Murder, She Wrote (TV Series 1984–1996) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • Professional writer and amateur sleuth Jessica Fletcher (Dame Angela Lansbury) uses her intellect, charm, and persistence to get to the bottom of every crime she encounters.

  • Former high school English teacher and famed mystery writer Jessica Fletcher (Dame Angela Lansbury) has a gift for solving mysteries. You see, it seems murder follows her around, whether it be to the houses of her seemingly endless number of friends, nieces, and nephews, or right in her hometown of Cabot Cove, Maine. Jessica is sometimes assisted by her friend Dr. Seth Hazlitt (William Windom) or the local Sheriff, Amos Tupper (Tom Bosley) and Tupper's successor, Mort Metzger (Ron Masak), a former New York City cop. Sometimes, later in the series, Jessica would only serve as narrator. In later seasons, Jessica moved to Manhattan to teach criminology at Manhattan University.

  • Widowed Jessica Fletcher (Dame Angela Lansbury) didn't intend to become a famous writer. It all started with one story written just to occupy her time after her husband, Frank died. When she discovers that her nephew, Grady Fletcher (Michael Horton) found her book and gave it to a "friend", Kitty Donovan (Jessica Browne), who really works for a publisher, Jessica agrees to come to New York City where Grady and Kitty are and ends up solving a murder there, unintentionally becoming an amateur sleuth. From that time on, murder and all sorts of trouble seem to find Jessica wherever she goes. When she is in her Maine hometown, Cabot Cove, she is sometimes assisted by Sheriff Amos Tupper (Tom Bosley), who is not the sharpest tool in the shed, sometimes with Dr. Seth Hazlitt (William Windom), and also Tupper's replacement, former New York City cop, Sheriff Mort Metzger (Ron Masak). Occasionally, other sleuths help her like Boston P.I. Harry McGraw (Jerry Orbach), shady Chicago Private Eye Charlie Garrett (Wayne Rogers), and reformed thief, Dennis Stanton (Keith Michell). Jessica is a good judge of character and notices very small details. In the later seasons, she moves to New York City, serves as only the narrator in some episodes, and teaches criminology at Manhattan University.

  • Jessica Beatrice (J.B.) Fletcher (Dame Angela Lansbury) is a former high school English teacher who takes up writing mystery novels as a way of helping her cope with the sudden passing of her husband Frank. Frank's nephew Grady Fletcher (Michael Horton), who was raised by the Fletchers following the death of his parents, finds one of Jessica's novels and submits it to a publisher behind her back. Not only does the novel get published, but it becomes a best seller. Soon Jessica becomes an international celebrity and travels throughout the United States and the world promoting her novels. However, she also displays a knack for solving murders and becomes a well respected amateur criminologist. She often solves crimes with the aid of her friends Dr. Seth Hazlitt (William Windom) and Sheriff Amos Tupper (Tom Bosley), and his successor, former New York City cop, Mort Metzger (Ron Masak), and occasionally with other sleuths such as Boston private investigator Harry McGraw (Jerry Orbach), Chicago private eye Charlie Garrett (Wayne Rogers), and reformed thief Dennis Stanton (Keith Michell).


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