The pride of Cabot Cove, ME, sprightly mystery novelist Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) indulges her hobby of solving real-life murders throughout the first season of Murder, She Wrote. No sooner had the series joined CBS' Sunday-night lineup than Jessica was busily trying to determine who killed a Sherlock Holmes lookalike at a costume ball. In the second episode, Tom Bosley is introduced as Jessica's best friend, Cabot Cove sheriff Amos Tupper, who as usual gripes and grumbles that Jessica is sticking her nose where she shouldn't -- and putting herself in harm's way in the process -- as she tries to find out who knocked off a wealthy and much-hated patriarch. Likewise bemused by Jessica's private investigations is Tupper's superior officer Captain Ethan Cragg, a character played during season one by Claude Akins. Michael Horton also pops up for the first time in the role of Jessica's trouble-prone nephew Grady. Among the "special guest suspects" (and "special guest victims") seen during Murder, She Wrote's maiden season are Samantha Eggar, Roger Miller, Peter Graves, William Conrad, José Ferrer, Edie Adams, Bobby Sherman, Robert Goulet, Linda Blair, Eddie Bracken, Joey Bishop, and Stella Stevens. Also worth noting is the guest appearance in the episode "Death Takes a Curtain Call" of Hurd Hatfield, with whom Angela Lansbury co-starred in the 1945 film The Picture of Dorian Gray -- not to mention the appearance of William Windom in a later episode, playing a character other than his familiar series guise as Cabot Cove's crotchety general practitioner Dr. Seth Hazlitt (just as Ron Masak, later seen on the series as Sheriff Mort Metzger, shows up as a certain "Lt. Meyer") .
Cast & Crew
Angela Lansbury - Jessica Beatrice Fletcher
Tom Bosley - Sheriff Amos Tupper
Michael Horton - Grady Fletcher
William Windom - Dr. Seth Hazlitt
Richard Paul - Mayor Sam Booth