Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
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Deadly Bidding 

Charlie Garrett's outrageous bid at an auction arouses Jessica's suspicions after the artist becomes the subject of a homicide photographer.


(as Anthony Shaw)


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

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Episode cast overview:
Sgt. Unger
Mrs. Serena Rundle
Angus Neville
Lawrence Mezznou
Giles Havelock
Reggie Evers
Milt Solomon
Felix Wesker
Charlie Garrett
Diana Barrow
Pete Dunning
Detective McKenna
Taylor Matthews ...
Waiter (as Dane Taylor Matthews)


In NYC, Jessica wants to bid on an Arthur Conan Doyle manuscript for the library. But at the same auction, several bidders want an Angus Neville painting that hides a stolen Degas -- Neville wants it back enough to steal it, and someone wants it enough to kill for it. Written by mama.sylvia

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Plot Keywords:

dinner | sergeant | See All (2) »


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

23 November 1995 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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"You Don't Have to Bid a Million ~ Just Procure the Goods ~ You Don't Have to Face a Prison ~ Just Outsmart the Hoods"
7 May 2010 | by See all my reviews

A dual Prologue opens this episode set in New York City's Greenlight Auction House, Brimford Art Gallery, and the Studio of Angus Neville, while featuring the final "MSW" appearance of Wayne Rogers in his role as Charlie Garrett.

Two years ago, a NYC museum is burglarized with the theft of French Artist Edgar Degas' painting "Dancing Class." Kenneth Rundle (Edd Byrnes) receives the Degas and presents it to Angus Neville (Doug Hutchison) to conceal by covering with his facade painting, "Arrangement in Grey and Red."

One month ago, Lawrence Mezznou (Aharon Ipalé), who figures the scam, intends to procure "Arrangement in Grey and Red," with the company of a henchman, by threatening Kenneth Rundle at knife-point in a parking garage, but this proves futile, and a body is soon discovered perishing from natural causes.

And now, in present-day NYC, Brimford Art Gallery controls possession of "Arrangement in Grey and Red," and plans its sale to the highest bidder at Greenlight Auction House.

Felix Wesker (Craig Richard Nelson) serves as Curator at Brimford on 5th Avenue, with Reggie Evers (Renée Jones) as his Assistant Curator, and his ever-present diminutive Chihuahua in elbow.

Angus Neville requests Felix Wesker not to sell his painting, but his pleas go unanswered. Lawrence Mezznou also very much continues to want the painting and threatens anyone who dares to outbid him.

Milt Solomon (Paul Lieber) plans a bid on behalf of Diana Barrow (Melanie Smith), Assistant of Giles Havelock (Martin Jarvis) at Greenlight Auction House, which also employs Pete Dunning (Jeff Williams), who goes with Reggie Evers.

Mrs. Serena Rundle (Kathleen Garrett) appears, sporting a Southern accent, while claiming to be the wife of Kenneth Rundle, as she makes her bid for the painting.

Charlie Garrett (Wayne Rogers) arrives from Chicago to meet with Milt Solomon, who slips him $100,000 for the upper-limit bid to act as his agent, and another $200,000 for his fee. Lawrence Mezznou and his thug, therefore, threaten Charlie.

Meanwhile, Greenlight Auction House also plans to auction a 1926 Arthur Conan Doyle journal of his NYC experience, and so the library board upon which Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) serves has asked her to bid on this, which leads her to the auction and another encounter with "Charlie!?" whom she is surprised to meet in NYC, of course, during an awkward altercation.

Because Reggie works for the Gallery and goes with Pete, who works for the Auction House, and because Jessica is their dear old friend, who's usually in favor of young love in bloom, Jessica has the special advantage of the inner workings of both organizations.

(The business about the Arthur Conan Doyle journal seems somewhat peculiar, as Jessica tries to authenticate this manuscript. Later, when Jessica, Reggie and Pete are watching television, a vintage newsreel plays about the 1924 closing of Ellis Island, which causes Jessica to react, "That's it!" We may need someone familiar with NYC to explain this sub-plot.)

But then someone cleverly slips the security code from Pete's jacket and enters the storage closet to lift the painting after the bidding fiasco, which lands Charlie in hot water for mistakingly bidding $400,000, or four times his budget. Jessica manages to ward off the thugs, by making a scene in a restaurant (with Taylor Matthews as kindly Waiter), but another soon body is found, the victim of a brutal stabbing.

Sergeant Unger (Tyrees Allen) and Detective McKenna (Charles Hoyes) work well together to investigate the murder, while demonstrating respect for Jessica, but little, if any, for Charlie in the aftermath of "Deadly Bidding."

There seems to be a minor goof in the showdown scene once Jessica interrogates her suspect: during the break-in, the thief presses the security code to unlock the closet door, but in flashback, the suspect reminisces that the perpetrator lurks inside the closet, leaving the door ajar for the thief to enter freely.

This episode represents the first acting credit by Taylor Matthews, as well as one of the most recent appearances to date by television and film veteran Edd Byrnes.

This also marks the second of two "MSW" appearances each for Melanie Smith, Aharon Ipalé, Martin Jarvis and Craig Richard Nelson, the third of three each for Edd Byrnes and Charles Hoyes, and the fifth of five for Wayne Rogers (each in his role as Chicago P.I. Charlie Garrett).

(Extra points for good acting by Kathleen Garrett, Doug Hutchison, Jeff Williams, Paul Lieber and Tyrees Allen.)

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