In this Pilot episode we are introduced to Jessica Fletcher, a recent widow, who lives in Cabot Cove, Maine. Jessica is an English teacher who becomes a mystery book author thanks to her nephew, Grady Fletcher. Grady submits his Aunts manuscript to a publishing company who loves it and publishes it immediately. It is a best-seller and Jessica goes to New York City to promote her new book. While there Jessica gets involved in a murder while at her publishers home for a costume party. When her nephew becomes a suspect of the murder, Jessica must find the real killer. Written by
In the pilot episode, the welcome-to-Cabot-Cove sign lists the town's population as 3560. See more »
When Jessica is harassed by the two guys on the street, she hits them with her purse and it is obviously a male stunt performer in a wig. See more »
[Police Chief Gunderson questions Preston Giles and his house guests]
Chief Roy Gunderson:
Suppose you tell me what happened here last night, Mr. Giles. Folks don't go 'round gettin' half their heads blown off for no reason. I'm lookin' for motive.
For killing Caleb McCallum? Surely you jest. Half the country had reason to kill him. The other half didn't know him.
Chief Roy Gunderson:
Not funny, friend.
But accurate. The Captain wasn't particularly well loved. Though I doubt that any of us despised him enough to kill him.
Except for me....
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Each week for many years I looked forward to watching this show which is one of my all time favorite television shows. Although some shows were better than others, it never disappointed. This pilot episode sets the stage for the future episodes: the sophisticated yet kindly retired teacher who genuinely likes and is comfortable with all kinds of people from the young to the aged, from the poor to the wealthy, from cab drivers to powerful business leaders, a middle aged woman who is keenly observant, even tempered and oh so confident. The show also continues to have top-notch supporting casts of well known television and/or movie actors as well as often talented new comers. In this one, Jessica Fletcher solves the first of a mind boggling 264 mysteries. After the death of her husband, Jessica writes a mystery novel and unbeknown to her, her nephew submits it to a publisher. It becomes a runaway best seller and Jessica is invited to New York by her publisher and does the television and talk show circuit. The segment of these interviews is priceless in its' put down of such interviews. Jessica is later invited to her publisher's estate and attends big bash costume party. A glimpse into how the rich and powerful live is another recurring motif of this series. A man dressed in a Sherlock Holmes costume is murdered. The sincere but bumbling detective is at sea so it is Jessica who must catch the culprit. Which, of course, she does. The one thing that does not continue in the series, unfortunately, is Jessica's offering down home advice or remedies to strangers she meets along the way. The producers or the star must have seen this as too hokey for a character they wanted to be portrayed as so very sophisticated. Shame really as this motherly advice touch added a nice dimension to the character.
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