Columbo (1971–2003)
7.6/10
2,634
36 user 9 critic

Murder by the Book 

When one member of a mystery writing team wants to break from his less talented partner, he becomes the victim in a real-life murder mystery.

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
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Lynette Mettey ...
Gloria Jr. (as Lynnette Mettey)
Bernie Kuby ...
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Sergeant
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Woman (credit only)
Haven Earle Haley ...
2nd Reporter
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Storyline

One half of a murder-mystery writing team kills his more talented partner after the latter announces his intentions to go solo which would ultimately leave the former in financial ruin. Later a grocery store owner, who has important information pertaining to the case and has romantic desires for the killer, sees this incident as an opportunity to blackmail him into having a relationship with her. Feeling cornered, he kills her and tries to make it look like she'd fallen off a boat and drowned in a drunken stupor.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Details

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Release Date:

15 September 1971 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

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(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The mystery writing team of Franklin and Ferris is a reference to another mystery writing team: Levinson and Link (Richard Levinson and William Link, the creators of Columbo). When preparing to play a scene as mystery writer-turned-murderer Ken Franklin, Jack Cassidy would ask aloud to anyone within earshot, "Who am I playing in this scene, Levinson or Link?" See more »

Goofs

Ken Franklin refers to his missing partner's body as the "corpus delicti." This term does not mean the physical body, but the body of evidence needed to prove that a crime has actually been committed. Black's Law Dictionary (6th ed.) defines "corpus delicti" as: "the fact of a crime having been actually committed." A mystery writer should have known better. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[Jim works in his office]
Jim Ferris: [knock on the door] Who is it?
[another knock on the door]
Jim Ferris: [He opens the door - Ken is aiming a gun at his face. Jim laughs]
Ken Franklin: Oh, you're not intimidated.
Jim Ferris: Oh, come on, Ken. You're forgetting that I'm one-half of the world's greatest mystery-writing team? You, ah, don't have gloves on, your finger's not on the trigger, and there are no bullets in the cylinder.
Ken Franklin: [smiling] You're right. I'm a lousy practical joker.
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Connections

Featured in Spielberg on Spielberg (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Love Theme from 'Red Sky At Morning'
Composed by Billy Goldenberg
Heard during the bar scene
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User Reviews

excellent plot that makes this movie enjoyable...
7 February 2003 | by See all my reviews

I saw this movie a few weeks ago, and I think that it was very well made. Peter Falk is as always very amusing to see, and the other characters interact very well with each other. --a well deserved 5/5--


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