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Murder in the Polls is the eighth episode of Series 6 of Death in Paradise.

Saint Marie's mayoral elections are thrown into disarray when one of the candidates is stabbed in his polling booth whilst casting his vote.
―BBC

Synopsis Edit

It's polling day for the Mayor of the island, and the candidates are all in the voting booths when one is knifed in the back. Catherine Bordey is one of the other candidates. Jack and the team work to solve the seemingly impossible murder, while Jack wrestles with the decision whether to stay on permanently. He tells Siobhan that he can only be happy there if she is happy.

Plot Edit

Polling day. Matthew Dawson, the local minister, and Judith Dawson, his wife, are setting up St Anne's Community Centre, aided by Edwina Bousquet. Dwayne is outside, providing a police presence. The candidates, Catherine Bordey, Peter Baxter and Victor Pearce, turn up to vote, accompanied by Pearce's son Kemar, who works as his personal assistant. Victor Pearce staggers out of his booth, stabbed in the back.

Jack Mooney is in Commissioner Selwyn Patterson's office, drinking lemonade. The Commissioner explains that his supervising officer back in London needs a decision - is Jack going to stay or go back? The conversation is interrupted by a phone call, and they head to the murder scene, where the team are already starting to investigate.

It's clear that no one else had entered the building, or Dwayne would have seen them, and so the murderer must have been one of the six others inside - the minister, his wife, Miss Bousquet, Peter Baxter, Kemar Pearce or Catherine Bordey. Jack talks to them all in the nearby St Anne's Church, and establishes that Miss Bousquet was in the storage cupboard looking for a new fan to replace her broken one, with Judith Dawson at the door of the cupboard directing her. Matthew Dawson was at his desk the whole time, except when walking over to hand a pen to the victim, who had found his cubicle did not have one. All the others, including the victim, were in polling booths, with curtains pulled across behind them.

Jack draws a map of the community centre on the murder board. Going through the list of suspects, Jack asks Florence about Catherine. Florence says she would stake her life on Catherine not being a murderer, and Jack tears Catherine's photo up. The rest are placed on the appropriate place on the board.

Next morning, Jack is startled by the appearance of Harry the lizard. Siobhan tells him he should expect things to be different in the Caribbean, and he tells her of the Commissioner's request. He tells her that he can't be happy staying if she's not happy, and she asks if she can think about it. He agrees, then opens the Saint Marie Times to see the front page headline, which claims Catherine is prime suspect in the murder investigation.

The first suspects to be interviewed properly are the minister and his wife. They run St Anne's Orphanage, currently caring for three orphans. Victor Pearce had been seeking to buy the land the orphanage stands on, in order to build a holiday resort. As Mayor, he would have been able to cut the funding and force the orphanage to close.

Back at the station, JP and Dwayne discuss the election. Dwayne lets slip that he didn't want Catherine to become Mayor as she would shut down an establishment where he buys cheap rum. JP is disgusted at this, saying that Catherine was their friend and they should be supporting her.

Next suspect to be visited is the son - his father had been trying to cut his spending, first putting him on the payroll instead of just handing over money, and then stopping all payments to him completely, just a day before he died. Kemar explains that since his mum died his father didn't know what to do with him, and his response was to throw money at him. While he had cut down on the money handed out, Kemar had every faith that he'd relent very soon.

Baffled, the team retire to Catherine's Bar, apart from Florence who goes to talk to someone who might have some information on Miss Bousquet and Victor Pearce, who went to school together.

Catherine is pleased to see the team, who promise they're trying to find the killer. Dwayne feels guilty when she tells them what good friends they are. Jack has a private word with Catherine, and is watched from the car by a gloating Peter Baxter.

Next morning, JP is confused by Pearce's diary - every meeting has detailed notes apart from one, a hotel room and time, which has no other details. He and Dwayne head over to the Paradise Bay Hotel see what the meeting was about.

