killed Matt, and Jess believes him. Through some dramatical "who started the car first" linear logic, she determines it is Tracey Noble who is the real murderer. There is a great scene here where we see Tracey clobbering Matt over the head with a flashlight. Oscar-worthy.
Jess gets her to confess, using the old Fletcher white lie technique, and the sheriff leads her away. Later, she toasts Matt with champagne that mysteriously looks like apple juice... you be the judge.