Murder, She Wrote 3.19 “No Accounting for Murder”

Jess is visiting her nephew Grady in New York.  It’s tax season and he’s super overworked as an assistant at Paul Carlyle and Associates, Certified Public Accountants.

Mrs. Ellis: “You know, aunts are very neglected these days.”

Grady: “Not this one.”

Apparently, Grady’s firm has offices on the southeast corner of 5th Ave & E 21st St.  The episode also features scenes of Jessica and the police detective walking through nearby Union Square Park.

Somebody stole Grady’s sandwichthere’s a ghost terrorizing the building… Grady’s boss gets murdered and Jess is on the job.

Just the facts ma’am:

Spoilers are in white font, so highlight the text below to reveal the answers.

  • The victim was… Grady’s boss!
  • killed by… the head of the accounting firm!
  • in… his office while sitting at his desk!
  • with… a lamp cord tied tightly around the neck!
  • because… he found out his coworker was blackmailing people into paying into a tax shelter and he wanted a cut of the profits!
  • vital clues: the Hammond file and Neptune Ventures.

Repeat offenders:


Michael Horton reprises his role as Jessica’s nephew Grady.  Grady appears in a total of 12 episodes and this is his 6th, so for those who aren’t fans of him, you can console yourself with the fact that you’ve just gotten through half of his appearances.


Ron Masak, playing bargain store owner Marty Giles, makes a second appearance on the show before becoming Sheriff Metzger.  He will come back to play Metzger in 39 episodes.  I have this fantastical theory that Marty Giles does go out of business following the events in this episode, changes his name, and changes careers to become a sheriff.

(But dumb looks is all Grady has!) 

Geoffrey Lewis plays IRS agent Lester Grimshaw here. He appears in a total of 4 episodes and this is his first.


Other repeat offenders include:

  • Michael Tolan (Grady’s boss Ralph Whitman), who comes back as a different character in two more episodes;
  • Kate Vernon (secretary Connie Norton), who comes back as a different character in one more episode (you might also recognize her as Colonel Tigh’s wife on the Battlestar Galactica reboot);
  • and Patty McCormack (playing Whitman’s wife Lana), who also appears as a different character in one more episode.

Big names & honourable mentions:


Black & white film star Dorothy Lamour as a client, Mrs. Ellis.  (Don’t count on it Mrs. Ellis, Grady never knows what he’s doing.)


Barney Martin (a.k.a. Jerry Seinfeld’s dad) as NYPD Lt. Timothy Hanratty, complete with terrible Irish accent and stereotypes.


James Noble (a.k.a. Benson’s boss on Benson) as head honcho Paul Carlile.


I kinda love this episode. It’s intriguing and very mysterious about the fact that there are secret passageways and someone is living in the walls of this building.

But probably the best part about this episode is that the only reason Jessica is privy to the investigation is because the police detective has a crush on her.

Hanratty:  I took the liberty of pullin’ a small file we have on your activities, mum. The young lady murdered by that cosmetic executive, your very own publisher sent away because of your ingenuity. I’m surprised the department hasn’t given you a gold badge.

Jessica: [laughs] Well, it’s, uh, just a quirk of mind really. The way I see things, you know.

Hanratty: You see them quite clearly. It’s a gift. My dear Kathleen had it, God rest her soul.

Jessica: Oh, you’re a widower. I’m sorry.

Hanratty: Oh, she’s happy enough I’m sure.  Hobnobbin’ with the rest of the saints in heaven. But I suppose the thing I miss most about her is the evenings… we’d be discussing my cases and me sitting’ there listening to her clear, logical observations. Be a fine thing… to have another intelligent woman to share my thoughts.

Jessica: Lieutenant!

Hanratty: And I’d deem it a great personal favor if you’d, uh, call me Timothy.

Jessica: Timothy. Have you ever been within kissing distance of the Blarney stone?

Oh, Jess, you flirt!


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