Florence has found interesting information about Edwina Bousquet and Victor Pearce - they were high school sweethearts. They dated for about six months, before he ended it, allegedly to focus on his business. He was her first love and her last.

Mooney and Florence visit Miss Bousquet, and ask her about her relationship with Pearce. She says that he broke her heart but that was a long time ago and she's forgiven him, even if she hasn't forgotten. As they leave, they bump into the Reverend Dawson, who invites them both to a prayer service that afternoon.

JP and Dwayne found interesting information at the hotel, and Mooney and Florence head to Peter Baxter's house, to ask him why he was at the hotel with a woman, when he was running his campaign on family values. Baxter admits that he was there, and that Pearce had found out and tried to blackmailing him into dropping out of the election, but says that he had his own information - that Pearce had a secret daughter somewhere on the island. This cancelled out Pearce's information, leaving them in deadlock. Jack asks whether Baxter had leaked information to the press about Catherine being a suspect, and he says he couldn't be a force for good if he wasn't in power.

JP and Dwayne are disgusted at Baxter's actions, and Dwayne says that maybe Catherine would make a far better mayor. Florence and Mooney hurry off to the prayer service and Dwayne takes the photos of Baxter at the hotel, vowing to give him a taste of his own medicine.

At the prayer service, during the first hymn, Mooney looks over at Judith Dawson, who is organising the orphans, and has a sudden revelation. He hurries out, taking Florence with him, and goes back to the community centre, where he acts out various elements and figures out how the murder must have taken place. He leaves to break up the prayer meeting, sending Florence off to dig up a long-lost secret.

On his way, he meets Siobhan, who has come to a decision - she thinks her mother would have liked it in the Caribbean and she has decided she wants to stay. Mooney is delighted to hear this, and says they should let everyone know and celebrate, but first he has to catch a killer.

On the veranda at the orphanage, with everyone gathered, Mooney explains how the murder was done and who by: Miss Bousquet and Judith Dawson were working together. They set up the booth with missing pen and non-working fan the night before. On the day, Miss Bousquet went into the store cupboard, ostensibly looking for another fan, but really retrieving the knife she'd hidden. Judith Dawson then stood at the store cupboard door giving her instructions on where to find the fan, while really Miss Bousquet waited until Pearce had asked for the pen. She then sneaked round and stabbed him while Matthew Dawson was walking back to his desk. The motive? Judith, who had been raised in the orphanage herself, was the secret love child of Miss Bousquet and Victor Pearce, and was heartbroken at the thought of losing the orphans if the orphanage had to close. Her mother helped her out, and they plotted together, but as Pearce was a hard man to get to see, the election was the only opportunity they could find.

With the two women locked up, Mooney leaves Florence to finish up at the station, while he walks down to the Commissioner and lets him know of his decision to stay. They all meet afterwards at Catherine's Bar, where Catherine is in the middle of a photo shoot - Peter Baxter has mysteriously withdrawn from the election, leaving Catherine the de facto winner. They all celebrate the catching of the killers, Catherine's success and Mooney's decision to stay.

Inspiration for solution Edit

Mooney sees Judith Dawson with the children in church. She is mouthing instructions to them. He can see her but not hear her, and thinks about how in the case Miss Bousquet was heard but not seen. Judith was calling instructions to her as though she were there, but she was the only person who could actually see her - everyone else just assumed she was there because they could hear Judith talking to her.

Quotes Edit

Cast Edit

Guest Stars Edit

Music Played Edit

Gallery Edit

External Links Edit

Discussion Edit

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Death in Paradise
Series 6

Erupting in Murder
The Secret of the Flame Tree
The Impossible Murder
Stumped in Murder
Man Overboard - Part One
Man Overboard - Part Two
In the Footsteps of a Killer
Murder in the Polls

Series 1Series 2Series 3Series 4Series 5Series 6Series 7Series 8

Notes Edit

  1. BARB, 7 day data
  2. BARB, 28 day data