Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
4 user

If a Body Meet a Body 

What begins as a routine murder investigation leads the police to discover that a coffin contains the wrong body.


Walter Grauman


Peter S. Fischer (created by), Richard Levinson (created by) | 4 more credits »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Tom Bosley ... Sheriff Amos Tupper
Robert Donner ... Silas Pike
Anne Jeffreys ... Agnes Shipley
Audrey Landers ... Phyllis Walters
Lori Lethin ... Christy Olson
Monte Markham ... Ned Olson
Rex Smith ... Stew Bennett
Carrie Snodgress ... Connie Vernon
Richard Stahl ... Rev. Matthews
Robert Sterling ... Ben Shipley
William Windom ... Dr. Seth Hazlitt
Joe Maross ... Henry Vernon
Scott Palmer ... Deputy
Ellaraino Ellaraino ... Townsperson #1 (as Ella Raino Edwards)


Cabot Cove financial adviser Henry Vernon is scheduled to be cremated quickly after dying on vacation in Farnsdale with his wife and sole beneficiary Connie Vernon, who claims it was a heart-attack but is accused during the church service of killing him by his mistress Phyllis Walters. When the closed casket gets knocked over, it contains another man's corpse. Amos wants to solve this case himself, while Jessica has a manuscript deadline, and gets on great with the widow. Phyllis implores Jessica to find her lover's killer, claiming Henry was ready to leave Connie for her. Clients start asking for their investments back from Henry's partner, Ned Olson, who fails to find new takers and disapproves of his daughter Christy's relationship with idealist berry farmer Stew Bennett. Then Phyllis finds Henry's corpse in her place, but he dies two days after his 'funeral'. Connie claims John Doe is a hitchhiker who happened to die from a heart-attack so they staged Henry's death to collect his ... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

9 March 1986 (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?


Joe Maross' final TV role. See more »


When the corpse is discovered to have been taken from the doctor's office, Jessica Fletcher ( Angela Lansbury ) goes over to a closed window and claims that the suspect(s) took the body out that way. The next shot of her by the window shows the closed window to now be open. See more »


[first lines]
Phyllis Walters: Silas!
Silas Pike: Morning, Miss Phyllis. My, you do look wonderful in black.
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References The War Wagon (1967) See more »


Murder She Wrote Theme
Written by John Addison
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User Reviews

The case of the wrong body
30 July 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.

"If a Body Meet a Body" may not be one of Season 2's best episodes ("Trial By Error" and "Keep the Home Fries Burning" are my favourites of the season), but is hardly one of the weakest. Instead it is a solid, fun episode with a story that is not what it seems with enough twists involving the body and the murder to keep one guessing. It is let down a little by agreed a general lack of suspects, with only two characters having strong enough motives to commit the crime. The other characters are fun but not quite well drawn enough.

Production values are high in quality as to be expected, with slick photography. 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.

The writing is tight, thought-provoking and typically amiable and the characters and chemistry are great fun. The story is twisty and fun with a nicely executed ending, even though the murderer was a case of either or, or at least to me.

Angela Lansbury never disappoints and she is great here. While there is solid support from Monte Markham, Anne Jeffreys and Rex Smith, the biggest impressions come from Audrey Landers and Carrie Snodgrass, particularly Snodgress who anchors the episode in a way that is hugely compelling.

Overall, very good solid effort. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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