Murder, She Wrote
Seriously, that place must have the highest per capita murder rate of anywhere in America (or at least it DID… between 1984 and 1996).
People dropped like flies in Cabot Cove, and it was never from natural causes. They were hung, shot, stabbed, trampled, squished, beaten, run over, and poisoned.
It’s a small consolation for the victims and their families, but… at least novelist Jessica Fletcher was there to figure out whodunit.
When Murder, She Wrote debuted on CBS in the fall of 1984, our parents (and grandparents) had a field day. Here was THE Angela Lansbury bringing her top-shelf acting abilities to the small screen. And the fact that she was playing (essentially) Miss Marple? Even better. Agatha Christie would have been proud.
Even with the murder storylines, the show actually played well to families, too. There was never a bathtub full of blood or dismembered body parts. Nope. Just good ol’ nice, clean murders. And you couldn’t find a nicer, more polite (and Sherlock-ian) crime-solver than J.B. Fletcher.
With the trusty Sheriff Amos (Tom Bosley) by her side (at least for the first four seasons), there wasn’t a crime in Cabot Cove that went unsolved. But it wasn’t just Maine, either–– when Fletcher had to gallivant across the country on her book tours, she’d always trip on murders in those towns, too.
Jeez, did she break a mirror once when she was young? Or open an umbrella indoors?
In all, Murder, She Wrote would last for 12 seasons (plus several TV movie one-offs after that), and Lansbury would be nominated for a total of 12 Emmy awards for her work on the show (that’s a nomination every year of the series), but she wouldn’t win a single one. And we’re STILL scratching our heads over THAT little tidbit.
Not for nothing, but we always thought that the season finale should have had Ms. Fletcher commit a murder herself. She certainly had the experience… and not a single person would ever suspect her. How awesome would it have been if the last shot was her sitting down to her typewriter one last time with a mischievous grin on her face, calmly wiping blood off her hands?
Oh well–– guess we’re just stuck with pleasant, warm memories of the kindly old lady who could solve crimes like no one’s business.
We ♥ Murder, She Wrote.