Date: March 04, 2021 12:09 pm Title: Chapter 12
And the murderball begins to roll.
The Agatha Christie novel thing was great, and my word Dwight and Oscar were the absolute highlights of this chapter. The exchanges full of regret and resentment and bitterness are just so eloquently translated. The subtle callback to "Money" and the attitude towards homosexuality at the time does demonstrate Jim's truly empathetic nature, despite his fast-talking snark. Hell, you did this whole love square plot better than the show did.
So the guessing game:
I don't think it's most of the staff. Kevin and Erin are none too bright and total sweethearts (despite the former's gambling problem), Kelly couldn't care less, Creed just wants to be left to his own devices, Devon's not even around half the time, and the closest I can see is Ryan, but he wouldn't really have the motivation or the drive other than Packer's a prick (or his paycheck).
So my three possible culprits now are:
PHYLLIS: We know the least about Phyllis, and her actions indicate she's hiding something.
ANDY: We know even less about Andy, only that he's flamboyant, a singer, and went to Cornell (so, canon). He *does* come from big money, after all; the Bernard family is loaded and can definitely have some secrets, none of which may even involve him. And he is the one who found the next body, so he may be responsible for that murder alone?
Not JIM, not PAM... but TOBY. Who seeks to frame one or both of them for the murders.
- Jim: I've mentioned before his silence towards Pam and his shock when seeing Packer's body being indications of guilt, but there's the fact that he would do *anything* for Pam, how the story has been pushed aside for Pam.
- Pam: His notebook was missing the next morning after he and Pam made love (more on that later), she was gone for a period of time this morning before she cuddled by his side, and if Jim is the genius this story paints him as, he guessed it was her from the start.
- TOBY: He's the HoH. He has access to every room in the vicinity, knows the place inside and out. Kevin is an easy target (the poor thing), as can the other staff... well mostly just Ryan, but that's because he's an ass.
He has barely interacted with anyone in this story, and it's always Jim, always antagonistically. He responded to Packer's death with "stunned silenced", which can easily be faked. He snuck around while the Schruperts were hot on the case.
He knows Laurels' estate inside and out. If anyone can trap all of them there, it's him.
- Jim: Someone is already onto him and has stolen it. Bear in mind, he flipped out when it went missing, and who knows what other info he had *besides* the profiles of the various guests and employees? He may have info of the house itself, he's gone for walks in the past.
- Pam: She knows how smart he is, and he can deduce how any one of them can be framed for their crimes. So she stole it, not to incriminate him but one of the others, giving him the story he's been looking for, a story that will give them a lovely life of luxury.
- TOBY: With the notebook, he now has access to Jim's entire experience in the house so far. And he can easily craft something out of that, something that will incriminate either party. Hell, Jim probably wrote some passages about Pam, giving him more ammo.
- Jim: He wants to write the biggest story The Philidelphia Tribune has ever seen, to give Pam the life she deserves.
- Pam: She's so sick of Roy's bull, of Packer, of this whole damn life and wants to live a fancy new life with Jim, possibly on the run.
- TOBY: obviously his immediate crush on Pam. This probably isn't the first time he's seen her, either; Roy must've visited with Packer a lot and they get along despite the leverage he had over Roy, and Pam - of course - would always tag along. Her bright face and sunny disposition warmed his heart, but he hoped one day Roy can be out of the picture, and that nearly could've happened... but she wants Jim.
And if *Toby* can't have her, *then nobody will*. And both lovers will suffer for it. Because his bitterness and resentment took control of his life.
"'What kind of notes are you taking?'"
"He made an entry for Toby that included only that he was head of the house staff and not that he had sent a chill up Jim’s spine."
"Jim wasn’t sure where Toby’s sudden hostility had come from, but he didn’t care to stick around for more of it."
"Others were missing, too--Kelly and Erin, TOBY, PHYLLIS, Ryan, Michael--but it didn’t matter."
