Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
7.6/10
119
3 user

Murder of the Month Club 

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The taping of an infomercial by Jessica and two fellow novelists is plagued by problems including the mysterious death of an audience member.

Director:

Walter Grauman

Writers:

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

Episode cast overview:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Jeff Conaway ... Tom Powell
George DiCenzo ... Lt. Harry Fogel (as George Di Cenzo)
Patrick Fabian ... Larry Shields
Kerri Green ... Sara Ogilvie
Gale Hansen Gale Hansen ... Arnold Wynn
Ian Ogilvy ... Wade Foster
Cec Verrell ... Joellen Waller
Gwynyth Walsh ... Gina Powell
Anthony Zerbe ... Mat Matthews
Leonard Lightfoot Leonard Lightfoot ... Detective Henderson
W. Earl Brown ... Guard
David Elliott ... Stewart Murphy (as David E. Elliott)
Dena Burton ... Fran
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Storyline

Stewart Murphy, is strangled in a car and dumped in an alley in Buffalo. On his firm's Telesales infomercial film-set, Tom Powell is not amused to hear the troublesome, expensive star-host Wade Foster is in make-up for a rehearsal for the Hartley Murder of the Month Book Club. Jessica is one of the authors shown around by Larry Shields before the on-air panel talk, with former glory Mat Matthews and Joellen Waller. Tom's wife Gina first complains about his late hours and a $450 hotel credit card charge he blames on a client staying a day extra, then blocks off Foster's financial desires, while confirming security will be beefed up. NYPD Lieutenant Harry Fogel (who usually works alone) and temporarily reassigned Detective Henderson drop by inquiring about the Murphy case. After the rehearsal, the dining authors get a visit from Arnold Wynn, a fan of all three and former writing class pupil of Mat in Buffalo, who is also one of the extras hired as a fake audience. A female extra asks an... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 December 1994 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title refers to "The Book of the Month Club" that was started by Harry Scherman and Max Sackheim in 1920 offering specially selected books monthly. The service grow so rapidly that titles were even advertised as Book of the Month Club selections. The club is now owned by the Bookspan Company. See more »

Goofs

Mat Matthews removes a napkin off his neck and drops it on the floor and Jessica asks the waiter to pick it up. When Arnold Wynn enters the restaurants, the napkin has jumped back onto Mat's neck and in the next scene is off again. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Stewart Murphy: Well, wish me luck, ol' buddy.
Arnold Wynn: Hey, Stewart, the law's on your side.
Stewart Murphy: Man, I hope you're right. It'd be a nice time to see the good guys win for a change.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Book club murder
30 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.

After one of its best episodes in "Murder By Twos", Season 11 continues with an episode on the opposite end of the spectrum. "Murder of the Month Club" is one of the season's weakest, a lesser episode of the latter seasons and in the weaker half of all the 'Murder She Wrote' episodes in general. Not unwatchable but mediocre at best and not an easy watch.

There are plus points. Angela Lansbury is terrific and Leonard Lightfoot is a charming presence. Liked that the episode gave a reason for Artie Gelber's absence for continuity's sake. Ian Ogilvy is excellent, by far the best performance of the guest supporting cast by quite some way.

Production values are slick and stylish as ever with 'Murder She Wrote'. 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.

Of the guest supporting cast, only Ogilvy gives a good performance or one close to being of professional level. The rest of the cast consists of actors who seemed to had forgotten their acting lessons or couldn't seem to be able to act full stop. Generally "Murder of the Month Club" is one of the worst acted episodes.

Not even a good mystery can save things, where the only thing going for it is an interesting and somewhat different and cleverly done murder method for the second murder. The mystery itself is forgettable and dull, with the identity of the killer to me being obvious too early (picked up on what gave them away before Jessica did) and a motive that is pretty uninspired and prematurely foreseeable. Showing the murderer and providing the motive for the first murder straight away was a mistake, taking away from the fun and mystery of being able to solve the crimes and the ability for us to spot the connection between deaths that seem unrelated.

Writing-wise, "Murder of the Month Club" is pretty dreary and there's little thoughtful or light-hearted about it, tonally this is one of the sticking-out-like-a-sore-thumb episodes. What could have been one of the show's most original concepts ended up being wasted by the episode having nothing interesting or new to say.

In short, mediocre at best. 4/10 Bethany Cox


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