Jessica Fletcher is taking a break from her usual sleuthing in this episode. Instead, she tells us a story about her old friend Dennis Stanton. As we learned in “Always A Thief“, Dennis has changed his old jewelry-thieving ways and is now working as an insurance investigator in San Francisco.
Just the facts:
Click on the text below to reveal spoilers.
Click to reveal the victimIt was Truman Calloway, a big shot divorce lawyer!
Click to reveal the killerIt was Karen Davies, the victim’s secretary!
Click to reveal the weaponHe was stabbed with a letter opener !
Click to reveal the locationThe victim was found dead on the floor of his office!
Click to reveal the motiveThe killer was in love with the victim and couldn’t stand to learn that he was going to marry someone else!
Cast of characters:
As this is a Dennis Stanton episode, we see him along with his usual sidekicks:
- Keith Michell plays Dennis Stanton, a former jewel thief turned insurance investigator. This is Michell’s fourth of nine total appearances as the character. He previously appeared in “A Little Night Work“, “When the Fat Lady Sings“, and “Always a Thief“.
- Hallie Todd plays Rhoda Markowitz, Dennis’s secretary. This is Todd’s third of seven total appearances on the show. Her first appearance (in “Class Act“) was as a different character. However, all of her other appearances (including “Always a Thief“) were as Dennis’s secretary.
- Ken Swofford plays Lt. Perry Catalano, a detective whose investigations frequently overlap with Dennis’s. This is Swofford’s sixth of eleven total appearances on MWS (and his second of six total appearances as Lt. Catalano). He previously appeared in “Steal Me A Story“, “Truck Stop“, and “Always A Thief“.
- Nana Visitor plays Marcia McPhee, a rival insurance claims investigator.
The mystery in this episode revolves around divorce cases:
- Robert Reed plays Truman Calloway, Esq.—a big shot divorce lawyer. This is Reed’s third and final appearance on MSW. He previously appeared in “Murder Through the Looking Glass“.
- Judith Chapman plays Karen Davies, Truman’s legal secretary. This is Chapman’s second of three total appearances on MSW. She previously appeared in “The Bottom Line is Murder“.
- Victoria Boa plays Joyce, Truman’s current fiancee.
- Vera Miles plays Charmaine Calloway Thompson, Truman’s first ex-wife. This is Miles’s second of three total appearances on MSW.
- Peter Kowanko plays Jason Thompson (a.k.a. “Johnny Trixler”), who first pretends to be one of Truman’s clients but is actually the son of Truman’s ex-wife.
- Heidi Bohay plays Amy Sue Kriegler, Truman’s client. This is Bohay’s second and final appearance on MSW. She previously appeared in “Indian Giver“.
- Tom Isbell plays Ed Kriegler, Amy Sue’s ex-husband. This is Isbell’s first of two total appearances on MSW.
- Charles Haid plays Joe Briscoe, another divorce attorney. This is Haid’s second and final appearance on MSW. He previously appeared in “Weave a Tangled Web“.
Minor characters include:
- Christopher Halsted as a waiter.
- Ed McCready as a security guard. This is McCready’s second of three total appearances on MSW. He previously appeared in “Showdown in Saskatchewan“.
- Alexander Folk as a desk sergeant. This is Folk’s fifth of seven total appearances on MSW. He previously appeared in “Murder in a Minor Key“, “Something Borrowed, Someone Blue“, and “Jack and Bill“.
This is the first of five “bookend” episodes in Season 7. Unlike in Season 6, where the bookend episodes each featured a different sleuth, all the bookend episodes in Season 7 feature Dennis Stanton. In fact, Keith Michell gets a special credit at the beginning of this episode—just before the episode title is displayed.
Unusually for a bookend episode, we see an introduction to some of the key characters along with the opening credits. After that, Jessica Fletcher briefly introduces the episode, but she is not seen or heard from for the remainder.