Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
5 user

Menace, Anyone? 

Jessica attends a tennis tournament as the guest of honor. She struggles to protect her former student Carol when her boyfriend is blown up in her car and she is the only suspect.


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




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Dennis Cole ... Mitch Mercer
Bryan Cranston ... Brian East
Karlene Crockett Karlene Crockett ... Barbara McDermott
Linda Hamilton ... Carol McDermott
Van Johnson ... Elliot Robinson
Kelli Maroney ... Cissy Barnes
Doug McKeon ... Donny Harrigan
Barry Primus ... Det. Sgt. Len Berger
Betsy Russell ... Doris Robinson
David Spielberg ... Det. Lt. Tad Travis
Kerry Sherman ... Rosie
Harold Ayer ... Sexton
Laurence Haddon Laurence Haddon ... Judge
Gus Corrado ... Paramedic


Jessica is the guest of honor opening the children's fund benefit exhibition tournament in Elliot Robinson's Green River Racquet tennis club, where her young friend, Carol McDermott, has a managing position. Brian East, Carol's charming fiancé is killed by a dynamite explosion in the car he borrowed from Carol. Investigating detective lieutenant Tad Travis is a fan of Jessica, but is killed by knife when he visits Carol at home. She claims the killer is her sister Barbara, an alcoholic who was buried three years ago after a plane crash, however her grave is untended and Carol was in a psychiatric institution at the time, which Travis had already discovered. Then Barbara turns up alive, admitting she switched identity with a dead passenger. Jessica snoops among the tennis people. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

6 April 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?


This is the first of three Murder, She Wrote episodes that Bryan Cranston co-stars in. See more »


[last lines]
Carol McDermott: I'd like to see her.
Jessica Fletcher: Oh, I think you two are going to see a great deal of each other for a long, long time to come.
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Murder She Wrote Theme
Written by John Addison
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User Reviews

Murder at the tennis tournament
31 July 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

SPOILER: 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.

"Menace, Anyone?" is by no means a particularly great episode, but there is something entertaining about it. It is something of a strange and campy episode, whether it works for you is dependent on how you like strange and campy (don't mind either apart from when they get excessive, a distinction that the episode comes close to achieving), and it is fun to see the nostalgic but very out of date hairstyles and fashions.

The episode's biggest problem is that it does have a strong contender for the most confusing, over-complicated and weirdest ending of any episode of 'Murder She Wrote', and perhaps up there with the most confusing, over-complicated and weirdest endings ever. Usually have no problem understanding the final solutions of 'Murder She Wrote' episodes, some are actually very easy to figure out, the one here is one that has always seen me struggling to make complete sense of.

It does feel rather rushed at the end too, and the motive for the second murder didn't seem that well thought out.

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 good fun. The story is mostly engaging, if at times taking too much of a strange turn and there are too few suspects to make one properly question Carol's guilt.

Angela Lansbury doesn't disappoint, while Linda Hamilton (in a pretty great performance) and Van Johnson are the standouts of a reliable supporting cast, that includes Bryan Cranston looking so young.

Overall, strange and with an ending that doesn't make as much sense as ought but entertaining and well played. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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