And this is the most telling:
"This outwardly benign line of questioning and the way Toby talked was starting to get underneath Jim’s skin and make him feel...unsettled. And not just because he didn’t know how to answer Toby’s query, but also because he suddenly was struck with the realization that these were people, real people, and he’d been sneaking around the house hoping to dig up dirt on them so he could jot it down in his little leatherbound book."
Jim and Pam seem to be too empathetic and kind to kill someone... but Toby sure isn't. It may be too obvious, but the plausibility and the motives are certainly there. This is why I believe if any of the three *actually* did it, Roy is that dead body Andy found.
My hope is that the ending isn't a tragedy (since that's not one of the genres) and that if either Jim or Pam really *is* the killer, the two have some sort of happy ending (which is legit my only concern right now because *it's well-deserved*.)
If you've ever read my writing, I'm a big fan of character studies, and you got me roped into a piece of fiction that meets that niche.
I can't stand it. Thank you.
Date: March 04, 2021 09:47 am Title: Chapter 12
Just have to get this out of the way. Oscar, in the sitting room, with the candlestick. I mean the set up was perfect.
So a few more puzzle pieces uncovered, but how to they all fit into the whole? Nice use of the canon storylines to have it so Dwight, Angela, and Oscar all have motive.
Pam appearing tucked in next to Jim is all sorts of lovely. Same with their bath. REALLY hoping this isn't some ploy she's got going on to distract him.
Always fun to get an update for this one.
Author's Response: Couldnâ€™t write this story without at least one solid Clue reference!
Date: March 04, 2021 03:39 am Title: Chapter 12
Oh my word this is so good, has me absolutely gripped!
I have a question - do you know who the murderer is already, do you have that plotted out? Or are you just winging it really well? ;)
Author's Response: Maybe a little bit of both! ;)
Date: January 28, 2021 11:02 pm Title: Chapter 11
My brain is melted from being back to work so the coherency of my reviews is down a keleventy percent, but I need you to know that this is perfect & I’m genuinely devastated that Jim and Dwight solving crime in the Savannah isn’t a spin off show that NBC has run with. You should pitch it to them, with this story.
Date: January 27, 2021 10:21 pm Title: Chapter 11
Okay, I am still deeply suspicious of why Packer wanted Wallace here.
I like how this came out when Jim observing Dwight and Angela's relationship. It felt like you struck the right balance between recognizing that the audience feels like they've got a good idea of what the dynamic is, and acknowledging that Jim doesn't and wouldn't just be able to tell somehow.
I will say, I Feel like Pam is still very much alive as a reasonable murder suspect, and I am going to be just tickled pink if you end up going that route. That feels like it would be fascinating. But also, my suspect after this chapter is... Schoolboy Rowe, probably in consultation with Creed, who has been giving him illicit steroid-like substances.
Date: January 27, 2021 08:45 pm Title: Chapter 11
The plot thickens. Proof that Packer has been blackmailing just about everyone there in Savannah. However Roy's not in the ledger. We also still don't know where Jim's notebook is.
You're doing a great job of for every question answered two or three more take its place. I honestly still don't have any idea who the real murderer is. It still could be anyone there.
I do like that one of Jim's motivations is to steal Pam away from everything though. However it's also good that he can push those thoughts aside and focus. Great job.
Can't wait to read more. Hope you can find time to keep up with the writing.
Date: January 27, 2021 03:30 pm Title: Chapter 11
Oh BT! I am so enthralled by this story! All the delightfully intricate details and canon elements woven so seamlessly together, it feels so original. Jim and Dwight working as a team is just perfect. I can’t wait to read all these clues unfolding like a flower in the coming chapters.
Date: January 27, 2021 02:58 pm Title: Chapter 11
“I’m protecting someone I love. That’s all you’ll hear from me.” ...DAMN, THAT HURT
There's that Lipton-Angela-Dwight-Oscar love square mess I've been waiting for! I really feel for Dwight here, the near pet-name got to me.
