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Deadly Lady is the second episode of the first season of Murder, She Wrote.

It's choppy seas for a multi-millionaire who is swept off his yacht and killed during a hurricane. When Jessica tries to investigate, she becomes embroiled in a family storm of deceit and greed.


When a hurricane hits the area around Cabot Cove, a yacht sends out a distress signal. After the winds die down, the yacht, crewed by four sisters, is towed in. The sisters, Nancy (Nan) Earl, Maggie Earl, Lisa Earl Shelby, and Grace Earl Lamont, claim that during the storm their father Stephen Earl was swept overboard by a wave.

The same morning, a hobo named Ralph shows up at Jessica's house and offers to clean the lawn and repair the house for food. Although his tailor-made but well-worn clothing betrays his claims of being a hobo as not entirely true, Jessica soon warms to the man.

The sisters and Grace's husband pester Sheriff Tupper to issue an inquest so that they can begin processing their father's affairs, even without a found body as proof of death. Sheriff Tupper stands his ground and is automatically suspicious of the heirs to Earls' large fortune.

Checking out the storm trajectory, Jessica realizes that at the place and time the Earl sisters claimed the wave swept their father overboard, they were smack in the middle of the eye of the storm. One sister, Maggie Earl, then confesses to shooting Stephen in the chest.

When the newspapers come in with an obituary for Stephen Earl, Jessica realizes that Stephen is none other than Ralph. The next morning, Stephen/Ralph is found washed ashore with shotgun wounds as described by Maggie. Confronted with this news, Maggie recants her story and shares what really happened with Sheriff Tupper and Jessica: her sisters and father had come up with an elaborate scheme to fake Stephen Earls' death and draw out Nancy's ex-fiancé, a gold digger named Terry Jones; once he had "coincidentally" showed up again, their father would reveal himself and /\/\, thereby proving to Nancy that her ex was only with her for her inheritance.

Perjury is equally suspicious, but Maggie's incarceration is finally cut short when the coroner confirms that Stephen was alive way after the sisters were towed in.

A search of the beach reveals two lady shoes which turn out to belong to Nancy, who is then arrested - having no alibi, having spent the evening with her fiancé, a gold digger named Terry Jones.

However, Jessica notices there are no marks on Nancy's soles, which should be there if she had walked home from the rocky beach barefoot. Sheriff Tupper takes Nancy into custody anyway, per Jessica's suggestion. This ploy later leads to exposing Terry Jones.

Later that evening, Maggie breaks into Jessica's home, likely to harm her. Her confession is overheard by the Sheriff, whom Jessica had called as soon as she heard the glass being broken. What gave the criminal away? When Jessica finds the sisters to tell them that Nancy had been arrested and convey the finding of the shoe, Maggie casually commented that she never wore pink, but Jessica, nor Nancy or the Sheriff had ever disclosed the shoe's color. Jessica had known it was Maggie, after Terry Jones told her that Maggie had told him about the real death of Stephen Earl, thus setting Nancy up to be without an alibi.

In the end, Nancy has jilted Terry, realizing that he really was only in it for her money.


With sisters being sisters, & they have a habit in sharing clothes with each other, that would be how Maggie knew the shoes were pink, because remember, Nancy put on the pink shoes in front of everyone to show the shoes were hers, so her sister Maggie would know from that, that the shoes were pink.

Explain why there was a story as to how Stephen Earl was that monstrous to his daughters, with the way they talked about him & yet, he didn't show any of that side of himself to Jessica ?

There was no need for the killing of Stephen Earl because of the fact the main story was to fake Stephen's death to get rid of Terry, who was only in a relationship with one of the Earl sisters was for the money.

Then there's this: Isn't very odd that with how they were setting it up to fake Stephen Earl's murder, that one of his own daughters will kill him, given that they aligned up with each other to fake the murder ?


Recurring Cast[]

Guest Stars[]

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