"Columbo" Dagger of the Mind (TV Episode 1972) - Plot Summary Poster

(TV Series)



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  • In London, a respected Shakespearean acting duo cover up the unintended killing of their producer.

  • Lillian Stanhope and Nicholas Frame are two famed actors in London, a venerated husband and wife team set to act in 'Macbeth'. Producer Sir Roger Haversham had been Lillian's lover but finds out he has been deceived by the couple and is ab out to cancel their widely anticipated and lucrative engagement. During a dressing room brawl between the three, Haversham is accidentally killed when he is hit in the head by a projectile thrown by Stanhope. As Haversham had not been seen by any of the cast or crew before he entered the couple's dressing room, the couple decide to hide his body and later take the corpse to his mansion and stage his "accidental" death. However, Lt. Columbo, in London to learn about new investigation methods used by Scotland Yard, smells something fishy in this supposed accident.

  • A shakespearean actress accidentally kills a theatre impresario in a fit of rage witnessed by her husband after the victim, learning he had been set up by the couple, announces his intentions to ruin their careers. When the first victim's butler discovers their secret and tries to blackmail them, he too is killed, this time in cold blood.

  • While on an exchange visit with Scotland Yard in London, Lt. Columbo investigates the death of impresario Sir Roger Haversham. The initial investigation puts his death down to a fall but he was in fact killed by his latest production's two stars, Nicholas Frame and his wife, Lillian Stanhope. (Haversham discovered that his supposed affair with Stanhope was a sham: the couple were just setting him up.) Columbo is convinced there's more to the man's death than meets the eye and, in his own inimitable, fumbling ways, sets about to expose the murderers.


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