When a man is electrocuted during a typing contest that includes George Crabtree (Jonny Harris) and Louise Cherry (Bea Santos), Murdoch believes the tenacious reporter was the planned target in One Minute To Murder.
Season 12, Episode 15 begins as contestants limber up their fingers for the demonstration of the Langston Electric Typewriter. Julia (Hélène Joy) and William (Yannick Bisson) are in attendance, to cheer George on. He doesn’t do so well though and ends up with a paltry score of 31 words per minute.
Miss Cherry looks at George before her turn and smugly says: “Watch how it’s done.” But her attempt is cut short when her right hand cramps up.
“My deepest regrets Miss Cherry,” George says, smirking.
The next contestant is lightning fast, but his attempt culminates in a spark coming from the typewriter. He collapses and Julia and William rush to the stage. She takes his pulse. “He’s dead William.”
Murdoch begins investigating and finds out from one of the other contestants that the deceased man, Mr. Linwood, had a weak heart.
Another reporter from The Toronto Telegraph is there, but Miss Cherry says she’s going to be reporting on the incident. She asks Murdoch for a comment.
“Go home, Miss Cherry,” George says.
They speak with Alexander Langston, (Oliver Dennis) who created the typewriter. He says he had a lot of rivals and maybe one of them could have tampered with the device.
William And Julia’s Book Is Published
Back at Station House No. 4, William and Julia’s publisher shows up with copies of their new book, entitled Solving Murders. He asks them if they could do a public reading of it the next night. Pleased, the two agree.
George is in Murdoch’s office, looking at the book. He makes a displeased face and throws it down on Murdoch’s desk.
While examining the typewriter later, William and George discover a wire is under the shift key and the letter Q. He figures out the only time capital Q is in the text is line 8, word 94.
William believes Miss Cherry could have reached capital Q and the shock was intended for her.
George says Miss Cherry was fortunate she had the arm cramp.
“Was she fortunate George, or was she faking?” Murdoch asks.
The pair then question Miss Cherry about any enemies she may have made. She says she receives threats all the time, due to the controversial stories she writes.
A Dreadful Woman
Murdoch heads to the Toronto Telegraph to interview her co-workers, whose comments include: “She’s opinionated and critical. The newspaper is worse for having her,” and “Louise Cherry is a dreadful woman. She would chop up her own mother if it would get her a good story.”
Then Higgins (Lachlan Murdoch) and Crabtree go through a box of letters Miss Cherry has received. These include comments like: “An enemy to truth and Justice,” “Fire her,” and “Get rid of her or I will.”
It seems Toronto Telegraph readers like her about as much as Murdoch Mysteries viewers do!
Credit Where Credit’s Due
George and Higgins discuss William and Julia’s book reading. George says he’s not going.
“If you really want the truth, I wrote the whole thing,” he tells Higgins. “If it wasn’t for me, that book would have sunk like a stone.”
Murdoch brings in some of the people who wrote hate letters to Miss Cherry down to the station house.
They come up with a main suspect – Mr. Banks. Miss Cherry had written a particularly scathing article about him and in return, he had written her a threatening letter. George and Higgins head to a restaurant to arrest him, with Miss Cherry hot on their heels. She asks Mr. Banks if they were arresting him because he tried to kill her. He reaches out to strangle her.
“I should have killed you long before now,” he yells.
“Can I quote you on that?” Miss Cherry replies.
Meanwhile, at William and Julia’s sparsely-attended book reading, William decides to put on a fingerprint demonstration, which is literally putting the audience to sleep (Henry hits his head on the back of his chair as he nods off). They sell a grand total of one book, and to Henry no less!
Bonding Over A Drink
George is at the Telegraph office with Miss Cherry, who has a copy of William and Julia’s book on her desk. She tells him she thinks it’s quite good. Over shots of whisky, George tells her he wrote the whole thing and got no credit for it. Miss Cherry says maybe he’s on the acknowledgement page at the back. He checks and his name is there, but it’s spelled George Carbtree.
Another threatening letter comes in that says: “I will see you in the next life,” and Miss Cherry says it has come from inside the building. They head down to the basement at the newspaper where they find a young man named Mr. Elliott with a gun. He puts it to his head, telling Louise he loves her and life without her is not worth living. Miss Cherry pleasantly talks him out of killing himself and as soon as he hands her the gun, she tells George to arrest him.
They bring in Mr. Elliot for questioning but release him. George asks if Mr. Elliott is still a suspect.
“Just because he didn’t kill her today doesn’t mean he didn’t plot to do so last week,” Murdoch says.
As they look through a desk at the Telegraph office, they find a schematic of the Langston Electric Typewriter. But whose desk is it and is the person with the schematic responsible for Mr. Linwood’s death?
some space bugs would have livened it up!
— peter mitchell (@louford1) February 14, 2019
One Minute To Murder was a welcome comic relief, after the emotional episodes as of late. It was written by Murdoch Mysteries author Maureen Jennings. You can read Greg David’s interview with Jennings at TV, eh?
Murdoch Mysteries airs Monday nights at 8 p.m. on CBC. You can watch One Minute To Murder here.