Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
4 user

A Christmas Secret 

The future son-in-law of a prominent Cabot Cove family is suspected in a shooting.


Anthony Pullen Shaw (as Anthony Shaw)


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




Episode cast overview:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Diane Baker ... Mary Forsythe
Corinne Bohrer ... Wanda Andrews
Amy Brenneman ... Amy Wainwright
Ron Masak ... Sheriff Mort Metzger (as Ron Másak)
Sean O'Bryan ... Charlie D. McCumber
Eileen Seeley Eileen Seeley ... Elizabeth Forsythe
Ken Swofford ... Alan Forsythe
Mary Tanner Bailey Mary Tanner Bailey ... Monica McCumber (as Mary Tanner)
Larry Wilcox ... Floyd Bigelow
William Windom ... Dr. Seth Hazlitt
Louis Herthum ... Deputy Andy Broom
Craig Hamann ... Bert Lazarus


Shortly before Christmas, Cabot Cove tycoon Alan Forsythe welcomes Charlie Davenport McCumber, fiancé of his daughter Elizabeth, into the family and as the new firm partner, which Bert Lazarus begrudges. Charlie gets an anonymous blackmail tape with a message, from a woman, in his car. Beth finds it and sees him kiss a mystery girl. At a charity raffle, a Santa shoots (but not fatally) Wanda Andrews, who works for the city, with Charlie's gun. Floyd Bigelow reveals he suspects Wanda of embezzling $400,000 from the pension fund. Jessica doubts the obvious and sets a trap to clear Charlie. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

13 December 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Christmas Secret See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


[All trivia items for this title are spoilers.] See more »


When the question of Colorblindness comes up, stating the Colorblind person could not tell the distinction red from green, this is inaccurate. A Colorblind person cannot tell shades of a certain color such as red, blue or green. A Colorblind person can tell two distinctive colors apart from each other. See more »


[first lines]
Woman 1: Hi.
Woman 2: Merry Christmas.
Alan Forsythe: Ladies and gentlemen, friends, neighbors, family, Merry Christmas!
See more »

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User Reviews

Christmas comes to Cabot Cove
3 November 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.

Can understand the suspension of disbelief thing regarding Diane Baker's character, but to me it wasn't anywhere near enough to bring down what is a strong contender for the best episode of Season 9 and a standout of the latter seasons. It is a pretty unique 'Murder She Wrote' episode for one primary reason that won't be spoilt in fear of ruining it for anybody who hasn't seen the episode yet. That it's a Christmas-themed episode and that it sees Cabot Cove at its most festive are other fairly unique factors for the show.

"A Christmas Secret" is particularly notable for the sterling cast. Not just the ever spot-on Angela Lansbury, William Windom as everybody's favourite curmudgeon doctor and the easy presence of Ron Masak, but also Diane Baker (classing it up to the hilt) and Corinne Bohrer (wringing out all the juice of the trouble-making victim) giving particularly note-worthy supporting turns.

Mystery-wise it's hugely entertaining and intriguing with its fair share of surprises and twists, the cleverest being regarding the motivation behind and target of the tape. The perpetrator is one of the few surprising ones of the season, which has otherwise has had its fair share of obvious, not-easy-to-follow and poorly acted denouements (none of which applicable here) with exceptions like this and "The Wind Around the Tower".

Production values are slick and stylish. 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 amiable and keeps one on their toes guessing, while taking itself seriously at other times without going overboard. A great job is done with the festive atmosphere too, felt a lot of nostalgia and holiday warmth.

Overall, wonderful and one of Season 9's best. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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