Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
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Dear Deadly 

When a newspaper columnist becomes the target of a crazed gunman, Jessica's advice to be careful is ignored.


Anthony Pullen Shaw (as Anthony Shaw)


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


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Episode cast overview:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Daphne Ashbrook ... Alexis Hill
Casey Biggs ... Max Charles
Eileen Brennan ... Loretta Lee
Kristen Cloke ... Emma Kemp
John Rhys-Davies ... Harry Mordecai
Rosanna Huffman Rosanna Huffman ... Nell Carson
Seth Jaffe ... Lt. Evans
Laurence Luckinbill ... John Galloway
Eric Woodall Eric Woodall ... Troy Higgins
Charles Gunning Charles Gunning ... T.D.
Mike Barger Mike Barger ... Lab Man
Jerry Taft Jerry Taft ... Guard


Publisher Harry Mordecai, a San Francisco newspaper's new owner, is such a meddler -but doesn't insist with his ideas to make Jessica's new book spicier- that editor John Galloway quits, but accepts to stay on a month. Wall Street reporter Max Charles hears his grumpy colleague Loretta Lee -in fact a passed-on pen name for Claire Hogan-, who runs a very popular letters column, found out his game to write a glowing column about a stock till it rises enough, then cash in and talk in down again. After Loretta had an argument with Harry, a man shoots her in the arm in the lobby while she was standing next to John and Jessica. SFPD Lt. Evans, using prints from a bottle in an abandoned coat, arrests T.D. for the shooting. When John and Jessica go tell Loretta the news, they find her dead at the hotel she was hiding out at. John's name is carved into a glass table with Loretta's diamond ring, but the position on the ring on her finger means she probably didn't write it. Jessica guesses Max's... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

false identity | delivery boy | See All (2) »


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

23 October 1994 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Although set in San Francisco, no scenes were actually filmed there. See more »


[first lines]
T.D.: You're dead, Loretta.
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References All the President's Men (1976) See more »

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User Reviews

Newspaper columns publishing at its most murderous
28 November 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.

"Dear Deadly" is towards the better half of Season 11's episodes. It's not an episode that will blow the mind, but it entertains and intrigues enough. Story-wise there's not a huge amount special, some of it derivative of other similar-themed episodes (murder and behind the scenes tensions with media companies) from 'Murder She Wrote'. There also could have been a better denouement than here.

It's not badly acted, ridiculous or confusing actually. Just that, to me, the identity of the killer was not a huge shock and considering the rest of the story it was a bit of a plain one and not especially clever or explosive.

Some of the cast do enliven the proceedings though. Can't go wrong with Angela Lansbury in the lead, showing once again why Jessica Fletcher is one of her best and most fondly remembered roles.

Eileen Brennan, John Rhys-Davies and Laurence Luckinbill are especially good in support. Daphne Ashbrook and Rosanna Huffmann also fare well. Nobody is terrible here, far from it, all are competent but the rest of the cast are on the bland side with not as much to work with.

Production values as always are slick, stylish and suitably cosy. 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 thoughtful and amiable as well as having an endearing cosiness. The tensions behind the scenes are done intriguingly and don't feel too soapy or melodramatic and the story is paced well and has enough to keep one interested if not always guessing.

Overall, not great but pretty good. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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