Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
3 user

The Dying Game 

Jessica has worked to have Larkins sold to a museum, but an embezzled pension plan leads to a rival bid and murder.


Jerry Jameson


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


Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Peter Donat ... Floyd Larkin
Joel Fabiani ... Thornton Brewer
Mimi Kuzyk ... Athena 'Tina' Poulos
Andrew Lauer ... Ernie Fishman
Martin Milner ... Bill Maguire
Kate Mulgrew ... Maude Gillis
Michele Lamar Richards ... Meredith Peckham
Michael Tolan ... Lt. Alan Terwilliger
Musetta Vander ... Shirin Hourani
Harley Venton Harley Venton ... Clint Hallowell
Felicia Lansbury ... Gloria
Fred D. Scott Fred D. Scott ... Fritz
Charles Parks Charles Parks ... Henry Wilson
Matthew Sullivan ... Plainclothesman




In New York City to finalize a deal for the Museum of Contemporary Culture, Jessica finds herself trying to solve a murder. Her friend Floyd Larkin, owner of the venerable Larkins Department Store, is preoccupied when someone is found murdered on the premises. Things seem to go from bad to worse when Larkin tells Jessica that he's backing out of his promised support for the Museum and is selling his store to a rival chain owned by Clint Hallowell. It's a bitter pill, especially for long-time employees who worry about their future. When Hallowell is also killed - by a crossbow - there is no shortage of possible suspects. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Two cast members from Star Trek: Voyager: The Disease (1999). Kate Mulgrew (Captain Janeway) and Musetta Vander (Derran Tai). See more »


[first lines]
Clint Hallowell: [over phone] Hello, Hallowell here.
Henry Wilson: Yeah, it-it's Henry.
Clint Hallowell: What do you have?
Henry Wilson: Okay, here it is.
See more »


References The Crying Game (1992) See more »

User Reviews

"Who Can Take a Hatchet, Poker or a Knife? ~ Arrow and a Cross Bow for to Claim Another Life? Embezzler Can ~ Underneath Mosquito Net to Make the Store Close Down"
10 May 2010 | by WeatherVioletSee all my reviews

Bruce Lansbury (Brother of Angela, Uncle of David) joins the "Murder, She Wrote" team during Seasons Nine through Twelve as Supervising Producer, and pens fifteen "MSW" scripts, beginning in Season Eight, which include "The Dying Game," in which Cousin Felicia Lansbury has a role as Gloria the Receptionist at Larkin Department Store, at which two murders are about to occur.

Floyd Larkin (Peter Donat) manages this New York City retail business, which has been in his family for three generations, but now faces its final days because of financial difficulty.

Tina Poulos (Mimi Kuzyk) and Bill Macguire (Martin Milner) serve at Larkin's as Department Managers, Maude Gillis (Kate Mulgrew) as Personnel Manager, Henry Wilson (Charles Parks) as Accountant, Sharain Hourani (Musetta Vander) as a Clerk, and Ernie Fishman (Andrew Lauer) as Window Display Designer.

After Floyd makes a verbal agreement to sell Larkin Department Store to NYC's Museum of Cultural History, upon which he serves on its board, Amalgamated Corporation secretly outbids Museum of Cultural History to control the takeover of Larkin Department Store for its own benefit.

Clint Halliwell (Harley Venton) controls Amalgamated Corporation, with Thornton Brewer (Joel Fabiani) at his side, as the two make plays for two of Larkin's female employees, which causes much tension in the ranks.

Meredith Peckham (Michele Lamar Richards), Attorney representing Museum of Cultural History, arrives with Board member Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury), with Meredith's vowing to fight her legitimate case of a binding agreement in the courts.

The first murder occurs early on, involving embezzled funds from Larkin's employee pension fund as its motive, and a hatchet as the murder weapon.

Ernie Fishman informs Jessica by telephone that her dear old friend Bill Macguire has been arrested for the murder, but that Bill was with Ernie in the basement that night, setting up a bridal display, for which Ernie envisions Sharain as his intended.

When Clint Halliwell makes a play for Sharain, she objects to his advances, and so does Ernie, but Maude, who makes a play for Thornton, blackmails Sharain into submission with Clint.

On Friday evening, when Larkin's Department Store tosses its farewell banquet, tempers flair across the boards, before someone arranges a meeting in the basement beside the bridal display and the Deer Stalker wearing the mosquito net mask as part of "The Dying Game."

A second murder results from a cross bow and arrow, which slays its victim, and so Jessica and Alan Terwilliger have another homicide to solve, which Jessica maintains relates to the first and has to prove her old friend Bill innocent.

This episode also includes a rare "MSW" Epilogue, now three months later, after Jessica has managed to champion young love, and baby is on its way, the proud parents meet with Jessica in an outdoor café to debate names for their first-born child.

The cast is rounded out by Matthew Sullivan as Plainclothesman, Wendell J. Grayson as Security Guard, and Fred D. Scott as Fritz. Fred D. Scott, acting on television and in film since 1972, has unfortunately since passed.

This episode represents the second of two "MSW" appearances for Fred D. Scott, also the second of two each for Joel Fabiani and Harley Venton (who guest star together on #8.22), the third of three for Peter Donat, also the the third of three for Michael Tolan (and second as NYPD Lieutenant Alan Terwilliger), the fourth of four for Kate Mulgrew, the second of five for Felicia Lansbury, and the fourth of five for Martin Milner.

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Release Date:

13 March 1994 (USA) See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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