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"Murder, She Wrote" The Family Jewels (1990)

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Wealthy Couple Mingles with Politicians, Jewelers and Domestic Servants for Murder

7/10
Author: WeatherViolet from United States
29 November 2009

This episode marks the most recent appearance to date by Jonna Lee, who has been acting since 1983. Stanley Kamel, who has been acting since 1969, and Charles Rocket, who has been acting since 1980, have unfortunately since passed.

Porter Finley III (John Considine) and Sheila Kowalski Finley (Brenda Vaccaro) own a lavish residence in Westchester County, New York, complete with Maid, Margaret Gable (Jonna Lee), Chauffeur, Rocco Pastolino (Joey Aresco), and limousine in garage.

Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) enters Beaumont Jewelry Shoppe in New York City, at which its management and staff, D. L. Beaumont (Richard Davalos), Arthur Morris (Doug Mears), and Charles Lockner (Howard McGillin) wait upon Sheila Kowalski Finley, whom Jessica observes slipping a diamond bracelet into her own purse.

Sheila quickly befriends Jessica, inviting her to a political fund-raiser for candidate Drew Borden (Mike Farrell) at the Finley estate; but, after Sheila exits the shoppe, Jessica reports the shoplifting incident, to which management and employees deny anything of value missing from their showcase.

Later, the jewelers explain that all that they have to do is to bill Porter Finley III for any jewelry which his social-climbing wife happens to pocket.

However Sheila also keeps another secret from her wealthy husband, her running around with Rocco the Chauffeur behind his back, while Rocco secretly makes plans to run off with the Margaret, the Finley Maid.

Guests attending the fund-raiser, along with Drew Borden, include Sid Staples the Campaign Manager (Stanley Kamel), Barbara Loring (Deborah Benson), and Olivia (Pamela Roylance), whom Drew escorts to the Finleys.

Jessica, also in attendance, observes mysterious behavior, with various attendees slipping into the corridor leading to the Finley garage. But after hearing a scream, Jessica and several others rush into the garage, where they discover a body.

Lieutenant Stuyvesant (Charles Rocket) welcomes Jessica's assistance in uncovering clues, linking the crime to activities in the Finley household, the jewelry shoppe and the political campaign, when the plot thickens with a late-night break-in, an anesthetizing with chloroform, and a theft of "The Family Jewels."

The cast is rounded out by Diana Lewis as TV Newscaster, Forrest Witt as Reporter #1, Marcy Goldman as Reporter #2, and Michael Halpin as Technician.

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