Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
4 user 1 critic

Footnote to Murder 

Jessica sets out to clear the name of a friend who is a prime suspect in a murder case.


Peter Crane


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


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Vincent Baggetta Vincent Baggetta ... Frank Lapinski
Talia Balsam ... Debbie Delancey
Morgan Brittany ... Tiffany Harrow
Constance Forslund ... Lucinda Lark
Pat Harrington Jr. ... A.D.A. Mel Comstock (as Pat Harrington)
Kenneth Mars ... Hemsley Post
Ron Masak ... Lt. Meyer
Diana Muldaur ... Alexis Post
Robert Reed ... Adrian Winslow
Paul Sand ... Horace Lynchfield
John C. Becher John C. Becher ... Optometrist
John Brandon ... Ernie
Mark Harrison ... Assistant D.A.
William McDonald William McDonald ... Bailiff


Jessica meets mystery rhyme writer Horace Lynchfield in San Francisco, both came for a literary award. Published, womanizing but burned-out novelist Hemsley Post is reminded of his debt by and to his since 10 years separated wife Alexis, shakes off real veteran and would-be author Frank Lapinski by calling a security guard, boasts about the 'definitive Vietnam war novel' even his publisher never read to his former secretary Adrian Winslow who is now successful and sneers Post was only shortly Playboy correspondent, uses his fist on Horace for a mere cross word at the same award guests cocktail party also attended by publisher Tiffany Harrow and is found knocked dead the next morning, just before Jessica arrives trying to return accidentally switched umbrellas. A.D.A. Mel Comstock, who aims at the mayoral election, needs no more then Horace's admission of a blackout to arrest him. Jessica is determined to find the real killer, and soon starts noticing and checking up on oddities... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

10 March 1985 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


After the cancellation of the MSW series (1984-1996), creators William S. Fischer and William Link rehire Ron Masak for a brief appearance in their famous made for television "Columbo" movies. Masak can be seen in the "Ashes to Ashes" Columbo episode dated 10/08/98. See more »


[first lines]
Horace Lynchfield: Why go on...? Alone... Rejected... And not even a last cigarette.
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Murder She Wrote Theme
Written by John Addison
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User Reviews

The dark side of being an author
16 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.

"Footnote to Murder" is not one of Season 1's best, like "Lovers and Other Killers", "The Murder of Sherlock Holmes", "Paint Me a Murder" and "Murder Takes the Bus", but not one of its lesser ones, such as "Murder to a Jazz Beat", "Deadly Lady", "It's a Dog's Life" and "My Johnny Lies Over the Ocean" which are still not bad episodes at all, far from it (which is testament to how solid Season 1 is).

There is not really much wrong with "Footnote to Murder", it's just missing the extra special something to make it one of the best, occasionally is a little silly (though there are certainly far sillier 'Murder She Wrote' episodes) and lacks suspense. Otherwise, it is a hugely entertaining episode that does a good job showing the dark and less than glamorous side of being an author and being in the publishing industry. Not a new idea, pretty old actually even then, but an interesting one.

It's a good-looking episode as always. Nicely shot and attractive fashions that makes one nostalgic for the 80s period (even to those who weren't even alive yet). The music has presence but also not making the mistake of over-scoring, while it is hard to forget or resist the theme tune.

The script is often charming and amiable, while the story has some good conflict and is compelling mostly with a clever final solution that sees a not so common (for the show) case of feeling sorry for the murderer, it's actually the victim one hates from the start.

Angela Lansbury is terrific in one of her best remembered roles one of the roles that is most closely associated with me at any rate), with Robert Reed, Diana Muldaur, Pat Harrington, Morgan Brittany, Talia Balsa and particularly Kenneth Mars having a lot of fun.

Overall, very good. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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