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Recap / Murder She Wrote S 3 E 18 No Accounting For Murder

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Jessica has come to visit Grady at the New York accountancy firm where he works when the young man's terrible luck strikes again — coming back from dinner, he finds his boss Ralph Whitman dead at his desk, an ominous message scrawled in red on the walls. As the only person known to have been present, and one of the names mixed up in a scam involving some mysterious company called Neptune Ventures, the police fix on Grady as the primary suspect.

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This episode includes examples of the following tropes:

  • Blackmail Backfire: Whitman found out about the blackmail Carlisle had been running on various tax-cheating business owners in the area and muscled in on it. Carlisle murdered him and hoped to blame the "ghost".
  • Book-Ends: The episode begins and ends with the "ghost" stealing something small from the office behind everyone's back, first Grady's sandwich and last Officer Hanratty's new bowler hat.
  • Call-Back: Officer Hanratty mentions two previous episodes when he tells Jessica he looked her up.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Jessica meets the "ghost", a homeless man who lives in the walls, while poking around the secret passageways in the office. Said "ghost" saves her from Carlisle at the climax.
  • Mama Bear: At the climax, Jessica makes a second, more persistent visit to Marty Giles about Neptune Ventures. When he tries to brush off her threat to inform the IRS about his questionable practices, she tells him her nephew has suspicion of murder hanging over his head and she'll happily throw Giles to the wolves to save him.
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  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Jessica, who usually projects knowledge and control over the situation during the summation, tries to claim ignorance and looks and sounds demonstrably nervous during this one, clearly showing her alarm at Carlisle, the Villain of the Week, catching her alone in the office.
  • Stress Vomit: Mentioned though perhaps not actually performed; Grady tells the secretary, Connie, that he wanted to throw up when he found Whitman's body upon his return to the office.
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