I love that Jim is pushing for evidence, despite all odds. Even Dwight, who he's already had a rapport with. But he's methodical, too, telling them the truth but with a easy, calming tone. It gains their trust, and thus, spills their secrets. No wonder he wants to write bigger stories.
Angela is SO in character here. Stubborness, denial, regret, deflection... excellent. Also, Oscar, being a Georgian native? Great, now all I can hear is his voice from the real "Murder" episode. "...We'got no greenbacks..." Curious as to what his deal is (outside of the obvious).
I mean... I dunno, I'm still pointing my finger at Phyllis, but we'll see. As I said, Toby is too outwardly weird to be the guy, Michael is well, Michael, and Jim? Okay, I'm going to say no, but I'm keeping that in my back pocket. Not letting that go, not completely.
Still, though, an amazing turn of events, can't wait to read more!
(How did you do this to me?)
Date: January 27, 2021 02:14 pm Title: Chapter 11
I'm curious how long Dwight and Angela's secret will be able to stay a secret. I'm also wondering how much information that Jim finds out will he share with Pam. All of it? Is there still a part of him that is suspicious of her? I also can't wait to see the questioning with Oscar.
Date: January 20, 2021 08:05 pm Title: Chapter 10
So I usually leave reviews following every few chapters but I downloaded the whole thing as a ePub when I finally got to start it. because of that I've been reading it like a novel because frankly it reads like one.
So clever and intriguing and it's really keeping me on the edge of my seat.
I got all caught up in a few days reading until later than I planned in the evenings cause it's so good.
The dynamics you've got going with Jim and Dwight are delightful, Jim still clearly frustrated with this strange guy but I also am enjoying the slight swap of their roles.
And the love story brewing with Pam and Jim is just as much heartfelt as in show but with the added pang for Pams situation this time tied to Roy by something more than her own personal chains. This addition both adds suspense and suspicion but also makes us root even more for the Jim to protect her and sweep her away.
Can't wait to see what's going to happen next.
Date: January 18, 2021 03:18 am Title: Chapter 10
I'm sorry, but who exactly do you think you are? I reread that entire section in the bathroom several times and muttered some curses under my breath at the perfection. How. Dare. You.
You have this deep, rich relationship between them, even under these unique circumstances and I am so here for it.
I love the Jim/Dwight interaction. You have captured that relationship perfectly.
And what a cliffhanger! (I really love cliffhangers, btw.)
I'm going to go back and swoon over those first paragraphs again now, k thanks.
Date: January 17, 2021 10:36 pm Title: Chapter 10
Oh, the immediate shift in tone between the flirty flirt and the comic crashing into things and the legitimate fear to it being DWIGHT was fun to read. And I adored the Jim-Dwight dynamic here - bickering with mutual respect but mainly with mutual irritation. Jim having to remind Dwight *he* was the one who asked for help made me laugh out loud.
I still thinking someone from the staff must be in on it because of the notebook - or maybe that's what the person who initially moved the notebook WANTS us to think.
I'm guessing they found Packer's ledger of bets or blackmail. Some sort of record of his crimes/what he has on anyone. Heck of a cliffhanger to leave us on.
Date: January 17, 2021 07:46 pm Title: Chapter 10
Where do I even *begin*?! The bathroom scene was amazing. I'm so, so glad that they are finally able to express their feelings for one another. I'm sad that Dwight ruined it, but I guess he was better than Roy. My heart dropped whenever the notebook was declared missing, so I don't even want to know what Jim was feeling. I also feel like you want us to think Pam took it because she was the only one in the room that we know of, but I don't want to think Pam took it, so I'm not going to. If Pam ends up being the thieving murderer, then my life will be forever changed. And then that cliffhanger!! What did they find?! I don't even know where to begin guessing on what's in the book. Next chapter asap as possible, please.
Date: January 17, 2021 06:43 pm Title: Chapter 10
Please. The domesticity. I literally cannot get enough.
