Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
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A Quaking in Aspen 

Jessica is fired up to find the murderer of her friend's husband, but private detective Charlie Garrett is unwittingly putting out the flames.



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Episode cast overview:
Gina Sherman (as Wendy Benson)
Anthony Pembroke / Anthony O'Brien
Thom Bierdz ...
Phil Carmichael
Mr. Vernon / Grant Boswell
Sydney Pembrook
Leslie Horan ...
Nancy Boswell / Nancy Grayson
Olivia Archer
Lainie Sherman Boswell
Darman H. Keene


A woman lures a man who's clobbered by another. Laney Sherman Boswell tells her lawyer Terry Folger it's time for her next divorce, it was never a real marriage anyway as they spent only a few hours a year together; Sheriff Milo Pike tells them hubbie Grant Boswell just had a spectacular fatal sports car accident. When Jessica visits Laney in Aspen, Colorado a months later, even the sheriff admits the promising clues probably won't come to a court case, Folger is about to get the 5,000,000 life-insurance paid out, possibly doubled, half goes to his niece Nancy Boswell; the Majority company's executive Olivia Archer hires P.I. Charlie Garrett, known to Jessica but masquerading as stock broker Howard Dietrich, to prove for a percentage there was foul play, so it can spare itself one or both halves. Then Laney is arrested for the murder, after Anthony Pembroke testified having seen her buying the fatal items in the hardware store. Reporter Darman H. Keene is also after the case. Then ... Written by KGF Vissers

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Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

28 September 1995 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Phil Carmichael (Thom Bierdz) has broken into a house and is rummaging through the drawers of the desk. All three drawers are open. The scene cuts to the desk top where he takes out some papers from a folder. When the scene cuts back to the drawers, only the middle one is open and the other two are closed already. See more »

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User Reviews

Why Rockie Mountain Resorts Aren't Just for Skiing Anymore
4 December 2009 | by See all my reviews

This episode marks the fourth of five appearances of the fun-loving Chicago-based Private Detective Charlie Garrett (Wayne Rogers), whom clients often hire to investigate cases in exotic resort localities. Although Charlie functions in a role of guest detective, his episodes invariably entangle his authoritative colleague Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) into a situation which leads to murder, and do not function independently of her, as "Bookend episodes," in which she introduces him as guest sleuth, thus stepping aside. Charlie often encounters more troubles along the way than he is able to handle, thus needing Jessica's capable logic to bail him from his difficulties.

This also includes a sub-titled introductory back-story segment, as several "MSW" later-seasons episodes contain, such as "One year earlier," or "On a certain date," in this case "One month ago," in which a man is assaulted while escorting a woman across the resort compound, as well as an intent by a client to her attorney to divorce her husband.

Laney Sherman Boswell (Leigh Taylor-Young), a close friend of Jessica's seeks to end her marriage to Grant Boswell (no actor credited for the role), before Attorney Terry Folger (Gerald McRaney), who has designs of his own regarding the situation at hand.

Sheriff Milo Pike (Kurt Fuller) investigates a suspicious vehicular accident which claims a life, without determining foul play for certain, in this saga, reaching from Aspen, Colorado, to Chicago, Illinois, to Denver, Colorado, and back into its main setting of Aspen, for Jessica's return excursion into "The Centennial State."

Mr. Vernon / Grant Boswell (Tom Everett) has been involved with the victim, to the effect that his daughter, Nancy Boswell / Nancy Grayson (Leslie Horan) has been named as a beneficiary in a very large life insurance policy. Sydney Pembrook (Elizabeth Gracen) also has a connection to the deceased.

Executive Director Olivia Archer (Deborah Lacey) also has a stake in the victim's business ventures, as another beneficiary party to the insurance policy. She, therefore, hires Charlie Garrett (Wayne Rogers), who poses under the guise of a stockbroker with an alias for his cover.

Hardware store owner Anthony Pembroke (Victor Bevine) witnesses information which may prove detrimental to the defense of Laney Sherman Boswell, unable to prove her innocence unless she solicits assistance from dear old friend Jessica Fletcher, who travels to her Aspen, Colorado, resort, to investigate.

Laney's daughter, Gina Sherman (Wendy Benson-Landes), and her friends Darman H. Keene (Scott Valentine) and Phil Carmichael (Thom Bierdz) also do what they can to assist Laney and remain in Gina's good graces. Darman H. Keene works as a reporter and joins in the resulting investigations, in one way or another, along with Milo, Charlie and Jessica.

When Jessica is "introduced" to Charlie, under his alias of "Howard Dietrich," she plays along, under the impression that exposing his cover could lead to danger, she awaiting his explanation.

But during the course of clue-mongering, Charlie is assaulted and knocked unconscious, thereby preventing him from witnessing a second murder which occurs, relating to the case, as another body pops up along the sidewalk, resulting in another "Quaking in Aspen."

Jessica joins forces with Sheriff Milo Pike to attempt to clear her friend Laney Sherman Boswell of murder suspicion, and to ascertain that young love flourishes for her daughter, Gina Sherman, as she must decide which of her suitors deserves her the more.

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