Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
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Murder on Madison Avenue 

Jessica plays a real-life version of her own murder mystery board-game when the toy company she's working with becomes the scene of the crime.


Jerry Jameson


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

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Episode cast overview:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Barbara Babcock ... Meredith Delaney
Joel Fabiani ... Boris Steloff
Hallie Foote ... Sylvia Moffett
John Hillerman ... Edgar Greenstreet
David Lansbury ... Brian Singer
Leo Rossi ... Lieutenant Hornbeck
Harley Venton Harley Venton ... Devery McFarlane
Caroline Williams ... Amanda North
Ben Slack Ben Slack ... Frank Christy
John Petlock John Petlock ... Miles Packard
Zale Kessler Zale Kessler ... Super
Robert Ackerman Robert Ackerman ... Stromberg
Shannon Fill ... Lady Reporter


In New York City, Jessica is helping to develop a mystery board game for Marathon Toys, run by legendary eccentric Edgar Greenstreet, although Meredith Delaney tells Jessica she is really running the company. Meredith fires a long-time Marathon employee. Meredith's husband Devery McFarlane tells her he knows about the affair and asks when he'll be fired. Two ad agencies are competing for the Marathon account; Meredith is having an affair with the president of one, Boris Steloff, until she sees him kiss an agent of the other he is trying to hire on her orders. Only Meredith's longtime secretary seems unqualifiedly loyal. When Meredith is found dead in Greenstreet's high-security lab, Brian Singer's fingerprints are on the murder weapon. Written by mama.sylvia

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

17 May 1992 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Meredith Delaney and Boris Steloff are embracing, she puts both arms around his neck, in the next shot her hands are touching his chest, then seconds later, back around his neck. See more »


[first lines]
Meredith Delaney: This week marks our 25th year, Liz. So your Wall Street angle should be about Marathon's expanding industry share over that period.
See more »

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User Reviews

"Isn't This a Lovely Night to Be Caught in a Train?"
19 March 2010 | by WeatherVioletSee all my reviews

Edgar Greenstreet (John Hillerman) operates Marathon Toys, a New York City corporation which produces a wide assortment of elaborate toys and games.

Executive Vice-President Meredith Delaney (Barbara Babcock) usurps power as she controls its stock and employees alike, calling Edgar an eccentric, who ought to be banished from the corporation.

Meredith manipulates her young husband, Project Supervisor Devery McFarlane (Harley Venton), her devoted Secretary, Sylvia Moffett (Hallie Foote), Marathon Toys Designer, Frank Christy (Ben Slack), and Reporter Stromberg (Robert Ackerman), banning him from the premises.

Meredith conducts an affair with one Advertising Agency operator, Boris Steloff (Joel Fabiani), and plays him up to compete for a contract against Preston Advertising Agency operator Miles Packard (John Petlock), who employs Amanda North (Caroline Williams) and Brian Singer (David Lansbury).

When Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) arrives at Marathon Toys to consult the production of "Murder Will Out," a board game designed from one of her Mystery books, someone secretly slips into her purse a code to unlock a secret chamber, B100, a toy production factory inside the corporate basement, to which only eight others may access, inside which Edgar Greenstreet emerges from a secret panel to greet Jessica.

Devery McFarlane is assigned to oversee Jessica's project, while Brian Singer serves as Jessica's escort to dinner and to Marathon Toys' Silver Jubilee Celebration, at which five receive performance awards.

Brian admits to Jessica that his association with Amanda reaches beyond business even though she uses him to advance her career, a factor Meredith takes into consideration when she advises Boris to hire Amanda from Miles in order to receive the advertising account, but not to romance Amanda or else.

Brian then disappears from Jessica's sight at the Silver Jubilee, but when she searches the building, she encounters Edgar Greenstreet in B100, where, together, they discover a body encircling the basement in a train car, after being bludgeoned by a crow-bar.

Lieutenant Hornbeck (Leo Rossi) arrives to investigate the murder, which he deems a burglary gone wrong, as top-secret Project 2100 evidently has been stolen.

Upon testing the crow-bar for fingerprints, the police laboratory discovers only Brian's, and when Lieutenant Hornbeck arrests Brian Singer, it is up to Jessica to prove Brian's innocence, and to champion young love, as no one else would be worthy of Amanda's hand for some reason amid this "Murder On Madison Avenue."

The cast is rounded out by Shannon Fill as Annie the Lady Reporter, and Zale Kessler as Super.

This episode represents the first acting credit by Shannon Fill, and also the first of two "MSW" appearances each for Hallie Foote, Caroline Williams, Joel Fabiani and Harley Venton, the second of two each for John Hillerman and Ben Slack, the second of three for David Lansbury, the third of three for Zale Kessler, the third of five for John Petlock, and the fourth of five "MSW's" for Barbara Babcock.

Ben Slack, acting in film and on television since 1973, has unfortunately since passed.

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