Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
5 user

Keep the Home Fries Burning 

Poisoned strawberry preserves served at the Joshua Peabody Inn result in murder.


Peter Crane


Peter S. Fischer (created by), Richard Levinson (created by) | 4 more credits »


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?



Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Sharon Acker ... Wilhelmina Fraser
Norman Alden ... Mercer Hawthorne
Orson Bean ... Ebeneezer McEnery
Tom Bosley ... Sheriff Amos Tupper
Gary Crosby ... Ted Stully
Anne Francis ... Margo Perry (as Anne Lloyd Francis)
William Lucking ... Bo Dixon
John McCook ... Harrison Fraser III
Donna Pescow ... Cornelia
Henry Polic II ... Alan Dupree
Marcia Rodd Marcia Rodd ... Betty Fiddler
William Windom ... Dr. Seth Hazlitt
Alan Young ... Floyd Nelson
Rosanna Huffman Rosanna Huffman ... Helen Stully


Bo Dixon is getting desperate as all his diner customers, even sheriff Tupper and his former waitress Cornelia, desert to the Joshua Peabody Inn on the Interstate. When he checks out the competition during breakfast and sees the owner, Floyd Nelson, arguing with the chef, Alan Dupree. Then there are several cases of what appears to be food poisoning and the death of Betty Fiddler. Due to the number of cases, Dr. Seth Hazlitt calls in health inspector Margo Perry and Jessica looks into the possibility of murder. The only missing item is a jar of old Mrs. Fairley's strawberry preserves. Jessica unmasks Dupree as a fake cordon bleu and Harrison as Betty Fiddler's adulterous lover, but also doubts the intended victim and ties up more minute observations. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

19 January 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?


The exteriors of the restaurant and parking lot are the same as used for The Rockford Files (1974). See more »


Although Cornelia is supposed to be a longtime resident of Cabot Cove and seems to be familiar with Dr. Hazlitt, she mispronounces his last name. See more »


[first lines]
Bo Dixon: Sheriff.
Sheriff Amos Tupper: Bo. Nice seeing you.
Bo Dixon: Uh, where you been? I, uh, haven't seen you for breakfast anymore.
See more »


References Peyton Place (1957) See more »


Murder She Wrote Theme
Written by John Addison
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

"Preserving" History -- One or Two Murders at a Time
5 September 2009 | by WeatherVioletSee all my reviews

Cabot Cove, Maine, has its constants and variable. Among the former, we find resident Mystery author and former schoolteacher Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury), Doctor Seth Hazlitt (William Windom) throughout most episodes of Seasons Two through Twelve, Sheriff Amos Tupper (Tom Bosley) for this series first four seasons (with his successor lasting its remaining eight). We see the recurring Loretta's Beauty Shoppe, two hotels, plus a handful of other landmarks.

Among its variables, we find shifting populations of townsfolk plus ever-changing newspaper offices, churches and restaurants. In fact, throughout the course of approximately sixty "MSW" episodes set in Cabot Cove, we rarely, if ever, spot the same diner or its staff more than once.

"Keep the Home Fries Burning" features two Cabot Cove restaurants, operated by feuding restaurateurs: Dixon's Diner, owned by Bo Dixon (William Lucking), and the Joshua Peobody Inn, operated by Floyd Nelson (Alan Young).

(The legend of Joshua Peobody presents a different type of variable throughout this series. While the debate ensues over the history or myth of the town's Colonial founder, Peobody descendants appear later in the series as neighbors of those who debunk the claim of his historic authenticity.) But back to the story....

One fine morning, or at least one which begins on a pleasant note, Jessica Fletcher and Doctor Seth Hazlitt arrive in the parking lot of Joshua Peobody Inn, located off the Interstate outside of Cabot Cove, they encountering Sheriff Amos Tupper, who claims that he sets the local dining tradition, for folks to follow him from Dixon Diner to this new eatery. These three then enter together for breakfast.

Waitress Cornelia (Donna Pescow) , adorned in Colonial garb, explains her transfer from the one diner to this one, to follow her customers and their tips. This, of course, doesn't sit well with Bo Dixon, who sneaks into the Joshua Peobody Inn to spy upon his competition.

Pseudo French chef Alan Dupree (Henry Polic II) expresses disdain over Floyd's expectations to live up to his "credentials," by sabotaging meals in an effort to be released from his contract. He doesn't wish to cook at this location.

Feuding local politicians Mercer Hawthorne (Norman Alden) and Ebeneezer McEnery (Orson Bean) also enter, as they naturally argue from parking lot to table, at which they order breakfast together at any rate.

Out of town guests, Betty Fiddler (Marcia Rodd) and Wilhelmina Fraser (Sharon Acker) stop for breakfast, chuckling over the corny menu entries, each unaware that Wilhelmina's husband, Harrison Fraser III (John McCook) has followed them in his limousine, to spy upon them from a distance.

Other customers enter Joshua Peobody Inn this morning, such as tourists Ted Stully (Gary Crosby) and Helen Stully (Rosanna Huffman), as well as Mr. O'Connor (Leonard O. Turner) and his son, Jimmy O'Connor (Dion Williams), who complains of a severe internal ailment upon exiting.

Suddenly, an epidemic of pain and suffering begins to sweep the parking lot, as diners keel over helplessly. Seth orders the diner closed and victims to be transported to the local hospital, where he may examine them thoroughly.

Enter health inspector Margo Perry (Anne Francis), to scrutinize the Joshua Peobody Inn and its contents, as well as medical reports of those infected by this mysterious ailment, which Jessica diagnoses as Atropine poisoning. Margo Perry dismisses Jessica as a "crisis hound," and orders Floyd Nelson against any notion to "Keep the Home Fries Burning."

11 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 5 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed