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Murder, She Wrote

Consternation she wroteJessica essays the old wielding-a-torch-in-a-lighted-room double-bluffTEA-AND-SLIPPERS SLEUTHERY, best taken over doilies and Darjeeling, if not Lucozade and egg soldiers. Casting aside her leatherbound library of crime, Jessica Beatrice Fletcher would sally forth unto this week’s house warming party/family reunion/community tea dance only to discover a horrible killing, a clueless local police force and a dozen bystanders urging her to apply her literary skills to this real life tragedy. Having taken up mystery writing once widowed and found fame across the States for her seemingly endless stream of treacherous novellas, Jessica also had cause to travel around the country on promotional junkets which coincidentally – and fortuitously for the viewer – also delivered her unto the scenes of yet more dastardly crimes. ANGELA LANSBURY got stolen from over here and made a star over there, turning Murder, She Wrote (that comma was all-important) into a veritable pension plan. The opening titles set the tone majestically: Jessica in a montage of scenes from her escapades, set to the sound of a cheerily tinkling piano and oom-pah orchestra. Approximately 325,671,290 guest stars appeared, including the great TOM BOSLEY in the semi-regular role of Sheriff Amos Tupper and the two-part special when Jessica went to Hawaii and pooled resources with [cref 2899 MAGNUM]. Later episodes saw our heroine taking it easy, “appearing” at the beginning of each episode to introduce that week’s “guest sleuth” then pissing off back to her writing desk. Well, she was almost 90.

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Guest Star Kevin McCarthy

    September 23, 2009 at 10:17 am

    Aka Murder She Did, detailing the crimes of the world’s most devious serial killer. Nobody would suspect a successful, little old lady mystery writer as the real murderer, but every week she managed to frame some hapless character for the slaughter she was committing across America. It was no coincidence that these incidents followed her around, that’s all I’m saying.

  2. Paul Gatenby

    September 23, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Like the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, I have never seen the same episode of this programme twice. There must be dozens in the vaults, just begging to be wiped.

  3. Glenn A

    September 26, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    Paul, you also share the surname of my manager out of interest, but Murder She Wrote seems to be a hardy perennial of daytime. Originally it was a peak time programme, but relatively poor ratings- Border used to show it opposite TOTP- saw it moved into daytime where it seemed to end up sandwiched between Aussie soaps for 10 years. I thought maybe this clunker had gone until BBC One got its hands on it a few years ago. However, I am sure when the Border studios are demolished, a few musty tapes of Murder She Wrote will be found.

  4. Rob Free

    September 26, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    I once saw George Clooney in an old episode. He never quite matched the performance.

  5. Aidy

    September 29, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Almost every episode followed the same formula;The murder would take place around 25 minutes in after a build up showing a number of people having a reason to want to kill the deceased,then after 40 minutes an innocent and totally unrelated remark made by someone would give Jessica a “EUREKA” moment where she suddenly knows the who when and why about the murder.Its also worth noting the amazing cross section of Jessicas readers,as it seems absolutely everyone she meets is a big fan who has read all her books.Great entertainment,though.

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