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Recap / Murder She Wrote S 2 E 14 Keep The Home Fries Burning

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When Sheriff Tupper takes her and Dr. Hazlitt to a new restaurant, the Joshua Peabody Inn, Jessica finds herself in the middle of another hot pot of intrigue. Several people take sick from some kind of bad food, with one afflicted lady dying on the spot. An inspector thinks it's an open-and-shut case of food poisoning, but Jessica smells a murder cooking.

This episode includes examples of the following tropes:

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  • Bluff the Imposter: Jessica proves the cook isn't an expert chef like his father by misdescribing a fancy dish she and her dead husband enjoyed on a trip to France and noticing he doesn't correct her.
  • Continuity Nod: Joshua Peabody, the supposed Revolutionary War hero of Cabot Cove, appears again, as does Dr. Hazlitt's skepticism about his existence and annoyance with his hero status.
  • Conviction by Contradiction: Jessica realizes who poisoned the preserves when the inspector mentions the commonness of leaving tips on credit cards. She checks the receipt to be sure and finds that Mrs. Fraser had left a tip on the credit card, yet she said that she had to go back to leave the waitress a tip. Actually she went back to retrieve the preserves.
  • A Deadly Affair: Betty Fiddler's affair with Mr. Fraser led to her own death and the sickening of several others.
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  • Indentured Servitude: A French chef is forced to work at a small-time diner near Cabot Cove because the business' owner had paid for his work visa and ticket to the US and is unhappy with his job so he intentionally botches his work. He isn't French - he's an American who went to France to go to culinary school but flunked out so he faked his identity to get back home on a work job. He can't quit because otherwise he'd have to pay the entirety of his ticket and face fraud charges.
  • Kitschy-Themed Restaurant: The Joshua Peabody Inn carries food items named after Revolutionary War people and events (like Eggs Benedict Arnold) and requires its waitresses to dress up in period-style clothing.
  • Red Herring: Bo Dixon, the owner of a diner that is losing customers, falls under suspicion. He wasn't guilty.
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  • Self-Poisoning Gambit: Mrs. Fraser eats a small amount of the poisoned preserves herself so that she will look like an innocent victim and avoid suspicion of having been responsible.
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