Book 62 of 52: Murder She Wrote, Death on the Emerald Isle by Jessica Fletcher and Terrie Farley Moran

Tis the end of the year, and so I dipped back into the Murder, She Wrote literary universe with Death on the Emerald Isle by Jessica Fletcher and Terrie Farley Moran (yes, they still giver her a bio and put the fictional character’s name on the cover, along with a picture of Angela Lansbury’s head photoshopped on someone else’s body).

In this installment, which just came out in paperback, Jessica heads to Belfast to accept an award on behalf of a writer friend who broke her leg and can’t travel. She also agreed to deliver her friend’s grandfather’s paintings to relatives who lived nearby.

As you can imagine, someone is murdered. Jessica just so happens to come across the body first (while on a bike ride — Jessica Fletcher, as always, focuses on physical fitness!) And she, of course, also helps solve the mystery of who killed him.

All of this is pretty standard for these books, but one thing stood out. I always assumed that Jessica Fletcher was British and had lived in America for most of her life. That was certainly the case for Lansbury, who fled to America in 1940 with her family to escape the blitz. But everyone in this book kept referring to Fletcher as American, and not in the “oh you are an American citizen now” but AMERICAN. There was also a reference to her New England accent.

She’s listed as American on the Murder, She Wrote wiki too. I was floored! I guess it’s one of those “Jean-Luc Picard is a Frenchman with an English accent” situations. And now you know too.

I read Lansbury’s authorized biography in 2020 (which appears to be out of print), and it’s a trip. You can tell where she went in and made changes herself, or directed them. Now that she’s passed, I hope she’ll be getting the big biography treatment. She certainly deserves it.

Nail polish: Regina by Zoya.

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Jen Miller

Jen Miller

Jen A. Miller is a an author and freelance writer. Her memoir, Running a Love Story, was a Philadelphia Inquirer best book of the year. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, SELF, Buzzfeed and the Guardian, among others.

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