Murder, She Wrote: Season 1, Episode 17

Footnote to Murder (10 Mar. 1985)

TV Episode  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama
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Jessica sets out to clear the name of a friend who is a prime suspect in a murder case.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Vincent Baggetta ...
Frank Lapinski
Debbie Delancey
Tiffany Harrow
Constance Forslund ...
Lucinda Lark
A.D.A. Mel Comstock (as Pat Harrington)
Hemsley Post
Lt. Meyer
Alexis Post
Adrian Winslow
Horace Lynchfield
John C. Becher ...
John Brandon ...
Assistant D.A.
William McDonald ...


Jessica meets mystery rhyme writer Horace Lynchfield in San Francisco, both came for a literary award. Published, womanizing but burned-out novelist Hemsley Post is reminded of his debt by and to his since 10 years separated wife Alexis, shakes off real veteran and would-be author Frank Lapinski by calling a security guard, boasts about the 'definitive Vietnam war novel' even his publisher never read to his former secretary Adrian Winslow who is now successful and sneers Post was only shortly Playboy correspondent, uses his fist on Horace for a mere cross word at the same award guests cocktail party also attended by publisher Tiffany Harrow and is found knocked dead the next morning, just before Jessica arrives trying to return accidentally switched umbrellas. A.D.A. Mel Comstock, who aims at the mayoral election, needs no more then Horace's admission of a blackout to arrest him. Jessica is determined to find the real killer, and soon starts noticing and checking up on oddities... Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

10 March 1985 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Future series Regular as Cabot Cove Sheriff Mort Metzger, Ron Masak appears as Lt. Meyer in this episode. See more »

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User Reviews

Backstabbing in the Publishing Industry
12 October 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Striving author Horace Lynchfield (Paul Sand) awaits his appointment at Lexington Avenue Diner on a rainy evening in New York City, to accompany Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) to attend a book awards reception.

Adrian Winslow (Robert Reed), a past award recipient, arrives, but cannot be bothered by novice short-story writer Debbie Delancey (Talia Balsam), who presents a copy of her project to the receptive Jessica.

Last year's winner, Lucinda Lark (Constance Forslund), author of the best-seller "Woman Unleashed," is also on hand to greet Horace and the others, as well as Hemsley Post (Kenneth Mars), who shrouds his new manuscript in secrecy, a definitive novel about the Vietnam War, as presented from a combat soldier's perspective.

Tiffany Harrow (Morgan Brittany), the awards' event Coordinator, attempts to convince Hemsley Post to allow her a preview of his manuscript, by planning a visit to his apartment after the evening's program.

Alexis Post (Diana Muldaur), Hemsley's ex-wife, owner of a fashion design company, visits Hemsley to demand $264,000 from his advance salary from his publisher.

Frank Lapinski (Vincent Baggetta), an impoverished unpublished writer, claims authorship the of the manuscript, as based upon his experience in the armed services in Vietnam.

After the less-than-amiable reception, at which, because of flying tempers, umbrellas are mixed up, and Jessica attempts to return one the next morning to its rightful owner.

But, upon her arrival at the residence of the umbrella owner, Jessica is greeted by a team of law enforcement officers, headed by Assistant District Attorney (A.D.A.) Mel Comstock (Pat Harrington Jr.) and Lieutenant Meyer (Ron Masak, in his first of many "MSW" appearances), who hover over a body stabbed by the sword within an umbrella handle.

When the police arrest an innocent suspect, Jessica attempts to prove them wrong, by picking up on a trail of clues, including lipstick on the linens, eyeglasses on the blanket, a hotel room key #2441, and a missing manuscript. A.D.A. Mel Comstock, believing the eyeglasses to belong to Jessica, slips them into her purse without her knowledge.

And when A.D.A. Mel Comstock hands the prisoner to Lieutenant Meyer, who escorts the suspect through the courthouse, he hands custody to Bailiff (Bill MacDonald), who is interrupted by another Assistant D.A. (Mark Harrison), who tells the Baliff that there are more pressing concerns than the prisoners, and allows the suspect to walk freely.

While Jessica attempts to advise the released suspect of correct protocol, she discovers the eyeglasses and consults an Optometrist (John C. Becher) to go along with her plans.

The cast is rounded out by Ernie (John Brandon), Clerk (Lana Schwab), Lady (Nancy Marlow), Cop (Biff Yeager) and Reporter (Michael Kearns), who reveals a "Footnote to Murder."

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