Jessica narrates a story from 40 years ago when another female mystery writer helped to solve a mysterious murder aboard the Queen Mary.

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Gary Kroeger ...
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James Stephens ...
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Floyd Levine ...
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Storyline

As Jessica tells in her garden at Lady Abigail Austin's death aged 101, that mystery writing model once solved a real murder aboard the Queen Mary in 1947. Peter Daniken collapsed at her and millionaire Edwin Chancellor's table, stabbed to death. Questioned by New York reporter Christy McGinn, she volunteers her services to help him and waves her badge as honorary Scotland yard reporter to get access to his pa, NYPD lieutenant detective Martin McGinn. U.S. Treasury Agent Lennihan informs them Danikin was an alias for a Nazi smuggling a counterfeit dollar plate. But another murder in committed before three theories are tested. Written by KGF Vissers

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Crime | Drama | Mystery

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8 October 1989 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

The episode "The Grand Old Lady" was actually intended as an Ellery Queen (1975) episode but was shelved after the series was canceled. It was filmed as a Murder, She Wrote (1984) episode using entirely new names for the characters, and Jessica was given the prologue and epilogue that originally belonged to the Jim Hutton character Ellery Queen. The role of the radio reporter was intended for the Simon Brimmer character, who was played by John Hillerman. The role of the inspector, who's the "Ellery" character's father, was intended for David Wayne. See more »

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User Reviews

 
An odd episode
28 November 2016 | by (Malaysia) – See all my reviews

Just as Murder She Wrote started pushing the envelope by stepping away from its somewhat tired formula of 'genius Jessica to the rescue' and embracing modern, deeply psychological story lines and situations, here comes this confounding new installment in the series. This time Jessica only gets to introduce the story and give a few concluding remarks, so to speak. Why she did not portray the story's main protagonist who is also an elderly female is puzzling to say the least.

Strange formatting aside, judged on its own merits the story is a mixed bag. It tries too hard, and ultimately fails, to come up with an honest American take on that quintessentially British genre of the good ol' 1940s whodunit. There are too many characters, too many plot lines and too many complications, sending the director scrambling towards the end to untie them while there is still time. But the most boring and damaging of all is the character of Christy the up-and-coming sleuth, affecting a phony 'old days' demeanor that just isn't believable as either funny or bumbling.

On the plus side, some clichés are skillfully avoided. As such, we end up with more than one semi-plausible explanation of what happened, and discover that the legendary female crime writer may be more at home in the realm of fiction after all, rather than in solving real crime.


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