Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
3 user

A Very Good Year for Murder 

The Gambini family winery is the take-over target of organized crime and it's up to Jessica to uncover who is behind the murder of a mafia hit man.


Walter Grauman


Peter S. Fischer (created by), Richard Levinson (created by) | 2 more credits »

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Episode cast overview:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Kristian Alfonso ... Michele Gambini
Ina Balin ... Stella Gambini
Bibi Besch ... Fiona Gambini
Thomas Byrd Thomas Byrd ... Paul Gambini (as Tom Roberts Byrd)
Grant Goodeve ... Ben Skyler
John Saxon ... Marco Gambini
Arlen Dean Snyder ... Pol. Chief Thaddius Kyle
Eli Wallach ... Salvatore Gambini
Billy Zane ... Tony Gambini
Robert O'Reilly ... Stephen Ridgely
John Mooney John Mooney ... Doctor (as John C. Mooney)
Paul Lyell Paul Lyell ... Guest #1
Jeff Albert Jeff Albert ... Guest #2
Rob Zapple ... Deputy


Jessica attends the grand 75th birthday party of Salvatore Gambini, the Italian patriarch and founder of a valuable winery. She soon finds out there are tensions as the old man fears only his son Marco is devoted to the business while the next generation is 'spoiled'. Paul's brighter brother, Tony Gambini, goes back and forth to Tahoe on some business he won't elaborate on. After Tony has an accident in the wine-cellar, Police Chief Thaddius Kyle and Jessica are watchful. However, they fail to prevent the murder of granddaughter Michele Gambini's boyfriend, who, as Kyle finds out, is actually a mob hit-man. Yet Jessica comes to a surprising conclusion, with an unusual end result. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

28 February 1988 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Just before his tumble, Tony is called "Paulie" by his grandfather, Salvatore Gambini ( Eli Wallach ). See more »


[first lines]
Marco Gambini: Marco Gambini: The vineyards of the family Gambini. The finest grapes in the world, nurtured with love. Papa did all of this. So? What do you think?
Jessica Fletcher: I'd say that you are very proud of him, Marco.
See more »

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User Reviews

Gambini Family Values
3 August 2017 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

This episode finds Jessica Fletcher in the Sonoma Valley wine country of Northern California guest of Eli Wallach, patriarch of the Gambini family of wine growers and merchants.

It saddens Wallach that his son John Saxon nor his daughter Ina Balin, or his three grandchildren, Kristian Alfonso, Thomas Byrd or Billy Zane seem to have inherited his love of the land and the wine business. But they're all together at Wallach's invitation to find some kind of common ground.

A guest that Alfonso brings, Grant Goodeve winds up being poisoned by some of Wallach's product. And it turns out he's in reality a mob hit man.

I go no further but to say in the end Wallach accomplishes his goal.

A most unusual episode with an unusual twist in the end.

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