Murder, She Wrote 6.14 “How to Make a Killing Without Really Trying”

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Jessica Fletcher is in New York City to meet with her stockbroker at the firm Ashcroft & Royce. When her broker is found murdered, Jessica stays on to help solve the crime and ensure that his very competent secretary does not go to jail.

Just the facts:

Click on the text below to reveal spoilers.

Click to reveal the victim It was Philip Royce, Jessica’s stockbroker!
Click to reveal the killer It was Jerome Ashcroft, his business partner!
Click to reveal the weapon He was beaten with a golf club!
Click to reveal the location He was found dead in his own apartment!
Click to reveal the motive Jerome wanted to prevent Philip from selling his company!

Cast of characters:

The characters in this episode all revolve around the Ashcroft & Royce stock brokerage.

  • John Calvin plays Philip Royce, Jessica’s stockbroker.
  • Farley Granger plays Jerome Ashcroft, Philip’s business partner.
  • Morgan Brittany plays Candice Ashcroft, Jerome’s daughter and Philip’s girlfriend. This is Brittany’s second and final appearance on MSW.
  • Lela Ivey plays Norma Pulaski, Philip Royce’s secretary. This is Ivey’s first of two total appearances on MSW.
  • Joe Maruzzo plays Rudy Bianco, Norma’s boyfriend. This is Maruzzo’s first of two total appearances on MSW.
  • Edd Byrnes plays Sid Hooper, an employee at the Ashcroft & Royce firm who hits on Norma. This is Byrnes’ first of three total appearances on MSW. Byrnes’ is probably best known for playing Kookie on the 50s/60s detective series 77 Sunset Strip.
  • Barry Van Dyke plays Buddy Black, Philip’s golf buddy. Barry Van Dyke is the son of Dick Van Dyke and would go on to star as Detective Steve Sloan on Diagnosis Murder.
  • David Groh plays Gordon Tully, a rival stockbroker who’s interested in buying Philip Royce’s share of the company. This is Groh’s second of three total appearances on MSW.

The case is being investigated by:

  • Lieutenant Thomas Moynihan, played by Kevin Tighe
  • A policeman played by Nigel Gibbs. This is Gibbs’ first of two total appearances on MSW.

Other minor characters include Rob Narita as Forensics Man; Tony Brafa as Gino; Vinny Argiro as a super; and Concetta (Connie) Danese as a receptionist.

Final thoughts and other trivia:

The title for this episode is a reference to “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying“, which was originally a book, which was adapted into a musical, which was then adapted into the 1967 movie.

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