Back in Cabot Cove to orchestrate a surprise birthday dinner for Seth, Jessica is drawn into what looks like a small-time theft by Charlie Garrett and an apparent Mob connection.


(as Anthony Shaw)


(created by), (created by) | 2 more credits »

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Episode cast overview:
Joseph Kempinsky
Frederick Coffin ...
Sanford Lomax
Rebecca Cross ...
Libby Terhune
Oscar James Gandile
Sheriff Mort Metzger (as Ron Másak)
Walter Perry
Harvey Terhune
Millie Slavin ...
Celia Terhune


Sheriff Metzger and Jessica must interrupt preparations for a dinner party 'not' for doc's birthday to figure out recent crimes in Cabot Cove. Walter Perry broke into taking the pittance he was owed by metals entrepreneur Sanford Lomax from his office, but stumbles upon and grabs $900,000. It's actually owed to mobster Joseph Kempinsky, who sends goon Oscar James Gandile to retrieve it. Lomax hopes to have it returned by hiring PI Charlie Garrett, an old friend of Jessica's. However it's Oscar who gets killed, and the fortune is missing. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

party | present | knife | handcuffs | gift | See All (5) »


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

23 January 1994 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


When the results of the horse race are being reported, the horses Swift Prince and Victor Way are mentioned. Both horses were part of the episode entitled "Bloodlines." See more »


About halfway through, Walter Perry passes as sign announcing the "Future Sight" rather than "Site" of the Cabot Cove Historical Museum. A prescient repository of the past? See more »

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User Reviews

"They Find Exhort Together ~ Meet with Retort Together ~ And Deal with Mort Together ~ But Will They Sort Together?"
19 May 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This begins after dark one evening in Cabot Cove, Maine, when a burglar torches the door of the safe in the office at Lomax Sheet Metal Company, reaching for a strongbox, which contains $900,000 in cash, as the alarm signals.

Walter Perry (Matt Mulhern) intends to retrieve $120,000 from the stash of cash, to claim his rightful possession, but he flees into the night with the entire strongbox, when Deputy Andy Broom (Louis Herthum) arrives to investigate, discovering for evidence a hunting knife.

Deputy Andy contacts Sheriff Mort Metzger (Ron Masak) at the residence of Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury), to report the burglary, while Jessica and Mort plan a surprise birthday party for Doctor Seth Hazlitt (William Windom), who enters Jessica's residence, causing a change of discussion.

Sanford Lomax (Frederick Coffin), owner of the Sheet Metal Company which bears his name, distances his theft from the Sheriff and Deputy, who investigate, because the $900,000 belongs to an organized crime syndicate, represented by Joseph Kempinsky (R.D. Call), in Chicago, Illinois.

While Joseph Kempinsky assigns his thug, Oscar James Gandile (Anthony Mangano), to travel to Cabot Cove, to investigate Lomax, Lomax hires Chicago Private Investigator Charlie Garrett (Wayne Rogers) to try to scrutinize Kempinsky, lest the syndicate crack down on Lomax, who secretly figures that his employee Walter Perry has taken the loot when Deputy Andy presents the hunting knife, which Lomax claims as his own, while knowing that it belongs to Walter.

The next day, Jessica, to hunt for a special present for Seth's upcoming birthday, browses Celia's Gift Shoppe, to receive a cold reception by its proprietor, Celia Terhune (Millie Slavin), who finally admits to harboring a four-year grudge against Jessica for sending her a belated thank-you card.

The widowed Celia's young adult children welcome Jessica much more amicably than does their mother. While they assist at the shoppe, daughter, Libby Terhune (Rebekah Carlton) also maintains a governmental clerical position at Cabot Cove Records, while son, Harvey Terhune (Eamonn Roche), conducts business with Cabot Cove Records.

Libby also goes with Walter Perry, whose parents have lost their lives in a vehicular accident while he was a child, and so his now-late grandmother, a dear old friend of Jessica's, has provided for Walter's care during his formative years.

Hence, Jessica champions the young love between Libby and Walter, but Sanford warns Walter that his life and that of the Turhune family is in great danger from the crime syndicate because of that missing $900,000, which Sanford suspects Walter to harbor.

While Libby clears a filing cabinet at the Records office, which is relocating, Walter slips the strongbox into an empty drawer, before explaining its contents to a surprised Libby, who agrees to keep his secret once he says that he cannot tell the authorities anything about it. And, uh oh, here comes Mrs. Fletcher to check in on Libby.

Seth waits for Jessica in his automobile outside of the old Records office, but he's blocking traffic, and so Mort asks him to circle the block, but when doing so, Seth collides with the automobile driven by none other than Charlie Garrett, to whom Seth bestows his grudges. Jessica emerges from the office to recognize, "Charlie!?" This causes Seth and Mort concern for Jessica's better judgment to know anyone as hapless as Charlie.

This very night, when Charlie attempts to sneak into the old Records office, an altercation erupts, leaving him outdoors and unconscious, while indoors the next morning, a body is discovered on its floor, the victim of a bludgeoning, with the strongbox missing from the filing cabinet.

Jessica, Sheriff Mort and Deputy Andy investigate the murder, when the ever-efficient Deputy Andy discovers the murder weapon, a hammer embedded inside of the soil of a potted plant, with no sign of the $900,000 worth of "Deadly Assets."

In addition to regularly recurring Cabot Covers, this episode represents the the third of four "MSW" guest starring roles for Frederick Coffin, and the second of five for Wayne Rogers (each in his role as Chicago P.I. Charlie Garrett).

Frederick Coffin, acting on television and in film since 1973, has unfortunately since passed.

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