Murder strikes Cabot Cove, Maine, again, and yet again.
Jessica Fletcher’s friend Mimi Van Dorn is almost struck by a speeding SUV while attending a funeral. The prediabetic Mimi has deserted her longtime physician, Dr. Seth Hazlitt, for Dr. Charles Clifton, who runs the Clifton Clinic, a private hospital known for conducting experimental clinical trials, which he hopes to expand into a chain. But when Mimi collapses at the funeral luncheon, Seth, who’s also in attendance, treats her and sends her to the Cabot Cove Hospital. Seth, who’s unhappy at losing so many patients to Clifton, is suspicious of the clinic’s treatments, especially the regenerative medicine Clifton claims will make his patients look and feel years younger. Jessica is meanwhile both delighted and disturbed by the sudden appearance of her old friend DCI George Sutherland of Scotland Yard, the only man she’s been attracted to since the death of her husband. Jessica worries when she learns that George is checking into the clinic for an experimental treatment for a rare disease. When Mimi dies in the hospital, Sheriff Mort Metzger, Seth, and Jessica all doubt the causes were natural. Mimi had high doses of a cancer drug in her system, and the security tapes from the hospital have been tampered with. When Jessica checks Mimi’s phone calls, she finds many to a single number that turns out to belong to Tripp Van Dorn, Mimi’s quadriplegic son, who Jessica never knew existed. Shortly before her death, Mimi removed all the money from the trust fund that kept Tripp at a private nursing home. Fred Cooper, the lawyer Tripp wants to hire to fight her action, first hedges and then refuses to take the case. When Tripp is the next to die, Jessica goes all in on her investigation and comes up with some disturbing answers.
Jessica (Murder, She Wrote: Manuscript for Murder, 2018, etc.) won’t disappoint her myriad fans in her latest case, whose premise is all too easy to believe.