Murder, She Wrote 6.6 “Dead Letter”

We’re in Cabot Cove, Fletcherfans! Jessica is at a rummage sale for the volunteer Fire Department. She buys an old bureau, but when she takes it home she finds that there’s an old unmailed letter that was stuck behind a drawer. Trouble starts after she decides to deliver the letter to its recipient.

Just the facts ma’am:

Click on the text below to reveal spoilers.

Click to reveal the victim The victim was a member of the volunteer fire department and dead letter recipient.
Click to reveal the killer He was killed by an employee/book-keeper of the furniture store.
Click to reveal the weapon He was knocked out with a severe blow to the head.
Click to reveal the location He was found in a fire at the furniture store.
Click to reveal the motive The killer was stealing money to pay for his expensive out-of-town girlfriend.

Characters

As this is a Cabot Cove episode, we have the regulars:

  • Ron Masak as Sheriff Mort Metzger
  • William Windom as Dr. Seth Hazlitt
  • Will Nye as Deputy Floyd
  • Richard Paul as Mayor Sam Booth (who in this episode is also volunteer fire fighter). This is Paul’s fourth of eight total appearances on MSW.

There’s a major subplot in this episode involving the Cabot Cove volunteer fire department and the possibility that the wife of one of the members might be cheating on him with another member.

  • Susan Anspach as Lois Fricksey, the wife of one of the volunteer fire fighters.
  • Jonathan Goldsmith as Bud Fricksey, Lois’s husband. This is Goldsmith’s first of two total appearances on MSW.

Other fire-fighters include:

  • Al Waxman as Carl Wilson. At the time, Waxman was well known for his role on Cagney & Lacey.
  • Richard Riehle as Aaron. This is Riehle’s first of two total appearances on MSW. He also appeared in the MSW movie “South by Southwest”.
  • Peter Fox as Ron Stiller, a member of the volunteer fire department and gas station attendant/mechanic. This is Fox’s second and final appearance on MSW. He previously appeared in “The Body Politic“.

Another big part of this story is a furniture store in town.

  • George Fruth as Fred Owens, owner of the furniture store. This is his second of three total appearances on MSW. He previously appeared in “No Laughing Murder“.
  • Max Gail as Stanley Holmes, an employee/book-keeper at the furniture store.

Other characters include:

  • Robin Riker as Connie Kowalski, an insurance claims investigator. This is Riker’s first of two total appearances on MSW.
  • Rosemary DeCamp as Agnes, old owner of the bureau and former mail carrier. DeCamp was a classic screen actress and this episode marks her last ever on-screen appearance.

Final thoughts and other trivia

There’s not much more to say about this episode. One thing I like about it is the focus on the character development for Mayor Sam Booth. This continues on later in the season in the episode “Town Father”.

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