A temporary black-out at a recording studio leaves Jessica in the dark when the wealthy soon-to-be-owner is stabbed to death.


(as Anthony Shaw)


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Episode cast overview:
Greg Dalton
Lt. Faraday
Carl Anglin
Earl Tuchman
Charlie Daniels ...
Stoney Carmichael
Jonna Lee ...
Sally Ann Carmichael
Al Parker
Nancy Dalton
Margaret Witworth
Randy Witworth
Trish Garland ...
Austin Kelly ...


Jessica is recording one of her murder stories on a tape for the blind in the Red River Studios at night, when director Randy Witworth allows it as a favor to producer Greg Dalton, whom he blinded in a car accident. During one of a recent series of mysterious power cuts interrupting recording sessions, Randy is fatally stabbed in the back with a steak-knife from the Dalton kitchen. Police lieutenant Faraday considers mystery writing a harmless hobby for useless women, real sleuthing man's work, Jessica's attention for a spilled bottle of expensive nail-polish just too much. Still she manages to follow and inspire the investigation, convinced Greg was framed. Randy was worrying about bootleg tapes risking to nullify his rising star Stoney Carmichael's contract, wondering if recording technicians Al Parker and/or Earl Tuchman were accomplices. His widow Margaret is hardly grieving, but already doing business with Carl Anglin, who immediately pulls the plug on the mystery tapes... Written by KGF Vissers

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Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

10 May 1987 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Lt. Faraday: Oh, I think writing is a real good hobby for a woman. You can cook up some supper, you can chat on the phone, then pop over to the old typewriter now and then for a few minutes.
Jessica Fletcher: Yes, when I am not too busy beating laundry against the rocks in the river.
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He Ain't Got A Woman To His Name
Performed by Charlie Daniels
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User Reviews

O, those Lyin', Cheatin', Swindlin', Drinkin', Honky-Tonkin' Country-Style Murders
9 December 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In this episode's back-story, friends and business associates Greg Dalton (William Atherton) and Randy Witworth (Patrick Wayne) operate Red River Studios, in Nashville, Tennessee. One night, Randy recklessly causes an automobile accident, leaving his friend and passenger, Greg, to lose his eyesight.

While Greg is married to the sweet and accommodating Nancy Dalton (Wendy Phillips), who assists him in every way, professionally and domestically, Randy is married to the shrewd and sometimes shrew-ish Margaret Witworth (Constance Towers), who evidently remains in her marriage for the money.

The venture proves successful, as Randy Witworth serves as Director at Red River Studios, with Greg Dalton as Producer. Their employees include Earl Tuchman (Michael Cole) and Al Parker (Fredric Lehne) as Mixers and Recording Technicians.

And they contract to record rising star Country musicians, such as Stoney Carmichael (Charlie Daniels) and his Band. But Stoney has a clause in his contract to nullify the agreement in the event that bootleg recordings would surface, an event which seems to transpire. Another problem occurs on occasion during sessions with the Stoney Carmichael Band, as power outages interrupt otherwise promising recordings.

Aggressive businessman Carl Anglin (Michael Callan), meanwhile, pressures Randy to sign his latest discovery, singer Sally Ann Carmichael (Jonna Lee), whom he markets as appealing to the youth market in the Country music industry.

As a compensation of sorts to his friend Greg Dalton, Randy Witworth establishes a studio unit to record a series of audio books for the Blind, a project which Greg and Nancy produce, as they invite guest authors to visit at their Nashville residence, while reading their novels and other writings for the series at Red River Studios.

And when Greg and Nancy's next guest author happens to be Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury), troubles begin to multiply during her first series visit to Nashville, with Randy's yanking the plug from the audio readings' series, eruptions on the set with musicians and technicians alike, the threat of a divorce, additional power outages, and a murder in the dark, when the crew discovers the body of a victim who is stabbed while conducting a telephone conversation.

Lieutenant Faraday (G.W. Bailey), investigating the homicide, seeks no help from this out-of-town female Mystery writer, who out-sleuths him on every level anyway, as she discovers a bottle of pink fingernail polish spilling from the victim's desk, tracks down anyone harboring a possible grudge or motive, snoops around for copies of the bootleg tapes, and discovers the murder weapon lodged behind a soft drink machine.

Lieutenant Faraday then does his part, by tracing the knife to the kitchen at the Dalton residence and, naturally, arresting the wrong suspect.

So, Jessica must retrace everyone's steps to prove her friend innocent because it is, of course, "Murder, She Spoke," even though this time around, the suspect whom Jessica names refuses to confess, rather vehemently denying her accusations, while being carted off to the police station, in a rare, but not unique, to this series climax sequence.

The cast is rounded out by Mark Neely as Sergeant, Trish Garland as Secretary, and Austin Kelly as Cabbie.

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