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One Houseful of Treasures, Seven Impatient Suspects and a Fireplace Poker
WeatherViolet12 November 2009
This episode marks one of the last television roles for Barbara Cason, who began acting in film and television in 1969. Dick O'Neill has also since passed.

While visiting neighbor Tillie Adams' residence, in Cabot Cove, Maine, Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) and Doctor Seth Hazlitt (William Windom) stumble across her body, Seth pronouncing Tillie deceased of natural causes.

At Tibbles Antiques and Collectables, in the Cabot Cove business district, proprietor Benny Tibbles (Dick O'Neill) argues with Emily Goshen (Barbara Cason) over his price increase of the family broach, which she has pawned in his care, when Benny's son, Kevin Tibbles (Shea Farrell), enters to announce Tillie's passing. Emily has served with domestic care for Tillie, while Benny had handled odd jobs for her.

After a memorial service, attended merely by Jessica, Seth, Emily, Benny, Kevin and a Minister, Sheriff Amos Tupper (Tom Bosley) soon informs Jessica that she has been named in Tillie's will, along with the contents of the residence to go to Benny, the house and property to go to the only surviving relative, Great-niece Liza Adams (Lois Foraker), and Jessica to serve as estate executor.

When Jessica enlists Real Estate Agent Eve Simpson (Julie Adams) to appraise the value of Tillie's estate, Eve discovers very few selling points, if any, and seeks to market the residence on the basis of any historic value, while Emily Goshen, on hand to clean, begins to challenge the will under the notion that she has done more for Tillie than anyone else.

Benny Tibbles quickly learns of his inheritance and summons his brother, Wilton Tibbles (David Clennon), and his Assistant, Lauren Hastings (Katherine Moffat), at the upscale Wilton P. Tibbles Antiques Shoppe, in Boston, to drive up to Cabot Cove, to help Benny to market Tillie's antiques. Wilton, knowing that the products could nab much higher profits in the city rather than around a community as Cabot Cove, lunges at the opportunity to appraise Tillie's possessions from a grade higher than Benny could, while Lauren eagerly lunges toward any opportunity to make a play for Kevin.

Eve Simpson, meanwhile, lunges toward any opportunity to make a sale of the Adams' residence, she baiting British national Alastair Andrews (Brian Bedford), who understands a connection between the Adams' residence and Revolutionary War General Benedict Arnold, a convicted double agent, who reportedly kept a mistress within the Adams' household.

But that night, flower child Liza Adams (Lois Foraker) shows up on Jessica's doorstep to demand her share of her Great Aunt Tillie's estate--in cash.

And the next day, tempers begin to flare around the Adams' estate, as Wilton and Lauren haggle with Benny, when Liza shows up to challenge his right to receive a share of the inheritance, while Emily descends from upstairs cleaning, to embark into the round of debate, subsequently refereed by Jessica.

To add fuel to the fiery commotion, Emily reports that Tillie had told her about the distant relation with Benedict Arnold and a hidden treasure somewhere upon the premises, which should go to Emily...or Benny and Kevin...or Liza...or Wilton and Lauren...or Alastair...or Eve or Jessica...or whoever can find it first.

One morning later, Jessica and Seth return to the Adams' estate, to discover its front door unlocked, and its parlour door open, as they stumble across another body, this one before the hearth, bludgeoned by a fireplace poker, across from the missing embroidered sampler, reading, "Reflect and Pause," as "Benedict Arnold Slipped Here."
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Season 4 shows no signs of slipping
TheLittleSongbird1 September 2017
Have always been quite fond of 'Murder She Wrote'. It is a fun and relaxing watch that makes you think as you try to unwind in the evening. If one wants more complex, twisty mysteries with lots of tension and suspense 'Murder She Wrote' may not be for you, but if you want something light-hearted and entertaining but still provide good mysteries 'Murder She Wrote' fits the bill just fine.

While there are better Season 4 episodes, such as "Witness for the Defense", "Old Habits Die Hard", "Trouble in Eden" and "Mourning Among the Wisterias", "Benedict Arnold Slipped Here" is still good fun, more than it had the right to be somewhat considering the fairly nasty premise. It doesn't have anything wrong with it as such, just that it doesn't quite have the spark of the best 'Murder She Wrote' episodes.

The mystery is entertaining and intriguing, with some interesting history even. It is also nowhere near as lacking-in-taste as it sounds even with the nasty heir characters. There are nice surprises, it's never confusing and it's not too much of an easy mystery to solve either.

Angela Lansbury as usual is terrific, as are the always dependable William Windom and Tom Bosley. Brian Bedford and David Clennon fare the best of the supporting cast, very strong performances.

It is the supporting acting in "Benedict Arnold Slipped Here" that is the episode's least good component. Certainly not awful, just uninspired.

Production values are slick and stylish as ever with 'Murder She Wrote'. The music has energy and has presence but also not making the mistake of over-scoring, while it is hard to forget or resist the theme tune.

Writing is thought-provoking, light-hearted and amiable.

Overall, fun and interesting episode. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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The handy fireplace poker
bkoganbing24 July 2017
It occurs to me as houses are being built without fireplaces those handy fireplace pokers will be less handy and less convenient to be used as weapons. Mystery writers in the future will have to come up with something else.

The handy fireplace poker does in antique dealer Dick O'Neill as he discovers someone possibly pilfering in an old house up for sale. The reclusive lady who owned it also owned a legacy of sorts, the rumor that Benedict Arnold once slept there. He may have done more than gotten a night's lodging as well.

A murder is solved by Jessica Fletcher with the help always of William Windom and Tom Bosley. And some titillating history is learned in the process.
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