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Recap / Murder She Wrote S 2 E 19 Christopher Bundy Died On Sunday

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When Literary Lines, a magazine with which Jessica has a contract, changes overnight into something out of Playboy, Grady drives his aunt to Christopher Bundy's villa to protest the contract. Within hours, it becomes apparent that Jessica is far from alone in her distaste. When someone in the house registers their disapproval with a bullet, Jessica finds herself up to her neck in another mystery, wading through the dark history of the suspects to figure out who hated Bundy enough to kill.

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This episode includes examples of the following tropes:

  • The Butler Did It: Jessica tries to convince Lt. Greco to consider other suspects besides Mr. Harrison, mentioning to him that the manservant was acting very oddly before the shooting. The lieutenant bursts out laughing at the cliche and brushes her off, although it turns out he already knew the butler's secret (being an undercover agent).
  • Daddy's Girl: Vanessa confesses to shooting Bundy after Jessica confronts her with the evidence and tells her she'll swear in court about what she knows. She intended the murder as vengeance for her father, who she describes as a gentle man who was always there for her. Bundy refused to help him with a financial problem and he committed suicide.
  • Disability Alibi: Inverted; Jessica disbelieves Millicent and Antonio's alibi that they were playing tennis when the killer shot Bundy because Millicent had gotten burns on her feet from a photo shoot the day she and Grady arrived. If it had been painful for her to walk just the previous night, how could she have been playing tennis?
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  • Literary Allusion Title: The title presumably refers to the Mother Goose rhyme "Solomon Grundy."
  • Hypocritical Humor: On the drive in, Grady tells Jessica he's made up his mind to stop falling in love so rapidly. They have hardly reached the house when he becomes distracted by a female model, Millicent.
  • Magazine Decay: In-Universe example: a publishing magnate buys up a literary magazine called Literary Lines and adds Maxim-esque pictorials of bikini-clad ladies. This doesn't sit well with Jessica, who is under contract to have her first short story published in the magazine.
  • Red Herring:
    • The police quickly fix on Chester Harrison, a publisher who stands on the verge of losing his company to Bundy, as the primary suspect. To further complicate matters, he drove away from the house immediately after the murder. It turns out he only left the house to see his lawyers and wasn't guilty.
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    • Jessica briefly considers the butler as a suspect, given his unusual behavior shortly before the shooting. It turns out his odd behavior didn't have to do with the murder; he was an undercover agent sent to bust the crooked publisher.
  • That Came Out Wrong: When trying to convince Jessica to accept her story appearing in Literary Lines (now revamped as a girlie magazine), Bundy tells her that it would mean exposure. Jessica comments that it definitely would.
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