Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
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Old Habits Die Hard 

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Jessica visits a convent to see a former sorority sister and winds up searching for a nun's killer.


Peter S. Fischer (created by), Richard Levinson (created by) | 5 more credits »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Eileen Brennan ... Marian Simpson
Cindy Fisher ... Nancy Bates
Clu Gulager ... Ray Carter
Evelyn Keyes ... Sister Emily
Mark Keyloun ... Mike Phelps
Ed Nelson ... Mayor Albert Simpson
Scott Paulin ... Dr. Marshall
Jane Powell ... Rev. Mother Claire
Robert Prosky ... Bishop Patrick Shea
Audrey Totter ... Sister Paul
Sherri Stoner Sherri Stoner ... Sarah Martino
Wendy Brainard Wendy Brainard ... Amy
Fay DeWitt ... Sister Mary-Margaret
Carol Swarbrick Carol Swarbrick ... Sister Margaret-Marie


Mike Phelps refuses to accept his fiancée, Sarah Martino, leaving him to enter the Immaculate Heart nunnery which runs a girls school, where Jessica takes a retreat, invited by a former sorority sister, now Reverend Mother Claire. After benefactors Mayor Albert Simpson and wife, Marian, learned about Ray Carter trying to find a dying rich man's 15 years ago estranged daughter, convent record keeper Sister Emily is found dead at her desk from, according to a hand-written note, suicide by pills, which Claire refuses to believe although the convent was locked up all night. Although Bishop Patrick Shea is prepared to let the police close the case, Jessica and the Reverend Mother are not convinced it was suicide. After finding out the pills dose wasn't even lethal, the note was a teaching aid, and several secrets, Jessica learns about a secretly reopened old underground railroad route, snoops on and devises a crafty trap. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

11 October 1987 (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?


Although the building used as the convent dated back to 1889, it did not have any secret passages, underground or otherwise. See more »


The Celtic Cross is not a Crucifiix; Crucifixes have the body of Christ on the cross. See more »


[last lines]
Jessica Fletcher: Bishop Shea, we couldn't have done it without your blessing.
Bishop Patrick Shea: Well, yes, that- that's true, isn't it? Oh. There's one more thing that you can do for me before you go.
Jessica Fletcher: Oh, what's that?
Bishop Patrick Shea: Try to impress on your dear old friend here the obligation of obedience... She is a troublemaker, you know.
Jessica Fletcher: I'm afraid that is *your* problem, and a delightful one you're going to have to deal with for a long, long, time.
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Murder She Wrote Theme
Written by John Addison
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User Reviews

Murder in the convent
19 August 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.

"Old Habits Die Hard" is another one of the gems of Season 4 (to me one of the better and more consistent seasons of 'Murder She Wrote') and perhaps one of the best overall episodes too. One of those episodes that one cannot get enough of no matter how many times it's been seen, with something new to admire each time. The mystery itself is colourful and clever, without being convoluted or obvious with everything being tied up neatly but not in a too pat way at the end.

It's the cast that make "Old Habits Die Hard" the gem that it is. Angela Lansbury is dependably terrific, while it is impossible not to be charmed and entertained by the star power of one of the show's best guest star casts. Standing out are Eileen Brennan, who plays a busybody to classy and suitably annoying but fun perfection, Clu Gallagher who charms in her flirtatiousness, Robert Prosky who plays the most crusty in demeanour monsignor you'll ever see and Jane Powell bringing a lot of spirit.

Production values, however, are slick and stylish as ever with 'Murder She Wrote'. 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.

Writing is thought-provoking, light-hearted and amiable and the story has some well executed twists and turns and is never dull.

To conclude, one of my favourites of Season 4. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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