Over the course of twelve seasons, two hundred sixty four episodes, Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) of “Murder She Wrote” was involved in numerous cases. Here are a few of my favorites:
Season 1 Episode 16 “Tough Guys Don’t Die” In this episode Jerry Orbach (Law & Order) is a guest star playing a private detective, Harry McGraw. Jessica hires Jerry’s partner in the firm to research a twenty-five year old case for a book she is writing.
The partner is found murdered. The firm is only working on three cases at the time and Jerry and Jessica think the murder is related to one of these cases. Turns out one of the cases involve a publisher running for public office. She hired the detective to see if he could uncover the abortion she had years ago. He did and another staff member tried to blackmail the publisher with this information. Somehow Jessica was able to solve this case by the jangling of the suspect’s keys comparing them to another recording she made of this same key sound.
Season 2, Episode 10 “Sticks and Stones” Sheriff Amos Tucker decides to retire. He turns over his office to Harry Pierce who has a real estate agency. Beverly Gareth owns a large piece of land and is found electrocuted in her tub. Suspicion falls on a real estate developer. Sheriff Pierce arrests Larry Burns a repairman he says left a ragged electrical cord. Several poison pen letters are sent in town and one of the writers, Elvira Tree, is found hanged. Amos can’t resist investigating the murders along with Jessica and her guest Michael Digby, a New York travel reporter. Eventually it’s discovered the culprit is non other than the new sheriff in town Harry Pierce.
Season 3 Episode 21 “The Days Dwindle Down” Jessica is traveling on business and staying at a luxury hotel. A staff member of the restaurant, Georgia Wilson, hesitantly approaches Jessica and asks if she can help. Mrs. Wilson’s husband Sam had just finished serving 30 years in prison for murdering his old boss.
Sam insists he is innocent and was framed. He said the employer, Richard Jarvis, had planned to commit suicide, but wanted it to look like murder. The employer was a drinker and his firm had gone bankrupt. He approached Sam and asked that he shoot him so it would look like murder. He offered Sam his last $10,000 to commit this act. Sam said he declined, but someone else did actually murder the man.
Sam’s son had become a policeman to try and solve the case. He is now retired and offers his services to help Jessica. Someone shoots at Jessica and deliberately misses, but the bullets from the gun used match the bullets from the long ago murder. Trying to decide if the death of Richard Jarvis was actually murder or was suicide or whatever she tries to re-create the crime.
These are only three of the many, many episodes in the adventures of Cabot Coves’ beloved resident author and amateur sleuth, Jessica Fletcher.