A Time for Murder: Jessica Fletcher and Jon Land
Jessica Fletcher and Jon Land would like to take you back to where it all began. Did you ever wonder how Jessica became involved in solving murders? Did you ever wonder about her husband Frank and her life before coming to Cabot Cove? What did she do before and how do she solve her first murder? You are about to learn the hard facts and the truth behind how she solved the murder 25 years ago and how it links to several in the present.
Interviewing Jessica was Kristi Powell’s goal but the questions that she asked should have alerted her to the fact that there was something hidden beneath what she wanted to know. Asking about how she solved her first murder and the questions that followed, Jessica did not want to talk about nor did she want to answer questions related to that murder. Jessica would answer about her writing and the fictional murders but something bothered her when Kristi Powell looked like a high school student but when she tried to see her at the high school, she found that the real Kristi Powell was not the one that interviewed her. Here is where things get interesting and the plot thickens as both authors begin by taking us back 25 years to where it all began when Jessica was a substitute teacher at Appleton High and Walter Reavis was the Principal. Then after the interview someone from the past invites her to her retirement party but why? Out of the blue Wilma Tisdale sends Jessica an invitation to her retirement party and curiosity gets the better of her and things start falling into a dangerous place whenever Jessica is around, and you know that means it’s a TIME FOR MURDER!
Jessica becomes suspicious and learns the identity of Kristi Powell . Ginny Genaway is her married name and her maiden name was Reavis because Walter was her father which explains why she wanted to know about the murder that took place 25 years ago in Appleton.
Let’s flashback and meet Walter who is the Principal of the school and Alma Potts his secretary. As we get to know her, we realize that she has special feelings for this man and Jessica being a substitute teacher often encounters her when meeting with him. When a teacher must take a permanent leave, he requested that Jessica become full time, but something would prevent that from happening. A meeting to discuss this post did not happen when she overheard a conversation between Walter and unknown person on the phone. Deciding to leave the next thing she learns is he’s been murdered and events that are brought to the surface allows us to meet Amos Tupper now a Detective but later Sheriff of Cabot Cove where Jessica moves to later. Amos Tupper was the one who drew the case and Jessica was there to assist him in order to put another perspective on the evidence and what she thought was the way Walter was really murdered. Appearing to be an accident she realizes certain inconsistencies, finds the murder weapon and then helps with the interviews. Walter’s children were Ginny, Lisa Joy, a son and an ex-wife and they were anything but a closely-knit family. Lisa Joy left home when Walter died, Ginny married a mobster that’s in jail and her brother died in the war. But Lisa Joy they later learn might have been killed in a car accident but when Amos and Jessica worked together as a team thing really fell into place.
Taking it to the present Ginny went to see Wilma Tisdale but what did she want to know and what did she want to tell Jessica that was so important it had to wait for the retirement party.
Things take on a sinister turn when Ginny is found dead, Jessica is forced to identify the body and then Mort Metzer the sheriff wants her to assist in the investigation and the banter between them is real, filled with humor and it bothers him that she is so astute and at every corner he tries to best her but will he?
Amos Tupper was a first rate Detective and we get to see a different side of him. There are many who wanted Walter gone and the Vice Principal Jim Dirksen was not a fan and he took over the position in Appleton and investigates the murder leading to the arrest of a student named Tyler Benjamin. Expelled from school for two incidents and claiming he was at the school to ask Walter for one more chance and to apologize but the Vice Principal intercepted him and things take on a different turn. When questioned he swears he never saw the Principal but he did spot a certain car belonging to a staff member leaving the school grounds but no one bought his story first.
In the present Mort and Jessica have to learn more about Ginny and what better way then to go visit her Ex-husband in prison for Murder. He seems connected and has decided that Jessica is the key to finding Ginny’s killer plus he has s special way you’ll learn of keeping tabs on her and the case. Both authors introduce this killer but for some reason you grew to like him.
Next we meet Ginny’s mother who seems despondent and unfeeling when it comes to her children. She seems to have given up on life. Mort and Jessica question her and certain facts about her Choi come to light as Jessica enlist Harry McGraw to find Lisa Joy for her and here is where it gets even more interesting.
Amos and Jessica make a great team and Mort and Mort asks that she flashes back to fill him in on how she caught Walter’s killer and why Ginny thought that the wrong person was in jail for the murder. Meeting Frank Fletcher gives us a brief inside look at the man, why and how Jessica came to live in Cabot Cove, the fact that he understood who she was and how she operated as a teacher and soon to be mystery writer, you get a short picture of this man and why he meant so much to her. Living in Hill House in the present you hear her voice saying that she hopes to move back home after the fire in her home and the repairs are done because she feels that Frank is part of her life and misses his touch.
In the present we meet Jennifer the principal of Cabot Cove High School, we learn more about the Vice Principal and the truth behind why he wanted to oust Walter and take his place. As Jessica learns more about Walter, that some of the rumors about him were true, she begins to relate to us and flashback in the past how she solved the murder, who killed him and was it premeditated or cold blooded?
Two investigations that connect the past and the present and when Ginny is killed and then another murder happens at the retirement party, Wilma is killed but why, what did she want to tell Jessica and who was there that frightened her? Authors Jon Land and Jessica Fletcher help readers weave a tight web of deception, lies, deceits, betrayals and jealousies as the killer is there in plain sight but the final reveal about who it is will shock readers as someone was hiding and using a position of power to gain control over what was to happen next.
Jessica and Mort travel to many locations, visit Vic Grenaway in prison several times, and even find that he sent Joe and Nails to be his eyes and ears making sure that he knows what is happening in the case every step of the way and when the second murder happens he even uses them as body guards.
Jessica and Mort figure it out but when Jessica comes face to face with a killer she has to decide whether to save an innocent victim or make sure the killer does not go free. The motives behind the murders you won’t believe, the rationale of the killer seems sound in the killer’s mind. Mort and Jessica have to come to terms with the final outcome as once again our two authors created an ending that leaves us in suspense, fear and highly charged with mystery and doubt as we know that when Jessica is around no matter where she lives it is always and forever and never fails: A TIME FOR MURDER!
A story so well developed, the fun of learning more about Amos and bringing him to the present to assist Jessica and provide information and the banter between her and Mort makes this one of the best mystery novels that readers will not put down from start until finish.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews