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Jessica is perplexed by the murder of an elderly man as suspicion points to the two simple-minded spinster sisters he was living with.


(as Anthony Shaw)


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


Episode cast overview:
Bart Klapper
Marilee Coleson
Clifford Coleson
Tim Choate ...
Daryl Croft
Morris Penroy
Lillian Appletree
Sheriff Mort Metzger (as Ron Másak)
Helen Appletree
Ole Korshack
Robert Moberly ...
Deborah Rose ...
Bank Teller


Morris Penroy has been living in Cabot Cove for about a year. He is boarding with sisters Lillian and Helen Appletree. When he is found buried in the Appletrees garden after the sisters have cashed his pension check, they are obvious suspects. Several other odd characters are in Cabot Cove, but it all comes into focus when an insurance investigator arrives looking for Penroy in relation to a $5 million robbery, a theft that took place where Penroy was employed. When another body is found at the Appletrees it certainly looks like the gals have taken up peculiar habits. Jessica of course thinks they are innocent and sets out to find the perpetrator. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

6 November 1988 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This was Ron Masak's debut as Sheriff Mort Metzger. See more »


Jessica makes a fleeting reference to long-time regular Sheriff Tupper, saying that he had gone "back home to Kentucky." But for 4 years, fans had been listening to Tupper do what might have been the worst Maine accent in history in his portrayal as a local. See more »


References Arsenic and Old Lace (1944) See more »

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User Reviews

"If You Gotta Play at Garden Parties," Leave the Shovel Behind
2 September 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Classic film stars Teresa Wright and Joan Leslie grace this episode as eccentric spinster sisters Helen and Lillian Appletree, who finish each other's sentences, but cannot seem to explain reasons for bodies' turning up in their flower gardens.

"Mr. Penroy's Vacation" also introduces the recurring characters of Sheriff Mort Metzger (Ron Masak) and Deputy Floyd McCallum (Will Nye) into the Cabot Cove community, as they meet its leading citizens, Mayor Sam Booth (Richard Paul), Doctor Seth Hazlitt (William Windom) and Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury).

When guests arrive in the back yard of the residence of Helen (Teresa Wright) and Lillian Appletree (Joan Leslie) to celebrate the occasion of the birthday of their tenant, Morris Penroy (Henry Jones), the sisters' versions of Mister Penroy's absence vary, other than to explain that he has suddenly left town to visit a sick friend across the country.

During the course of events, a few others descend upon Cabot Cove in uninvited fashion, to search for Mister Penroy, including Clifford Coleson (Don Calfa), who poses as a minister friend of Morris; Ole Korshack (Al Pugliese), who stalks Morris upon his walks; Daryl Croft (Tim Choate), who threatens Morris; Marilee Coleson (Candice Azzara), who claims to be the wife of Morris; and Bart Klapper (Norman Alden), who claims to be an examiner for the Boston-Central Railroad, investigating a $million payroll heist, from which its spoils have never been recovered.

But when Winston, the pet bulldog of Mayor Sam Booth, veers from the course of his hiking with Sam and Jessica, his digging inside the garden of the sisters Appletree leads to the discovery of bodies.

The short-fused Sheriff Metzger suspects that Helen and Lillian know more about murder than they let on, but because Jessica has known the pair since arriving in Cabot Cove during her young adulthood, she maintains their innocence with a grain of doubt.

Jessica subsequently follows a trail littered with embezzlement, forged checks, missing baggage claim checks, and murder graced with a four-pronged tine pitchfork and another hoisted fireplace poker to search for the itinerary of "Mr. Penroy's Vacation."

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