Jessica tries to exonerate a temporary employee accused of her husband's murder.


(as Anthony Shaw)


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

On Disc

at Amazon


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?



Episode cast overview:
Lisa Cutter ...
Melissa Maddox
Joe Dorsey ...
Hank Crenshaw
Rita Garrison
Sheriff Mort Metzger (as Ron Másak)
Drew Garrison
David Oliver ...
Jeff Ogden
Mary Ann Pascal ...
Trudy Ludwig
Cliff Potts ...
Ralph Maddox
David Chrisman ...
Young Intellectual
Bette Rae ...
Earnest Grandmother
Robina Suwol ...
Female Patron

Comic-Con 2017: All Aboard the IMDboat


July 20 to 23, 2017

Get entertainment news, trailer drops, and photos with IMDb's coverage of 2017 San Diego Comic-Con featuring host and IMDboat captain Kevin Smith. Watch our exclusive celebrity interviews, and tune in to our LIVE show from 3:30 to 5 p.m. PDT on Saturday, July 22.

Browse Our Guide to Comic-Con



Jessica complains to Pullitzerprize-winner Bennett J. Devlin, who became editor in Cabot Cove, about elaborately reporting on her bicycle accident. Devlin's assistant, Jeff Ogden, has a crush on fellow English writing class student Melissa Maddox, who types for injured Jessica. Melissa calls her older husband Ralph Maddox, a tough businessman, who caused Hank Crenshaw to go bankrupt and now forecloses on his home, an inconsiderate jerk. One evening Melissa phones Jeff, claiming she found Ralph stabbed to death with scissors, and persuades him to stage a robbery in his firm, where Hank finds the body. Jessica helps sheriff Mort Metzger work it all out. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

infidelity | arson | adultery | See All (3) »


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

23 September 1990 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This was Janet Margolin's final acting role before her death on December 17, 1993 at the age of 50. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Carrying the Torch to the Lumberyard...Plus the Body
3 September 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This episode marks the last appearance of film and television star Janet Margolin.

When Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) injures her wrist, she hires temporary typist Melissa Maddox (Lise Cutter) to assist with her writing. The flighty Melissa feels trapped inside a loveless marriage to demanding lumberyard owner Ralph Maddox (Cliff Potts).

Meanwhile, Bennett J. Devlin (Joe Dorsey), publishers of the Cabot Cove Gazette, fills in for the role of Jessica's confidante in the temporary absence of Seth. Bennett hires student employee Jeff Ogden (David Oliver) to assist with responsibilities around the newspaper.

Melissa Maddox and Jeff Ogden share a common interest in writing, as they enroll in an evening course at the local community college, instructed by Drew Garrison (David McCallum), who experiences distance in his marriage to Rita Garrison (Janet Margolin ).

Ralph Maddox has an eye for waitress Trudy Ludwig (Mary Ann Pascal), whose eye isn't exactly safe around Ralph, nor her employer, Hank Crenshaw (Geoffrey Lewis), who fiercely battles Ralph, even in the presence of Sheriff Mort Metzger (Ron Masak). Deputy Floyd (Will Nye) remains on hand at the Cabot Cove Sheriff Station.

What forms as a result of these series of events would be something resembling an unrequited heptagon, with seven discontented characters considering their possibilities if someone new were to love them back.

But does one of them find the courage to burn evidence of a potential murder plot, another the courage to stand up to a brutal attack, another the courage to douse the lumberyard in gasoline and flame, another to hoist a pair of scissors, another to stand up to Sheriff Metzger amid bold accusations, and another to move the body when promised a kiss even if the coaxer surely appears guilty and the alibi doesn't quite hold water? Then who's cheating whom in this unrequited heptagon? Well, keep in mind that this condensed soap opera plot has turned into a "Deadly Misunderstanding."

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

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: