Murder in High C: Murder She Wrote (1995)

So you know what that means: Horror TV episodes Tuesday

I know this is a little odd, TV episodes on a Tuesday instead of Friday as I’ve been doing for the past few years?

Well this year October 1st started on a Friday and it just doesn’t seem right for Horrorfest to start with a review of a TV episode. 

So instead we will be reviewing TV episodes on Tuesdays, TV Tuesdays.

And our next TV episode comes from Murder She Wrote.

I love Murder She Wrote, as I grew up watching the reruns on TV Land and Hallmark. The story was of widowed, retired school teacher, Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) who becomes an author-published under the name J.B. Fletcher.

As she goes about life she gets pulled into all these different murder mysteries, using her intellect and observational skills to solve the crimes.

Today’s pick is one of my favorites from Murder She Wrote, because of all the possibilities.

This episode takes place in season 11. Jessica Fletcher has become an international bestseller and has made friends with people of various backgrounds from all around the globe. In this episode Jessica is in Italy, excited for her friend Andrea Beaumont’s big premiere as prima soprano. Over a year ago, Andrea was stalked by a crazed fan and has been in therapy. She is finally returned to singing, but as Andrea heads to the theater we see the fog and hear a creepy voice threaten to kill her.

Aahhh!!!

Andrea ends up fainting and is sent back to her hotel, this being the first of many incidents. Andrea continues to get calls as someone is harrassing her? But who could it be?

Mystery, you say?

This episode has a plethora of suspects:

Andrea’s former stalker was sentenced to prison last year, but when the police start investigating they discover that he was released early. He has been keeping with his probation appointments, but a week ago he seemed to have disappeared. Has he come back and followed her to Italy to finish the job?

Hmm…

Drew Granger (Bruce Abbott) is the conductor of the opera production and he is in an extremely bad mood. He and Andrea had a thing, but she left him when she met Jonas Cole, marrying Cole instead. Drew is dating Vicki Lawson, PR manager, but he doesn’t seem to be over Andrea, as he and Cole are constantly going toe to toe over her. Could he have been repeating the stalking as he is intimate of the details and wants her to pay for leaving him? Does he think by making things stressful she would want to date him again, this incident bringing them closer together? Or maybe it isn’t romantic at all? Granger was asked to conduct in New York, a much bigger deal than this Genoa show-but he’s locked in his contract. If Andrea cannot continue and the production chooses to cancel instead of continue he will be free to leave. Could it be him?

Stella Knight is the former prima soprana, but is seen as being “too” old, having to move over for the younger Andrea. She is furious and demands her husband do something and does all she can to make things hard on Andrea. The stalking was widely publicized, could she be recreating it so Andrea quits and Stella can take back her role?

Jonas Cole is Andrea’s stock broker husband. He is caring and loves her, but he always seems to be gone or off doing something when she needs him most. And as they always say-the husband is the first to be looked at. He could be trying to kill her and wanting someone else to “take the fall”, maybe for money or to get rid of her so he can remarry. Maybe he doesn’t want Andrea dead, but is trying to “kill” her career hoping to “scare” her into permanent retirement?

Hmmm…

Rudolfo Petrocelli is the company director and is worried about money and the performance. He can’t understnd it, but they seem to be barely making it. If Andrea quits the performance she will have to pay for dissolving the contract. If that happens the company would actually make more money than what they would make with ticket sales. Could he be behind this scaring?

Hmm…

Vicki Lawson is the PR manager of the tour and this event. She’s good friends with Andrea…or is she? She is dating Drew Granger and mad that he seems to be focused on Andrea than her. Not only does Drew end up dumping her when Andrea joins, but when she tries to make Drew see he needs her expertise, he gives her the kissoff. Could it be that she became so jealous that she is striking out at Andrea? Maybe she thinks if she gets rid of her she can have Drew back?

The poilice promise their protection and tap the phones to try and pinpoint where the stalker is calling from. But even with their best efforts the stalker still comes backstage and tries to attack Andrea.

So Whodunnit? One of the suspects figures it out and tries to to blackmail the stalker, winding up dead instead, (as the murder in Murder She Wrote). Which one could it be?Which one? You need to watch this to find out.

While some episodes are a little more obvious as to who the killer is, I really like that this one gave us so many possibilities. It is a fantastic episode, with plenty of remediate and turns. But don’t worry, Jessica always figures them out.

For more Murder She Wrote, go to The Witch’s Curse: Murder She Wrote (1992)

For more mysteries, go to A Teenager Tries to Be Nancy Drew, With Disastrous Results: True Crime (1996)

For more Angela Lansbury, go to Because I Am Mad, I Hate You. Because I Am Mad, I Have Betrayed You: Gaslight (1944)

For more with stalkers, go to Superhero Film or Stalker Thriller: Unbreakable (2000)

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