Jessica's night at a political fund-raiser turns to murder.

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Cast

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Rocco Pastolino
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Porter Finley III
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Drew Borden
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Sid Staples
Jonna Lee ...
Margaret Gable
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Charles Lockner
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Lt. Stuyvesant
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D.L. Beaumont
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Arthur Morris
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Barbara Loring
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Olivia
Diana Lewis ...
TV Newscaster
Michael Halpin ...
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Storyline

While in New York, Jessica stops in at the expensive Beaumont & Co. jewelry store to have her watch repaired and there sees a woman, later identified as Sheila Finley, steal an expensive necklace. The store's manager seems completely disinterested in what Jessica may have seen. That evening Jessica attends a fund-raiser with her good friend Drew Borden who is running for District Attorney. At the party. Finley's chauffeur Rocco Pastolino is found dead in the garage. When Sheila Finley is arrested for murder, Jessica is certain she is innocent. It turns out that Sheila is a little light-fingered and when she steals something, the jewelry store just sends the bill to her husband. When someone attacks Sheila in the night, Jessica realizes that the jewelry is behind all the problems. Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama | Mystery

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4 November 1990 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Jewel theft and murder
12 October 2017 | by (United Kingdom) – 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.

"The Family Jewels" to me is one of the better episodes of Season 7. It has a mystery that is suitably twisty and cleverly constructed, managing to engage from start to finish without ever feeling too simplistic (it does go unexpected places and the murderer is not obvious thank goodness) or convoluted. Quite a feat for a story with a lot of elements and a lot going on, where over-stuffing and confusion are real dangers but remarkably didn't happen in "The Family Jewels".

Even more interesting is the character of Sheila, around whom "The Family Jewels" provides a fascinating character study, which from admission compelled a little more than the mystery. One is not sure of whether to trust her or not or whether she's guilty, but one actually does care about the case being solved and somewhat roots for her.

It is hard to fault Angela Lansbury in one of her most famous and best-remembered roles for very good reason and the cast are uniformly strong. The episode however does belong to Brenda Vaccaro, who knocks it out of the park with her juicy character that contributed hugely to a fairly ahead of its time episode in its treatment of taste in shoplifting and sexuality.

Production values as ever are slick and stylish. 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 suitably light-hearted, amiable and intriguing while taking itself seriously when needed without going overly so.

Overall, excellent. One of the better Season 7 episodes and the best up to this point in the season. 9/10 Bethany Cox


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