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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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The first "Murder, She Wrote" Movie of The Week, "South By Southwest", filmed in 1997, after the series had been canceled in April 1996, by Les Moonvies-CBS TV, fulfilled the first of the four contracted MOW's "settlement" with Angela and Peter Shaw's Corymore Productions. Not happy with CBS axing their twelve year MSW popular series, neither were the couple anxious to go into immediate production for another two hour project. Plus each script proposal had to be approved by the network program division. CBS TV forced Corymore to fulfill the second MOW project after a two and a half years hiatus. Assembling the nucleus production team from the canceled series, the crew were presented with the task of prepping the two hour film within an extreme limited prep period of four weeks! Which included scouting locations, casting, costuming, designing, and for construction/painting of stage sets, to be built at Universal Studios. Asking the Production Designer Hub Braden "if it could be done?" His reply, "it just takes a blank check and an unlimited bank account full of money. Just give us a GO!" 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 »


[flashback: Jessica walks through the garden and swimming pool area]
Jessica Fletcher: [voice only] After you were shot I went out to examine the area where the shooter would've been standing. On inspection I found a bullet hole in a tree that was on a direct line to my window, meaning a bullet had not been fired *in* from the garden it had been fired *out* from the room. Then when the Police found the bullet in the wall of my room and it matched the one that killed Yuri, I knew. I was hoping that somehow, some ...
See more »


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

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User Reviews

Best MSW Movie
25 July 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I am a huge Murder, She Wrote fan (and Ellery Queen, Agatha Christie, and John Dickson Carr fan, including adaptations) but for the longest time I had never seen the MSW movies, except for Celtic Riddle (I had read that book before it became a movie actually.) I was feening them like an addict. I looked everywhere, couldn't find them. Finally, Hallmark aired the three movies a few years ago.

I'm over the moon. Really, if this were part of the regular series I'd be saying this was my favorite episode block ever. We have Jessica at a writer's conference, people calling her on all her investigating and the publicity it's brought her books, questioning her motives. It's beautiful. While it still hovers just below painting a picture of a complex character it gives us a lot to like. 

And the story is classic MSW. In fact, altogether I'd say this is back to basics. Great plot, more than just cardboard cutouts for characters, and a sleek production. While there wasn't a high body count, the main murder was bloody (considering it's MSW we're talking about.) Also, ASTDF features some of the best acting in supporting roles MSW had seen in a long time (after the late 90s cringe- inducing performances from young "up and comers.") And, this might be Angela's finest portrayal of Jessica Fletcher yet. Maybe because she's aged, but she seems more vulnerable than ever before (save Thursday's Child). 

I only wish somehow Seth could've been involved, as with all the movies we don't even get a single mention of Cabot Cove (IIRC). 

If you haven't seen it, and you're a fan, make every effort to do so. You won't be disappointed. 

Angela, I love you. Jessica, I can't wait till they remake you and your world for a new audience -- which I'm sure they will.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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