Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
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Keep the Home Fries Burning 

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Poisoned strawberry preserves served at the Joshua Peabody Inn result in murder.


Peter Crane


Peter S. Fischer (created by), Richard Levinson (created by) | 4 more credits »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Sharon Acker ... Wilhelmina Fraser
Norman Alden ... Mercer Hawthorne
Orson Bean ... Ebeneezer McEnery
Tom Bosley ... Sheriff Amos Tupper
Gary Crosby ... Ted Stully
Anne Francis ... Margo Perry (as Anne Lloyd Francis)
William Lucking ... Bo Dixon
John McCook ... Harrison Fraser III
Donna Pescow ... Cornelia
Henry Polic II ... Alan Dupree
Marcia Rodd ... Betty Fiddler
William Windom ... Dr. Seth Hazlitt
Alan Young ... Floyd Nelson
Rosanna Huffman Rosanna Huffman ... Helen Stully


Bo Dixon is getting desperate as all his diner customers, even sheriff Tupper and his former waitress Cornelia, desert to the Joshua Peabody Inn on the Interstate. When he checks out the competition during breakfast and sees the owner, Floyd Nelson, arguing with the chef, Alan Dupree. Then there are several cases of what appears to be food poisoning and the death of Betty Fiddler. Due to the number of cases, Dr. Seth Hazlitt calls in health inspector Margo Perry and Jessica looks into the possibility of murder. The only missing item is a jar of old Mrs. Fairley's strawberry preserves. Jessica unmasks Dupree as a fake cordon bleu and Harrison as Betty Fiddler's adulterous lover, but also doubts the intended victim and ties up more minute observations. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

19 January 1986 (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?


The politician threatens that Mr. Hawthorne is getting "dangerously close to libel" for accusing the politician of being "crooked", Libel is a charge for false written statements. If anything, Hawthorne would be guilty of slander, but as he correctly points out, only if his statements are false. See more »


Although Cornelia is supposed to be a longtime resident of Cabot Cove and seems to be familiar with Dr. Hazlitt, she mispronounces his last name. See more »


[first lines]
Bo Dixon: Sheriff.
Sheriff Amos Tupper: Bo. Nice seeing you.
Bo Dixon: Uh, where you been? I, uh, haven't seen you for breakfast anymore.
See more »


References Peyton Place (1957) See more »


Murder She Wrote Theme
Written by John Addison
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User Reviews

Strawberry preserves have never been more deadly
24 July 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.

"Keep the Home Fries Burning" is a standout of Season 2 (along with "Trial By Error", "Jessica Behind Bars", "Sticks and Stones" and "Murder in the Afternoon" when it comes to previous episodes, "Joshua Peabody Died Here...Possibly" and "Dead Heat" are the only ones up to this point in the season to not do much for me of the season while not terrible episodes) and of the early seasons.

What could have been a silly premise if executed badly turns out to be a lot of fun. With a mystery that's suitably twisty with lots of suspects and a clever ending that is not what you think it will be (if not as ingenious as the ones in "Trial By Error" and especially "Sticks and Stones").

Production values are high in quality as to be expected, with slick photography and attractive scenery. 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.

The writing is tight, thought-provoking and typically amiable and the characters and chemistry are great fun, especially Anne Francis's.

Angela Lansbury is typically terrific, while Tom Bosley and William Windom are solid support. Of the guest stars, it's Francis in particular who is on fire and positively dynamite form.

In conclusion, wonderful episode and a favourite. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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