Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
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Curse of the Daanav 

When Seth's estranged brother is murdered, Jessica must figure out if a cursed ruby from India is responsible.


Walter Grauman


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


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Episode complete credited cast:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Jane Badler ... Carolyn Hazlitt
Douglas Barr ... Mark Hazlitt
Kabir Bedi ... Vikram Singh
Richard Bradford ... Richard Hazlitt
Larry Linville ... Lt. Steven Ames
Clive Revill ... Bert Davies
William Windom ... Dr. Seth Hazlitt
Jane Windsor Jane Windsor ... Alice Davies Hazlitt
Kres Mersky Kres Mersky ... Policewoman
Michael McNab Michael McNab ... Police Officer
Michael Blue Michael Blue ... Explorer


After meeting their Congressman in Washington D.C., Jessica convinces Seth to accept an invitation to a polo-match in nearby Maryland hosted by his wealthy, estranged brother, Richard Hazlitt. Seth grudgingly accepts provided she joins him. Richard's new wife, considered a threat by his son, Mark Hazlitt, and daughter, actually sent the invitation, but it works, the brothers finally make up in a trip to memory lane with whiskey and cigars at the estate. However, the ruby Richard bought for his wife, seems to work its curse to kill anyone not of pure heart who wears it as she nearly suffocates in the garage. Next, Richard takes the ruby to his study, and is killed while the door is locked from the inside. Jessica works out how both crimes connect with the ruby and refuses to believe Vikram Singh, who has been trying to by the ruby is guilty, even after the ruby is found on him, as her trap proves. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ruby | curse | doctor | nightmare | polo | See All (9) »


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

7 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
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Did You Know?


Although it is said here that Seth Hazlitt's brother Richard, his nephew Mark and his niece Carolyn are his only relatives, he is later shown to have several cousins who live on a plantation down south in Dixie. See more »


[first lines]
Explorer: Get up! Get up!
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References Gunga Din (1939) See more »


Murder She Wrote Theme
Written by John Addison
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User Reviews

"Good-bye, Ruby Necklace"
10 November 2009 | by WeatherVioletSee all my reviews

This episode marks one of the most recent appearances to date by Michael Blue and Kres Mersky. Jane Windsor had acted in several productions during the 1980's, before returning to college. Larry Linville has since unfortunately passed.

In a Subcontinental Indian cavern, an Explorer (Michael Blue) and his Indian guide, Vikram Singh (Kabir Bedi), discover a ruby, the "Seeing Eye of Daanau," embedded within the powerful golden cobra, which comes with a curse to all who would dear to wear it. The Explorer immediately perishes upon removing the ruby from the golden statue.

After an unspecified span of time, the Daanau gemstone is set into a golden necklace, purchased by the wealthy Richard Hazlitt (Richard Bradford), who presents it to his young British-born bride, Alice Davies Hazlitt (Jane Windsor), at their Maryland estate, while preparing for a day of festivities, including a Polo match and party set for that evening.

Doctor Seth Hazlitt (William Windom) has been estranged from his brother for thirty years, in the aftermath of a triangle, in which Richard and Seth each sought the affection of Molly, with whom Richard had eloped, causing Seth to relocate to Portland, Maine.

Seth had subsequently married the now-late Ruth and forgotten about the now-late Molly, who had born two children, the determined Mark Hazlitt (Douglas Barr), who cannot seem to please his father in operating the family business, and the irresponsible Carolyn Hazlitt (Jane Badler), who amasses more debt than she can manage through her extravagant spending.

Joining the Hazlitts for the Polo match and party are Bert Davies (Clive Revill), the possessive father of Alice, and Vikram Singh (Kabir Bedi), now the Cultural Attaché at the Indian Embassy in Washington, DC, who seeks the return of the Daanau to its rightful owner, the government of India, and communicates its dreadful curse to anyone who wears it.

After Seth Hazlitt and Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) pay a visit to their unseen U.S. Representative from Maine, Congressman Everett Hale, Head of the House Committee on Secret Intelligence, Seth informs Jessica of the invitation which he has received to visit his brother in nearby suburban Maryland. When Jessica encourages Seth to accept the olive branch of peace, Seth places the condition that Jessica join him for the event. (There is a reference here that Richard, Mark and Carolyn are Seth's only surviving relatives, but in a future episode, Jessica joins Seth on a visit to his cousin's estate in South Carolina.)

At any rate, when Richard acts surprised to face Seth, who mingles with Alice, Bert and Jessica after the Polo match, Alice explains that it is she who sent Seth the invitation, and welcomes Seth and Jessica to stay as their guests. Richard saves face by agreeing with Alice and Jessica's suggestions that the brothers Hazlitt are overdue for a long talk to patch up their differences.

But during the party that evening, when Alice excuses herself to retrieve her present for Richard from their garage, she becomes trapped when the door is locked behind her, with carbon monoxide fumes from the operating automobile, which also has a locked door, to prevent her from extinguishing the exhaust, thus supplying evidence toward the "Curse of the Daanau."

Everyone acts very suspiciously before and after Alice manages to recover under Seth's medical expertise, and Richard and Seth manage to reflect over their past differences to resolve them--or at least until a body is discovered in the locked study, from which the Daanau has been stolen.

Lieutenant Steven Ames (Larry Linville) investigates the attempted murder, and returns to investigate the murder, yielding to Jessica's expertise as a perceived government secret agent.

The cast is rounded out by Policewoman (Kres Mersky) at the precinct office, and Police Officer (Michael McNab) at the Hazlitt estate.

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