Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
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Tainted Lady 

The poisoning deaths of three customers point to the local diner owner.

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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Marshall Colt ...
Ross Corman
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Laura Corman
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Katie Emhardt
Sam Freed ...
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Dr. John Logan
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Sheriff Deloy Hays
Laurie Prange ...
Doris Gerringer
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Ellen Wicker (as Dee Wallace Stone)
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Edge Potter
Javi Mulero ...
Deputy Ray Gomez
Karen Hensel ...
Deputy Mary Jo Rush
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Storyline

Jessica pays bail for her friend Ellen Wicker who is accused of arsenic poisoning in the sleepy town of Dry Wells, where she returned after 15 years to run the diner, but her one time Boston murder acquittal still counts as popularly accepted proof. Ross Corman who, just before had his unrequited intimacy attempts shirked off by Ellen, does the same thing with the domineering sheriff again. Jessica takes an unusual interest in environmental issues and assumes there are two killers. Written by KGF Vissers

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Crime | Drama | Mystery

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5 May 1991 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Murder by arsenic
18 October 2017 | by See all my reviews

Have always been quite fond of 'Murder She Wrote'. It is a fun and relaxing watch that makes you think as you try to unwind in the evening. If one wants more complex, twisty mysteries with lots of tension and suspense 'Murder She Wrote' may not be for you, but if you want something light-hearted and entertaining but still provide good mysteries 'Murder She Wrote' fits the bill just fine.

While not one of the best episodes of Season 7 like "Who Killed J.B. Fletcher?", "The Return of Preston Giles", "Murder Plain and Simple", "A Body to Die For", "The Family Jewels" and "Thursday's Child", "Tainted Lady" is still a very good episode. What stops it from being great is the tension between Ellen and Hays, because of the cartoonishly unpleasant way Hays is written and how he behaves it was more out-of-place nastiness rather than tension and it did at times distract from what was actually one of the better mysteries of Season 7.

The mystery is clever and engaging, with a unique (for 'Murder She Wrote' up to this point in the show) murder method and how it was done. The ending was one of the show's greatest shocks in a good way, not only does the identity of the culprit floor you but one is equally shocked at the explanation for how the arsenic was administered.

Angela Lansbury plays Jessica without any problem whatsoever, and she gets terrific support from Dee Wallace as a very sympathetic suspect. Gary Lockwood does a very good job with what he has, he successfully brings out the creepy and oily factors, it's not his fault that his character is so unpleasant.

Production values as always are slick and stylish with some nostalgia induced. The music has energy and has presence but also not making the mistake of over-scoring, while it is hard to forget or resist the theme tune. The writing is thoughtful, cosy and light-hearted while taking itself seriously as well.

To conclude, very good episode if not quite a standout. 8/10 Bethany Cox


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