“with a delicate click that was just as loud as a slam” Rude of whoever it is to interrupt them so, but I’m not mad about this particularly brilliant piece of writing.
Even though, he’s right & I’m all for letting go of the minutia like tidying rooms after finding a corpse, I love that this is such a well done link to canon. It’s just there, without being smack you in the face obvious.
Dwight’s frustration with Jim is hilarious. It’s palpable & it is fantastic. He’s such a well written Dwight. “a wavering look of controlled calm on his face”
Oh. BT. What did I do to hurt you? I can’t believe you’re leaving me on a cliffhanger like that. I live in anticipation of your next update...
Date: January 17, 2021 06:10 pm Title: Chapter 10
A golden morning indeed. Had Dwight not knocked I'm sure there would have been a different kind of knocking for sure.
Jim's notebook is gone. There's a clear suspect for that. I was about to ask why Pam would take it, but there could be a host of reasons. However there's also lots of reasons to think it was someone else.
Detective Jim and Dwight are in fine form. Love how Dwight is basically taking charge with everything. Jim's head has been filled with visons of Pam so he feels a bit more scatterbrained. Feels like he needs someone like Dwight to keep him on track.
So what did we find? Should be good when we find out.
Date: January 17, 2021 06:09 pm Title: Chapter 10
“I don’t know what I’ll do, but I’ll think of something. You have to be taught, Mr. Halpert."
Hi I'd like to report a MURDER WHO THE--
“I pulled a body out of a lake, too, and my room doesn’t look like this.” Your Dwight is so perfect omfg.
Can I just say that I am 1000% Team Jim&Dwight: PI? They are so cleverly in character but work together like we see them in the later seasons of the show. I LOVE that you have them as buddies here. It's hilarious and perfect and the image of them walking through walls and sneaking around is just *chef's kiss.*
Also. I am worried about Jim's notebook. I'm concerned. I'm mad at you for stealing it.
Date: January 17, 2021 02:22 pm Title: Chapter 10
The JAM moments continue to be wholesome and Roy continues to be a roadblock. And a powerful one at that.
I am LIVING for this Schrupert dynamic. There aren't any pranks, no, but Jim's reactions to Dwight and his methods - and Dwight being *correct* about some of them despite Jim's position - is everything. And the fact that Dwight believes Jim about the notebook proves that these two understand each other better than they realize. It's been a thing with these two since Season 3 (which I'm rewatching for my own story) and it shines here.
Admittedly I still kinda want my Jim theory to happen, even though this chapter indicates that that theory's dead, but I did forget to mention my other (and more plausible) suspect last review: Phyllis. From the over-the-top fainting to her conversation with Stanley to her questioning Dwight's methods of interrogation and investigation, she has secrets and DAMNING ones, especially we know the least about her (well, besides Andy, but it's hard to take him seriously, even in this). Like Angela, she is married into wealth, but we know how Angela is in this story and there is motivation there to have Packer dead. Phyllis's motivation remains to be seen. It also adds to the canon Phyllis, being a kind motherly figure one moment and then full-on Regina George the next.
An interesting turn of events for sure. Well done!
Date: January 17, 2021 01:37 pm Title: Chapter 10
BT!! You can’t leave it like that! Ughhhhhh...
Also, when you’re done with this, can you please print and bind it and send it to my house so I can enjoy it for the rest of time? Because it’s SO good and well-written and I get so excited every time you update. It has the mystery, the intrigue, and it’s topped off with the *perfect* Jim and Pam moments and I’m in love. Never stop, lady.
Date: January 06, 2021 12:33 pm Title: Chapter 9
I don't know what I feel exactly about this chapter. It's beautiful. It made me cry. After reading this chapter, I feel an urge to write something good, and at the same time — never touch my keyboard again.
I'm just overwhelmed at the moment, and I'm thankful to you for that. Can't wait to read the continuation!