Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
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Murder at a Discount 

One of Jessica's best-selling mysteries makes her the target of a lawsuit by a man who was tried and acquitted for murder.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jessica Fletcher
Neil Fraser
Lt. Artie Gelber (as Herbert Edelman)
Randy Konig (as John Enos)
Iris Novaro
Aaron Woodman
Ted Hartley
Elaine Joyce ...
Lillian Conway
Rachel Novaro
Dave Novaro
Sandy Ward ...
Norman Trent
Leonard Lightfoot ...
Detective Henderson
John Allsopp ...
Jed Collins
John Petlock ...


Dave Novaro claims Jessica's book "The Uncaught" is a thinly disguised version of the murder of his wife Janet (whose mother died of grief six months later), except that he was acquitted in court -albeit merely for lack of evidence- five years ago, not 'his character' in 'her version', so he demands millions as compensation for damages to business, health and marriage. His wife Iris Novaro complains to him this makes him absent, while she tells her lover Rick Konig she couldn't bring herself to tell him about them at such a time of stress. To Jessica's surprise, NYPD Lt. Artie Gelber Artie confirms the murders really are surprisingly similar, even in some details, and there was enough publicity so she could have known. Dave's daughter Rachel Novaro, a lawyer, also wants the book redrawn, while her grandpa Norman Trent believes Dave did murder her mother. When Iris publicly accuses Jessica of ruining her marriage to Dave, who married her, his former secretary, Jessica's publisher Ted ... Written by KGF Vissers

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Plot Keywords:

cane | acquitted of murder | See All (2) »


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

5 December 1993 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Julianna Margulies would go on to play another lawyer in The Good Wife See more »

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User Reviews

Reducing Facts and Deducting Thrift Seekers, Bargain Lawyers, Cut-Rate Associates, Penny-Pinching Spouses and Cheap Alibis
24 October 2009 | by See all my reviews

This episode marks the most recent acting appearances to date by Jenny Burgess, Sylvia Sage and Darnell Harrison. Herb Edelman and Sandy Ward have since passed.

Inside an office in New York City, Publisher Ted Hartley (Bruce Gray) and his assistant, Jed Collins (John Allsopp), unveil the artwork of the cover of the forthcoming paperback edition of a best-selling Mystery, "The Uncaught," by Jessica "J.B." Fletcher (Angela Lansbury).

Meanwhile, at Daffy Dave's Video-Rama shoppe, Dave Novaro (George Segal) is interrupted from a commercial shoot from tension caused from the publicity of "The Uncaught," which has disrupted his life, as well as the lives of those around him because its plot parallels a five-year-old murder case, in which Dave was released on a technicality, after being tried for murdering his wife, Janet Trent Novaro.

Neil Fraser (Sam Anderson), Dave's mild-mannered business partner, and Lillian Conway (Elaine Joyce), Dave and Neil's loyal assistant, had both been life-long friends with Dave, but now the business and the association have grown strained because the cold case has been receiving much publicity.

Iris Novaro (Morgan Fairchild) had served as Dave's secretary until the time of the murder, after which she and Dave had married. But now, she claims that the tension has caused a rift in the marriage, telling Dave that she wants out, but not mentioning her fling with toy-boy Randy Konig (John Enos III), who holds ulterior motives of his own where Iris is concerned.

Jessica now discovers that she must delay her vacation plans for Hawaii, by facing a court deposition as Novaro sues Hartley and the company, in addition to Jessica, who may be sued by the company for presenting fact for fiction even though she never heard of the Novaro murder case. Young Attorney Aaron Woodman (Spencer Garrett) is retained by Ted Hartley to defend Jessica and himself, while Jessica intends to learn as much about the case as possible.

Reviewing archive information, Jessica spots her old associate NYPD Lieutenant Artie Gelber (Herb Edelman) in news coverage, and decides to enlist his assistance in the matter, by checking police files, with the assistance of Artie and Detective Henderson (Leonard Lightfoot).

Jessica then receives a visit from Norman Trent (Sandy Ward), the father of Janet Novaro, and the grandfather of Rachel Novaro (Julianna Margulies), who, against Norman's advice, represents her father, Dave, against the author and publishers of "The Uncaught."

When Norman and Jessica discuss differing reasons for the same purpose of stopping the lawsuit, she notices Norman's golden falcon-handled cane, which is later found at the scene of a murder, when Jessica, Artie and Henderson stumble across a body which has been bludgeoned, in cut-rate fashion, for "Murder at a Discount."

The cast is rounded out by Hilda the Bag Lady (Sylvia Sage), Receptionist (Jenny Burgess), Man (John Petlock), Marcel, the Maitre d' (Robert Rigamonti), Eli the Video Director (Darnell Harrison) and Minister (James Daughton).

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