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Recap / Murder She Wrote S 4 E 9 Trouble In Eden

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After receiving a mysterious letter, Jessica's friend Mary Rose Welch begs her to come with her to settle the inheritance she received from her sister Charlotte. Jessica doesn't believe she should, until a car hits Mary Rose, leaving her hospitalized. Now convinced something nasty has been going on, Jessica goes to Charlotte's town, the incongruously named Eden, and finds that the town has been producing some very rotten fruit.

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This episode includes examples of the following tropes:

  • Antivillain: Charlotte Welch ran a brothel and was blackmailing many of the prominent men in her town, but she was also a rather fair employer and it's implied she was anonymously donating the money gained from said blackmail to charity.
  • Blackmail Backfire: Subverted. Charlotte had blackmail on multiple men in town, and Jessica wonders if one of her victims killed her. However, it turns out they only disposed of the body, out of fear that an investigation would cast suspicion on them. Charlotte had been fatally wounded before they arrived.
  • Bluffing the Murderer: Jessica tells the people at the secret meeting that the sheriff has warrants and will stop by their places to search them for the strong box that disappeared from Charlotte's suite. When C.J. Dobbs goes to hide or get rid of the box, Jessica and the sheriff catch him at it.
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  • Car Fu: Jessica realizes the mysterious letter might have more to it than she expected when a man tries to run down Mary Rose as she comes out of the restaurant. Mary Rose ends up bedridden with a broken leg. The attempted killer, the hotel's handyman, dies after losing control trying to hit her.
  • The Coroner Doth Protest Too Much: Dr. Lynch put down Charlotte's cause of death as a heart attack and the local mortician cremated the body afterwards to avoid anyone being able to find the knife wound.
  • Ironic Name: Eden seems to have been named after the area from the Bible, which was the perfect place Adam and Eve lived before the first sin. The town itself brims with corruption and dark secrets.
  • Masquerading As the Unseen: Jessica decides to pose as Mary Rose, reasoning that the locals will likely tell more to a grieving sister than to a complete outsider. Although Martha, Charlotte's maid, comments that they don't look much alike, most townsfolk seem to buy it. However, when the sheriff investigates the account Jessica told him about what brought her there, he finds out she's not Mary Rose. Luckily, he's willing to play along.
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  • Saying Too Much: C.J. Dobbs casually tells Jessica the blackmail material Charlotte had on Dr. Lynch in conversation. When Reverend Manchester tells Jessica that he, Lynch, and Sitwell don't know each other's secrets, Jessica realizes that Dobbs must have found out the secret from the box and probably murdered Charlotte.
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