Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
3 user

Death in Hawaii 

Jessica's vacation to Honolulu becomes chaotic when the son of her host vanishes during a hotly contested U.S. Senate election.


Don Mischer


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

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Episode cast overview:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Nina Foch ... Rebecca Kinkaid
Gretchen German ... Liz Dougherty
Tom Hallick ... D.A. Randall Thompson
Ted Henning ... Jeff Kinkaid (as Ted W. Henning)
Ken Howard ... Matt Kinkaid
James F. Kelly James F. Kelly ... Brett Reynolds
Robert Duncan McNeill ... Danny Kinkaid
Steve Park ... Joe Yoshanaga
Marty Rackham Marty Rackham ... Boone Aldrich
Tamlyn Tomita ... Det. Sharon Matsumoto
David Tress David Tress ... Martin Osborn
Ata Scanlan ... Ben Kamaka
Steve Ruge Steve Ruge ... Honolulu P.D. Detective (as Steven Ruge)
Karen Lew ... Registration Clerk


After an exhausting foreign books tour, Jessica checks in at the Kinkaid Oahu hotel, a penthouse suite, compliments of the owner Matt Kinkaid, who refuses to consider selling the hotel. Meanwhile Matts' son Jeff is running for Senator against his brother Dannys' boss D.A. Randall 'Randy' Thompson. Danny reluctantly works on a dirty Southeast Asian finance investigation involving banker Brett Reynolds (who finances Randys' campaign) and Martin Osborn, to which end financial whiz Joe Yoshanaga just entered the banks service. After his grandmother Rebecca tells Jessica Danny recently had a suspicious diving accident, he has a swim and a masked diver in a motorboat throws shark bait around him - he goes missing. Joe breaks into Reynolds' PC to send his personal files by modem to the abandoned sugar mill, and Jessica finds out that's where Danny's' cellular phone is connected; Dannys' girlfriend (the police detective) and Jessica find him there holding a gun, standing over family gardener ... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

16 October 1994 (USA) See more »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

A rather camp but not particularly mysterious deadly excursion to Hawaii
26 November 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Have always been quite fond of 'Murder She Wrote'. It is a fun and relaxing watch that makes you think as you try to unwind in the evening. If one wants more complex, twisty mysteries with lots of tension and suspense 'Murder She Wrote' may not be for you, but if you want something light-hearted and entertaining but still provide good mysteries 'Murder She Wrote' fits the bill just fine.

"Death in Hawaii" entertains reasonably, if more for its vast camp appeal than as a mystery (which actually does put it above other episodes with ridiculous or underwhelming mysteries with no intrigue, entertainment or camp appeal to back them up, a prime example being the previous season's "Time to Die"). The set up is pretty good, with some nice political intrigue and a unique attack scene involving sharks.

The cast on the most part add to this. Angela Lansbury is great as always, and particularly spicing things up in the entertainment value are zesty Nina Foch and formidable Ken Howard.

Location is striking, 'Murder She Wrote' doesn't get much more exotic than Hawaii, and the production values are slick and stylish. The music has energy and has presence but also not making the mistake of over-scoring, while it is hard to forget or resist the theme tune. There are signs of thoughtfulness and light-heartedness in the writing.

Unfortunately, the mystery could have been much stronger. One can just about suspend disbelief (a little) at Jessica being as trusted as she is in the type of family featured here when they didn't appear in Jessica's previous endeavour to Hawaii in "Magnum on Ice". The mystery however appears too late and the investigation felt rushed.

Also felt that after such a promising set up that what things appeared to be (everything involving Danny) was abandoned for something far less convincing or interesting, with the actual victim being pretty underdeveloped and things getting increasingly ludicrous, and initially irrelevant was a shame. The denouement was surprising but was silly and not very well acted. There are exceptions to the acting. They were Ata Scanlan, inexperience coming through loud and clear, and Tamlyn Tomita who was stiff and never seemed sure what to make of her lines. Dialogue also seemed overripe in places.

In short, watchable but for a good mystery look elsewhere. 5/10 Bethany Cox

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