Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
3 user

If the Shoe Fits 

A womanizing Cabot Cove landlord is found murdered and Jessica must prove the innocence of a young boy's mother who is accused of the crime.


Anthony Pullen Shaw (as Anthony Shaw)


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


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Episode cast overview:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Jonathan Brandis ... Kevin Bryce
Bruce Glover ... Jack Franzen
Bridget Hanley ... Gloria Franzen
John Harkins ... Owen Brownwell
Season Hubley ... Marla Bryce
Lorna Luft ... Patsy Dumont
Kiel Martin ... Danny Snow
Ron Masak ... