Columbo (1971–2003)
42 user 7 critic

A Stitch in Crime 

A surgeon has an ingenious plan for murdering his partner in a research project, but a nurse catches onto the scheme.


Hy Averback


Shirl Hendryx, Richard Levinson (created by) | 1 more credit »

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Episode complete credited cast:
Peter Falk ... Columbo
Leonard Nimoy ... Dr. Barry Mayfield
Anne Francis ... Nurse Sharon Martin
Nita Talbot ... Marcia Dalton
Will Geer ... Dr. Edmund Hidemann
Aneta Corsaut ... Nurse Morgan
Jared Martin ... Harry Alexander
Victor Millan Victor Millan ... Detective Flores
Ken Sansom Ken Sansom ... Paul (as Kenneth Sansom)
Murray MacLeod ... Dr. Simpson
Leonard Simon Leonard Simon ... Dr. Michaelson
Ron Stokes Ron Stokes ... Tom
Patsy Garrett Patsy Garrett ... Cleaning Woman


Dr. Barry Mayfield is a highly successful and respected surgeon, but his patience leaves a lot to be desired. Nurse Martin becomes suspicious about his tools in sewing up internal organs in his most recent 'successful' operation (namely, his sutures). The good doctor kills her before she spills the beans, but Mayfield doesn't count on Detective Columbo's investigative skills, which quickly uncover a trail of murderous events. Written by Scott Dawson <> / edited by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

11 February 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Colombo: Il filo del delitto See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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Did You Know?


The uniquely shaped Operating Room, with observation windows above, was also used as the Beauty Mark lab in Season 3 "Lovely But Lethal". See more »


When walking on the pier (a long/wide shot of the pier and various people walking), there are three extras walking behind and away from Nimoy and Talbot. The lady in the middle of the trio distinctly turns her head and looks back at the two star actors. She keeps her head turned for a couple seconds before looking straight ahead. A mistake if the she was a hired extra. Although being a public pier, it's possible the trio were random people just walking, the head turn possibly a recognition of Leonard Nimoy. See more »


Dr. Barry Mayfield: Lieutenant Columbo, you're remarkable. You have intelligence, you have perception, you have great tenacity. You've got everything except proof.
See more »


Featured in Pioneers of Television: Crime Dramas (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

Well enough stitched together Columbo adventure
3 January 2003 | by The Welsh Raging BullSee all my reviews

This is a largely potent, cleverly-titled and unpredictably effective Season 2 episode from the Columbo series which sees an impulsive and scheming surgeon (played by Leonary Nimoy) murder a nurse who realises that he is going to botch a heart valve operation on his more circumspect and cautious colleague, who are both involved in a revolutionary medical project.

Leonary Nimoy "warms up" in his role as the villain: he is initially a little wooden but ultimately his character provides a stern test for Columbo's powers of deduction and, in turn, Nimoy is very effective in portraying the villain's tenacity and calculating nature.

The script-writer allows the plot to drift a little in mid-section, primarily because of the pursuance of the drug-related theme which is the made-to-look motive used by the killer.

Will Geer's portrayal of his slightly irritating and fussy characterisation is almost too good; since it borders too much towards comedy and this dilutes the tension a little.

The last twenty minutes or so are very well-portrayed: the remarkable thing in this episode is that it is very difficult to anticipate how Columbo will nail the killer. In separate sequences, we see Columbo uncharacteristically lose his temper infront of the murderer and then shake his hand and admit defeat.....

Despite some lesser moments in the middle, the brisk opening and the relentlessly surprising end make this a highly recommended, if not totally faultless Columbo story.

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