Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
4 user

One Good Bid Deserves a Murder 

Jessica finds herself in a tough spot when one of the auctioneers of a diary is murdered and she has to rely on Harry McGraw to help her out.


Seymour Robbie


Peter S. Fischer (created by), Richard Levinson (created by) | 3 more credits »

On Disc

at Amazon




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Karen Black ... Dr. Sylvia Dunn
Ray Girardin Ray Girardin ... Lt. Casey
Nancy Lee Grahn ... Sheila Saxon (as Nancy Grahn)
Robert Gray Robert Gray ... Albert Cromwell
Hurd Hatfield ... William Readford
Edward Mulhare ... Richard Bennett
Jerry Orbach ... Harry McGraw
Cotter Smith ... Robert Rhine
Vic Tayback ... Sal Domino
Rebecca Street ... Deborah Chase
David Ankrum ... Young Doctor
Sterling Swanson Sterling Swanson ... Desk Sergeant Hogan
Allysia Sneed Allysia Sneed ... Desk Clerk
Howard Huston Howard Huston ... Uniformed Cop


Celebrity Richard Bennett gets Jessica to bid for him in Boston on Evangeline's diary to destroy it. Before the auction, she witnesses security guard Albert Cromwell reporting to auctioneer William Readford a failed offer of $5,000 to steal it for Evangeline's therapist, Dr. Sylvia Dunn. At the auction, Richard's corpse is found in an armoire. Lt. Casey suspects Jessica as she and a million dollar check from Bennett. Lt. Casey is even more suspicious when Jessica it found with the body of William Readford when she comes to return to him the diary she found. P.I. Harland 'Harry' McGraw takes it on himself to 'offer for sale' a photocopy of the diary. Meanwhile, Jessica follows up on people mentioned in the diary looking for a likely suspect. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

23 February 1986 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Hurd Hatfield also starred in The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945) with Angela Lansbury. Lansbury played Sybil Vane. See more »


Once, when Jessica approaches the hotel desk, she asks for Room 812. Another time, she identifies her room as 810. See more »


[first lines]
Fan: Oh, Mr. Bennett, you're so kind.
Richard Bennett: Not at all, Lydia. It is you who are kind to remember me.
See more »

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User Reviews

Murder at the auction
29 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.

Season 2 has had a few not so good, while far from terrible, episodes (judging just previous episodes for now, "Joshua Peabody Died Here...Possibly", "Dead Heat" and "Powder Keg"), but is mostly a solid season with some great episodes. While "Trial By Error" and "Keep the Home Fries Burning" are particularly great episodes, "One Good Bid Deserves a Murder" is among the better ones of the season. Also some of the better episodes featuring Harry McGraw, not all of his episodes have had him completely sold but like him a lot as a character. Then again, that he is played by Jerry Orbach and how good his chemistry is with Angela Lansbury have a lot to do with it.

The only problem personally had with "One Good Bid Deserves a Murder" is that the viewer hardly gets to know much about Evangeline so caring about her is not always easy. However, "One Good Bid Deserves a Murder" is hugely entertaining with one of the classiest casts of the season and, other than with Evangeline, it does engage as a mystery. It's suitably complicated while still making sense and the ending is a pleasant surprise and not what things initially seems.

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. As said, Jessica and McGraw together is magic. Jessica's help not being wanted by the police, being considered a hindrance to the investigation and even considered a suspect was something different at this point in the show and it was a case of different working.

Angela Lansbury is typically terrific and Jerry Orbach likewise. There is classy support Edward Mulhare, Vic Tayback, Hurd Hatfield, and Nancy Lee Grahn, and there is even the pleasure of seeing a bat out of hell Karen Black as a psychiatrist.

In conclusion, great episode and one of the season's better ones. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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