Michael Hagarty needs Jessica's help when he tries to prevent his estranged daughter's engagement to a man who is later found dead.

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Laura Downing
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Lieutenant Pat Hogan
Lenore Kasdorf ...
Cynthia Quatrain
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Paul Marlowe
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Luc Lee
Beau Starr ...
Charlie Bennett
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Andrea Cromwell
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Adam Quatrain
Gary Hollis ...
Brad Filmore
Patricia Idlette ...
Desk Person
Steve Tschudy ...
Bartender
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Storyline

Top executive Paul Marlowe and his personal assistant arrange dodgy 'insurance' for the Hong Kong merger deal he's arranging for ex Congressman Adam Quatrain's San Francisco bank. When Jessica arrives for a literary convention, she finds her suite has been arranged by British intelligence friend Michael Hagerty. Michael explains that he illegally found out Marlowe's deal is with international drug lords, to facilitate money laundering. Haggerty is arrested after Paul is shot dead. Lieutenant Pat Hogan can use their unorthodox help to handle both unusually enigmatic crimes. Written by KGF Vissers

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Crime | Drama | Mystery

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29 November 1992 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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The title is based on a line from a popular nursery rhyme. "What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice, and everything nice, That's what little girls are made of." See more »

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"That's What this Series Is Made of"
30 December 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Murder, She Wrote" episode titles reflect a variety of geneses. Whereas many pertain to a narrative, many coincide with the series' theme; some allude to local color of their specific geographic setting; some parody current or vintage film titles; and some are derived from historic nursery rhymes.

We've now arrived at one of these titles yielding nursery rhyme imagery: "Sugar & Spice..." originates in a 19th Century British verse entitled "What Folks Are Made Of," containing stanzas contributed by various authors, including Robert Southey, who is attributed with at least two of its thirteen traditional stanzas.

"What Folks Are Made Of" attempts to answer philosophic questions, as "What are little babies made of, as well as little boys, little girls, young men, young women, sailors, soldiers, nurses, fathers, mothers, old men, old women, and "all folks." Here, the verse pertains to somebody's daughter, answering instead of "Sugar and spice and everything nice," "Sugar & Spice, Malice & Vice," which brings us back to the series topic....

When Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) arrives in (another) journey to San Francisco, she meets the lovely and innocent Andrea Cromwell (Kim Johnston Ulrich), whose handsome fiancé, Paul Marlowe (Kevin Kilner) operates an importing venture with links to Hong Kong. But will murder interrupt another wedding? Paul's business associate, Laura Downing (Donna Bullock), harbors reservations against the engagement of Andrea and Paul, while heavies as Charlie Bennett (Beau Starr), Brad Filmore (Gary Hollis) and Luc Li (James Shigeta) shadow Paul in search of a valuable property, they not above resorting to violent measures to obtain it.

Michael Hagerty (Len Cariou) appears on the scene, and Jessica, naturally, perceives him to involve her into international intrigue against her wishes. But this time around, we observe a softer side of Hagerty, as he tries to befriend Andrea Cromwell, to Jessica's chagrin. Hagerty confesses that he's her long-lost father, whom she avoids because of his desertion to her late mother and her as a child, as he went off on a secret mission and never returned. But for now their problems are only beginning.

Hagerty explains to Andrea that he was never fit for fatherhood and attempts ever effort for reconciliation even though he, neither, approves of the wedding because of his strong distrust for Paul Marlowe and his shady connections.

Adam Quatrain (Efrem Zimbalist Jr.) and wife, Cynthia Quatrain (Lenore Kasdorf), also have connections to the Hong Kong conspiracy going on in the backdrop, as they host a lavish reception, while keeping secrets from each other, which Jessica attempts to unravel once a body is discovered. Former daytime serial star Lenore Kasdorf provides refreshingly neurotic characters in her "MSW" guest star roles. Here, she segues from ingénue in her earlier appearances, to wife of the character portrayed by sturdy, capable veteran actor Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (Extra points for them).

After Andrea turns to Jessica for support in trying to decide what to do, Jessica assures her that she's on her side but also puts in a good word for her father even though she understands the tension which Andrea must feel toward him. At a restaurant, at which Andrea and Jessica await the arrival of Michael Hagerty, Paul Marlowe arrives to present his fiancée a gift of jewelry, asking her to hang onto it, while he meets a client.

Paul disappears into a back corridor, which leads Andrea and Jessica on his trail, for now both Paul and Hagerty have explaining to do. But dinner is interrupted when Andrea and Jessica stumble upon Michael Hagerty, who kneels over a knife embedded into a body.

SFPD Lieutenant Pat Hogan (James Handy) arrives on the scene to consider Hagerty the prime suspect, which causes additional estrangement between father and his beloved daughter, as in "Sugar & Spice, Malice & Vice." But Jessica defends Michael Hagerty's innocence as she continues to support Andrea, while trailing the perpetrator of murder.

The cast is rounded out by Patricia Idlette as Desk Person, and Steve Tschudy as Bartender.

This episode represents the most recent television acting role to date by Steve Tschudy. For this episode also marks the first of two "MSW" guest starring roles each for Kim Johnston Ulrich and Kevin Kilner, the second of two each for James Shigeta, Gary Hollis and Steve Tschudy, the third of three for Efrem Zimbalist Jr., the fourth of four for Lenore Kasdorf, and the seventh of seven "MSW" appearances for Len Cariou in his role as Michael Hagerty.


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