Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
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Who Threw the Barbitals in Mrs. Fletcher's Chowder? 

When Amos' sister & her in-laws descend upon Cabot Cove, Jessica hosts a dinner party with homicidal results, leaving the finger pointing at the Sheriff's sister.


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

On Disc

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Episode cast overview:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Tom Bosley ... Sheriff Amos Tupper
Colleen Camp ... Dep. Marigold Feeney
Henry Gibson ... Harold Banner
Geoffrey Lewis ... Kenny Oakes
Anne Meara ... Winnie Tupper Banner
Barbara Rhoades ... Flo Oakes
Donnelly Rhodes ... Ed Bellamy
Guy Stockwell ... Elmo Banner
William Windom ... Dr. Seth Hazlitt
Dennis Bailey ... Deputy Grover
Joseph V. Perry Joseph V. Perry ... Ralph


Sheriff Amos Tupper is just working flat out since a deputy gave notice when his younger sister, Winnie Tupper Banner, arrives, having left her husband. He dumps her on Jessica, who is fighting a deadline. When she takes her to Dr. Seth Hazlitt for ulcer medicine prescription, she is relieved that the old bachelor-gentleman enjoys her company and leave Winnie with him. Amos allows overbearing Marigold Feeney's "you're no bigot, are you?"" routine to railroad him into hiring her as deputy. Later, he finds himself the last in line for sleeping accommodation in his own home after the unannounced arrival of brother-in-law Elmo Banner, manager of a drugstore, his half-brother and business partner, pharmacist Harold Banner, sister Flo Oakes and her husband, Kenny. Winnie refuses to talk to her in-laws, even announces a divorce, Elmo mumbles 'you'd have to kill me', then she runs off to Seth. Next day, Jessica offers to cook a seafood feast for the unappreciative, grumpy Banner bunch, who ... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

3 January 1988 (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?


The title is an allusion to the Irish folk song "Who Threw the Overalls in Mrs. Murphy's Chowder?" written in 1898 by George L. Giefer. See more »


Doc Hazlett arrives at the dinner party and knows all of the Sheriff's relatives, but he had never met them. See more »


[first lines]
Winnie Tupper Banner: Taxi?
Ralph: Uh, yeah. Where to?
Winnie Tupper Banner: The sheriff's office, please.
See more »

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User Reviews

Amos Tupper's relations
5 March 2018 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

This episode of Murder She Wrote has Amos Tupper's relations descending upon Cabot Cove. His sister Anne Meara and her husband and in-laws that is.

Not being a really good host Tom Bosley has Angela Lansbury host a dinner party. But her clam chowder gets spiked and her husband Guy Stockwell is killed from a lovely overdose of phenobarbital. The others pass out like the passengers and crew from Airport 77.

Now in any other town on the planet Jessica Fletcher would be at the top of the suspect list. But that's unthinkable for Cabot Cove. Especially when the sheriff is a best friend. Come to think of it given Tom Bosley who was one of the snoozers would probably not handle the case and the State Police would come in.

Anne Meara plays one of her patented sad sack roles and truth be told Stockwell isn't much of a loss. But murder is murder.

I have to mention Colleen Camp as Bosley's new eager beaver deputy. She stumbles right into the big arrest.

Henry Gibson and Geoffrey Lewis are also in the cast. This is a good one.

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