Columbo (1971–2003)
37 user 6 critic

A Stitch in Crime 

A surgeon has an ingenious plan for murdering his partner in a research project, but a nurse catches onto the scheme.



, (created by) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

at Amazon



Episode complete credited cast:
Dr. Barry Mayfield
Nurse Sharon Martin
Marcia Dalton
Dr. Edmund Hidemann
Nurse Morgan
Harry Alexander
Victor Millan ...
Detective Flores
Ken Sansom ...
Paul (as Kenneth Sansom)
Dr. Simpson
Leonard Simon ...
Dr. Michaelson
Ron Stokes ...
Patsy Garrett ...
Cleaning Woman


Dr. Barry Mayfield is a highly successful and respected surgeon, but his patience leaves a lot to be desired. Nurse Martin becomes suspicious about his tools in sewing up internal organs in his most recent 'successful' operation (namely, his sutures). The good doctor kills her before she spills the beans, but Mayfield doesn't count on Detective Columbo's investigative skills, which quickly uncover a trail of murderous events. Written by Scott Dawson <> / edited by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

nurse | surgeon | suture | murder | doctor | See All (49) »


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

11 February 1973 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

See  »

Did You Know?


In the Dutch subtitles, Dr. Hidemann is consistently called Dr. Hiedeman. See more »


Twice, blood pressures are bungled. First, Hidemann takes his own pressure with his arm bent double: this would make it impossible to get an accurate reading. The second time is when Mayfield is taking Hidemann's BP post-op: he has no stethoscope. See more »


Dr. Barry Mayfield: Lieutenant Columbo, you're remarkable. You have intelligence, you have perception, you have great tenacity. You've got everything except proof.
See more »


Featured in Pioneers of Television: Crime Dramas (2011) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

How did it take me so long to see this episode?
13 March 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

No really, as a fan of Columbo I still find it a mystery as how I didn't see this episode until fairly recently. It is a wonderful episode and up there with Ashes to Ashes, Any Old Port in a Storm, By Dawn's Early Light, Etude in Black, Blueprint for Murder and How to Dial a Murder as one of the best episodes of the show.

As is always the case with Columbo, visually A Stitch in Crime is very striking, with skillful photography, lighting and I liked the use of locations too. The music score is good too, not the best, most memorable or most atmospheric of all the Columbo episodes, but it is suitably haunting and there are some memorable parts that don't feel obtrusive.

I was also taken with the story. What I loved most about the other episodes I mentioned in this review was that they all had great premises especially How to Dial a Murder. A Stitch in Crime is no exception. As for the story construction it is very interestingly done, is well paced and the ending wraps things up nicely never being too obvious or confusing. The writing once again is very strong, it is thoughtful sometimes yet the exchanges between Columbo and Mayfield also never fail to amuse and delight.

The acting is very good. Will Geer is quite good, not my initial idea for his character, but he plays him well, and as good as the support playing is without completely standing out particularly from Anne Francis, it is the two leads who really impress. Peter Falk is exceptional as Columbo, which came of no surprise really seeing as he always is even in the odd episode when Columbo isn't quite as well written as he can be. Mayfield for me is one of the most intriguing, smartest and calculating villains/suspects in the Columbo canon, and Leonard Nimoy played him to perfection.

Overall, wonderful and I am cross with myself that it took me so long to see it. 10/10 Bethany Cox

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Favorite multi-killer (actor)? MaggieMarlowe
Columbo's Family sternfan88
Was getting divorced THAT big a deal? lorraine1232
Who did not deserve to be murdered? dinandwoesthof
I Just Binge Watched Columbo spin73
Lovely but Lethal...... popweasel-125-514813
Discuss A Stitch in Crime (1973) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: