Murder, She Wrote: Town Father (1989)
Season 6, Episode 11
Murder during election time
1 October 2017
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.

"Town Father" is an entertaining episode from Season 6 and of the episodes up to this point in the season (which has been solid so far, with the weakest episodes being the three bookend episodes and the strange "Night of the Tarantula", which were disappointing but watchable) it is one of the better ones alongside "The Error of Her Ways", "Dead Letter" and "When the Fat Lady Sings".

With that being said, "Town Father" is not one of my favourite 'Murder She Wrote'. The mystery is pretty good and a sleazily nasty one but there could have been more focus on it, one actually remembers the comic relief and the chemistry between the Cabot Cove regulars much more, and far more suspects that we could have gotten to know more.

Final solution to me was also rather clunky, despite the identity of the killer luckily not being an obvious one the motive just felt too ordinary and considering the nastiness of the concept it felt a bit tacked on.

Credit is due however for finally giving Richard Paul something to do other than bumbling comic relief and make him more interesting by giving him a mystery cantered around him. Paul makes the most of this and does a good job within his own limitations. Loved the comedy and the gossiping, and cannot get enough of especially Julie Adams and Ruth Roman who are both so funny and charming.

Angela Lansbury is terrific in one of her justifiably best-remembered roles, Ron Masak has settled in very nicely and William Windom is amusing and delights as a charming curmudgeon. Orson Bean and Holland Taylor are just two of the solid guest cast, the two most famous names of the non-recurring characters cast.

Production values as ever are slick and stylish. The close knit community and picturesqueness of Cabot Cove is timeless. 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 thought-provoking, light-hearted and amiable.

Overall, entertaining and good episode. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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