Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
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Mourning Among the Wisterias 

Jessica is summoned to Savannah to help a friend with his play and receives an offer of marriage she didn't expect. Even more surprised are the man's plotting family.


Walter Grauman


Peter S. Fischer (created by), Richard Levinson (created by) | 2 more credits »


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Episode cast overview:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Rene Auberjonois ... Homicide Captain Walker Thorn
Penny Fuller ... Grace Banfield
Frank Gorshin ... Arnold Goldman
Matt McCoy ... Todd Wendle
Barry Nelson ... Eugene McClenden
Lois Nettleton ... Deidre French
Linda Purl ... Crystal Wendle
Elliott Reid ... Jonathan Keeler
Beah Richards ... Ola Mae
James Brown ... Dr. Church (as James L. Brown)


Jessica accepts an invitation from playwright Eugene McClenden to read his new play at his estate, where potential production people gather. That night, shots are heard and Eugene is found in the room holding a gun while his lawyer, Jonathan Keeler, is dead in his bed. Homicide Captain Walker Thorn, whose family was swindled out of the estate by Jonathan, investigates. But Jessica thinks there may be another crime. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


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Release Date:

14 February 1988 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Rene Auberjonois and Matt McCoy also starred together in Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach (1988). See more »


Toward the finale, Jessica is wearing a dark dress with earrings and pearls. She goes into the kitchen, and the pearls are gone, she is bare necked. A few moments later, she is in the living room and wearing the pearls again. See more »


[first lines]
Eugene McClenden: [reading] "I've often wondered what it really means to love. I pride myself on knowing how to please, but I never compromised myself for someone else. Never risked it all. In the end, you arrive at the same place no matter what you risk."
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References Kat op een heet zinken dak (1958) See more »

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User Reviews

Nothing to mourn here
27 August 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Have always been quite fond of 'Murder She Wrote'. It is a fun and relaxing watch that makes you think as you try to unwind in the evening. If one wants more complex, twisty mysteries with lots of tension and suspense 'Murder She Wrote' may not be for you, but if you want something light-hearted and entertaining but still provide good mysteries 'Murder She Wrote' fits the bill just fine.

"Mourning Among the Wisterias" is up there with "Witness for the Defense", "Old Habits Die Hard" and "Trouble in Eden" as one of my favourite episodes of Season 4 and of 'Murder She Wrote' in general. Have seen comparisons to Tennessee Williams, and can definitely see similar elements to 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' (the characters played by Linda Purl and Matt McCoy) and 'Sweet Bird of Youth' (like Lois Nettleton's character).

The cast are to die for and the supporting cast are one of the best of Season 4. Angela Lansbury as usual is terrific, especially in the second half. Barry Nelson, Rene Auberjonois and Lois Nettleton are the supporting cast standouts while Beah Richards has the episode's best line (again like with Patrick McGoohan in "Witness for the Defense" summing up perfectly what the viewer is thinking) "maybe he didn't think it was any of your business." Matt McCoy shows that he has some acting talent in him when the material is capable.

When it comes to the mystery, it's one of the best of the season. Very clever and engaging, with charm, fun and poignancy in spades, and never kitschy or melodramatic despite the Williams influences.

Production values are slick and stylish as ever with 'Murder She Wrote'. The music has energy and has presence but also not making the mistake of over-scoring, while it is hard to forget or resist the theme tune.

Writing is thought-provoking, light-hearted and amiable.

In conclusion, brilliant episode, nothing to mourn here. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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