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Murder, She Wrote: A Story to Die For (2000)

Jessica puts her sleuthing skills to work at a writers' conference after a Russian author is found murdered.


(as Anthony Shaw)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Warren Pierce
Mason Phillips - FBI Agent
Patricia Williams
William Batsby
Yuri Malenkovich
Matt Rolands
Lt. Det. Bob Mankowski
John Mendoza
Peggy Ryan
Paul Neilly - FBI Agent
Scott Burkholder
Everett Jang
J. Patrick McCormack ...
Joseph Brennan


Jessica Fletcher becomes a speaker at Speakers' Incorporated attended by various authors. Russian author Uri Malenkovitch also attends to promote his book about the KGB. When he is killed, Jessica must help a struggling writer who is accused of his murder.

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tv series reunion | See All (1) »


Jessica's back to write a few wrongs.


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

18 May 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Arabesque: Le pacte de l'écrivain  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


When the FBI agent is questioning Patricia Williams he holds up a paper fingerprint card. He says, "On the left are fingerprints we took when we brought you in here. The fingerprints on the right were taken from a broken wine glass we found in Yuri's room." The fingerprint card is an ordinary one with spaces for one horizontal row of right hand rolled prints, and the next horizontal row of left hand rolled prints. (The spaces at the bottom for "flat prints" are blank.) The first row on the agents card appeared to be rolls, the next row, (not divided left and right) appeared to be flat prints, the type you would leave at a crime scene. Though, prints taken from a crime scene would be on adhesive tape placed on card stock, the paper shown has prints inked directly onto the paper. See more »


While Jessica is reading Yuri's manuscript, Warren knocks on her door and the pages in the book indicate that she is almost finished reading it. But when the camera changes to look over her shoulder, the pages in the book show that she is now back near the beginning. See more »


Warren Pierce: [downcast] Are you sorry enough, or you understand enough, not to go to the Police?
Jessica Fletcher: Warren?
Warren Pierce: [downcast] What else did you tell them?
Jessica Fletcher: Well nothing significant. I didn't name you. I didn't need to.
Warren Pierce: Why not?
Jessica Fletcher: Because you are going to turn yourself in to the Police and you are going to confess. And you will tell your story in front of a jury.
Warren Pierce: Jessica you're the only one who knows I'm involved in this.
[takes the silenced gun from the top of the wardrobe]
Warren Pierce: What's to keep me from killing you?
Jessica Fletcher: Because I ...
See more »


Followed by Murder, She Wrote: The Celtic Riddle (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

Murder among authors
12 January 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I gave up reading the Agatha Christies after I learned to spot the murderer, usually about a third of the way in, when he (or frequently she) was placed at the centre of an over-theatrical scene in front of a fairly large audience.

Although Angela Lansbury and her colleagues have always been at pains to distance themselves from Agatha Christie, the same principle is applied in this story, set in a conference of budding authors, who are each given their turn on the stage. And sure enough, the killer does manage to give away an important clue during his own well-received talk.

In her position as the famous crime-novelist, Jessica has been invited to preside over the conference, and gets a close-up view of a colourful mix of characters, some of them connected with the ex-head of the KGB, also at the conference, who has just been offered a fortune for his memoirs, exposing the secrets of the Soviet Union. When the inevitable murder takes place, Jessica warns more than one character - significantly - that too much willingness to help the police may be aimed at deflecting attention, and can point to the killer. When it comes to the final unmasking, there is another Christie touch, when it turns out that the murderer is not a thug or a psychopath, but a decent and responsible person, driven to extremes by circumstances with which one can sympathise.

Regular fans of Murder She Wrote will recognise a particular in-joke, when one character laments "Jessica Fletcher's here. There's been a murder. What are the odds?" A few years from now, viewers may need a few title-frames to explain the historical context, but when the film was released in 2000, the ending of the Cold War was recent enough to make a strong basis for the story.

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