Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
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The Sins of Castle Cove 

A vindictive, tell-all work of fiction mirroring Cabot Cove sends the townspeople into an uproar, and when a murder occurs following the plot of the book it's up to Jessica to separate fact from fiction.


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

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Julie Adams ... Eve Simpson
Luke Askew ... Noah Harwood
Frederick Coffin ... Tim Mulligan
Gloria DeHaven ... Phyllis Grant
Kathryn Grayson ... Ideal Molloy
Page Hannah ... Sybil Reed
Rosanna Huffman Rosanna Huffman ... Miriam Harwood
Graham Jarvis ... Ellis Hilgate
Ron Masak ... Sheriff Mort Metzger
Ruth Roman ... Loretta Spiegel
William Windom ... Dr. Seth Hazlitt
Will Nye ... Deputy Floyd
Sally Klein Sally Klein ... Corinne
Fran Ryan ... Rose Mulligan


Jessica's orphaned former pupil Sybil Reed states on TV her debut novel 'Sins of Castle Cove' is based only geographically on Cabot Cove. However townsfolk flock to buy it and react emotionally on their often ridiculous or vile counterparts with similar names. When Miriam Harwood is murdered with her own frying pan, even the sheriff arrests her husband whose counterpart killed her for adultery in a similar way, as Noah Harwood raged publicly against the suspect, butcher Tim Mulligan. Jessica insists to untie fact and fiction, and finds the killer trough a dissonance. Written by KGF Vissers

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Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

9 April 1989 (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?


References The Sin of Madelon Claudet (1931) See more »

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User Reviews

Reaching from the Fire for the Frying Pan
7 November 2009 | by WeatherVioletSee all my reviews

This episode marks the fifth of seven "MSW" appearances for Rosanna Huffman, who perhaps holds the record for playing more different female characters on this series than any other actress. Rosanna had been married to "MSW" co-creator Richard Levinson, until his untimely passing, in 1987. Frederick Coffin, Graham Jarvis, Ruth Roman and Fran Ryan have also since passed.

Cabot Cove, Maine, is abuzz over the publication of expose novel "The Sins of Castle Cove" by former resident Sybil Reed (Page Hannah), who patterns thinly-disguised characters after Cabot Cove residents. Sybil is interviewed on television by reporter Janet Paisley (Joan Roberts), causing Cabot Cove residents to understand that Sybil remains in NYC, to which she has relocated, although she soon appears in Cabot Cove.

Tongues begin to wag from Cabot Cove Bookstore to Loretta's Beauty Saloon, as Loretta Spiegel (Ruth Roman) hears Eve Simpson (Julie Adams), Ideal Molloy (Kathryn Grayson) and Phyllis Grant (Gloria DeHaven) steaming over their fictional portrayals, with Manicurist Corinne (Sally Klein) eavesdropping on their every word, and especially about Miriam Harwood (Rosanna Huffman), whom Sybil alleges to be carrying on with meat cutter Tim Mulligan (Frederick Coffin) inside the market.

Bookseller Ellis Hilgate (Graham Jarvis) cannot keep copies of "The Sins of Castle Cove"on the shelves, as Doctor Seth Hazlitt (William Windom) jumps ahead of the line to discover Sybil's comparing him to a curmudgeon leprechaun.

Neighbor George Greer (Stuart Nisbet) edges on an incensed Noah Harwood (Luke Askew) amid mounting speculation of Miriam Harwood's extra-marital activities.

Rose Mulligan (Fran Ryan), the mother of Tim, attempts to protect her only child from scandal of the woman purportedly sneaking into his meat cooler, falsely accusing Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury), who, naturally, denies the accusations.

Jessica is as surprised as anyone that Sybil would dare to return to Cabot Cove, but provides her shelter, and defends her right to create fiction in spite of the fact that Sybil seeks to avenge her treatment by the community during her formative years. Orphaned in her youth, at the age of sixteen, she was displaced from her by-then-late grandmother's residence by social worker Miriam Harwood, whom Sybil now wants to hurt. But Sybil's favorite instructor was Mrs. Fletcher, who taught pupils to base their writings upon familiar territory, so now Jessica finds herself in the center of civic controversy.

But that very night, a body is discovered in a Cabot Cove kitchen, bludgeoned by a skillet, and mirroring the plot of "The Sins of Castle Cove" except for the detail of a lamp as the murder weapon in the fictional account.

Sheriff Mort Metzger (Ron Masak) and Deputy Floyd (Will Nye) have their hands full with a fire at the Bookstore, the vengeance of the immature Sybil, the revenge toward the irresponsible Sybil, and, of course, the murder resulting from "The Sins of Castle Cove."

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