Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
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The Murder of Sherlock Holmes 

Former English teacher Jessica Fletcher travels to New York to celebrate the success of her debut novel, but when an unwanted guest is murdered at a costume party, she wishes she'd stayed home.


Corey Allen


Peter S. Fischer (created by), Richard Levinson (created by) | 5 more credits »

On Disc

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Eddie Barth ... Bernie
Jessica Browne Jessica Browne ... Kitty Donovan
Bert Convy ... Peter Brill
Herb Edelman ... George
Anne Francis ... Louise McCallum (as Anne Lloyd Francis)
Michael Horton ... Grady Fletcher
Tricia O'Neil ... Ashley Vickers
Dennis Patrick ... Dexter Baxendale
Raymond St. Jacques ... Doctor
Ned Beatty ... Chief Roy Gunderson
Arthur Hill ... Preston Giles
Brian Keith ... Caleb McCallum
Rosanna Huffman Rosanna Huffman ... Eleanor Thompson
Paddi Edwards ... Lois Hoey


In this Pilot episode we are introduced to Jessica Fletcher, a recent widow, who lives in Cabot Cove, Maine. Jessica is an substitute English teacher who becomes a mystery book author thanks to her nephew, Grady Fletcher. Grady submits his aunts manuscript to a publishing company who loves it and publishes it immediately. It is a best-seller and Jessica goes to New York City to promote her new book. While there, Jessica gets involved in a murder while at her publisher's home for a costume party. When her nephew becomes a suspect of the murder, Jessica must find the real killer. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

30 September 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Chi ha ucciso Sherlock Holmes? See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In the pilot episode Jessica is introduced by having her guess the ending to a play, in 1980 Angela Lansbury starred in "The Mirror Crack'd" where her character of Miss Marple (the inspiration for Jessica Fletcher) is introduced in much the same way. See more »


When Jessica sneaks into Ashley's office, the double light switch on the wall had the left switch up, and the right switch down, and the lights were off. When Jessica peaks down the hall (because she hears Ashley coming), both light switches are up, but the lights are still off in the office. When Ashley comes in, she changes one switch and the office lights go on (but we can't see which switch she changes). When Ashley leaves the office, she flips the right switch down and the lights go off. See more »


[first lines]
Performer: Roger, is that you?
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References Late Night with David Letterman (1982) See more »


Murder She Wrote Theme
Written by John Addison
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User Reviews

A good start to a grand series
30 August 2012 | by PaularocSee all my reviews

Each week for many years I looked forward to watching this show which is one of my all time favorite television shows. Although some shows were better than others, it never disappointed. This pilot episode sets the stage for the future episodes: the sophisticated yet kindly retired teacher who genuinely likes and is comfortable with all kinds of people from the young to the aged, from the poor to the wealthy, from cab drivers to powerful business leaders, a middle aged woman who is keenly observant, even tempered and oh so confident. The show also continues to have top-notch supporting casts of well known television and/or movie actors as well as often talented new comers. In this one, Jessica Fletcher solves the first of a mind boggling 264 mysteries. After the death of her husband, Jessica writes a mystery novel and unbeknown to her, her nephew submits it to a publisher. It becomes a runaway best seller and Jessica is invited to New York by her publisher and does the television and talk show circuit. The segment of these interviews is priceless in its' put down of such interviews. Jessica is later invited to her publisher's estate and attends big bash costume party. A glimpse into how the rich and powerful live is another recurring motif of this series. A man dressed in a Sherlock Holmes costume is murdered. The sincere but bumbling detective is at sea so it is Jessica who must catch the culprit. Which, of course, she does. The one thing that does not continue in the series, unfortunately, is Jessica's offering down home advice or remedies to strangers she meets along the way. The producers or the star must have seen this as too hokey for a character they wanted to be portrayed as so very sophisticated. Shame really as this motherly advice touch added a nice dimension to the character.

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