10 Best Episodes of ‘Murder, She Wrote,’ According to Fans
Of the many sadnesses of Angela Lansbury’s death is the reality that we’ll never see the actress back in action as Jessica Fletcher. Across the 12-season CBS series and its TV movie continuations, Lansbury starred as that Murder, She Wrote protagonist, a mystery writer and amateur crime-solver from the picturesque but cursed town of Cabot Cove, Maine.
And even now, more than two and a half decades after Murder’s end, Lansbury still has the record for the most Golden Globe nominations and wins for best actress in a television drama series and the most Emmy nominations for lead actress in a drama series, per CBS News.
If you want to revisit Lansbury’s work on the show, Murder, She Wrote is currently streaming on Freevee and Peacock. And the 10 episodes below are IMDb viewers’ picks for the best of the best.
10. Season 2, Episode 10: “Sticks and Stones”
As the Cabot Cove sheriff prepares to hand over his badge to his successor, the town is plagued by poison pen letters and mysterious deaths. “Angela Lansbury is terrific and particularly sells the emotion in the dénouement,” an IMDb user raves. “The shock and sadness Jessica is feeling in this scene is incredibly moving and comes through vividly in Lansbury’s acting.”
9. Season 5, Episode 17: “The Sins of Castle Cove”
A thinly-veiled novel set in the burg of “Castle Cove” exposes Cabot Cove’s dirty laundry, but then a local woman is murdered in a way that makes the book seem more predictive than vindictive. On IMDb, a fan calls this episode “a truly absorbing and highly atmospheric mystery” with “lovely moments of humorous levity.”
8. Season 4, Episode 7: “If It’s Thursday, It Must Be Beverly”
Cabot Cove’s womanizing night deputy becomes the prime suspect in this installment after his wife is found dead. “I remember watching this as a kid and thinking how scandalous it was,” a fan writes on IMDb. “Amazing how that officer got around to every beauty parlor woman in town. Love to rewatch [the episode] even though I know the killer.”
7. Season 3, Episode 21: “The Days Dwindle Down”
In an episode that served as a sequel to the 1949 film Strange Bargain — with three actors from the movie reprising their parts nearly 40 years later — a restaurant employee asks Jessica to investigate the possible framing of her parolee husband for a murder the woman says he didn’t commit. “I recommend this particular episode, not only to Angela Lansbury fans, but to movie buffs as well!” a fan writes.
6. Season 5, Episode 21: “Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall: Part 1”
In the first part of the Season 5 finale, rival mystery writer Eudora McVeigh — played by Jean Simmons in an Emmy-nominated guest spot — arrives in Cabot Cove to challenge Jessica’s sleuthing skills. An IMDb user calls this episode “outstanding, with an acting master class from Jean Simmons.”
5. Season 5, Episode 22: “Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall: Part 2”
In the second part of that finale, Eudora is suspected of the murder of a private investigator, but Jessica knows better and hunts down the real killer. A fan reviewer calls this episode “a crackling series finale” with “a really slick, smart story.”
4. Season 3, Episode 12: “The Corpse Flew First Class”
It’s murder at 36,000 feet! Kate Mulgrew guest-stars in an episode involving the murder of a chauffeur flying with his wealthy employer’s priceless necklace. “Like a good mystery story, this script presents some neat twists and turns,” a fan review reads. “The cast is sterling, as usual. Kate Mulgrew is especially fine.”
3. Season 7, Episode 14: “Who Killed J.B. Fletcher?”
Luckily for us fans, the “J.B. Fletcher” offed in this episode is an impersonator, and the real Jessica heads to a small Texas town to solve the crime. “Sure, J.B. Fletcher can hold her own with congressmen, tycoons, and Manhattan publishers — but it’s precisely this type of homey atmosphere where her personality and her investigative gifts truly shine,” a user writes on IMDb.
2. Season 2, Episode 13: “Trial by Error”
Jessica serves as jury foreperson in a case involving the killing of a jealous husband. Was it murder or self-defense? “Without a doubt, the unforeseen disruption to the crime, and that what we think was the crime in fact was not the actual crime, is straight out of [Agatha] Christie and therefore very well done,” one fan raves.
1. Season 1, Episode 18: “Murder Takes the Bus”
Rue McClanahan and Linda Blair guest-star in an episode involving Jessica and other bus passengers taking refuge during a storm — with a murderer hiding among them. “The script is often charming and amiable, while the story is hugely compelling and suspenseful with lots of twists and an ingenious ending,” an IMDb reviewer writes.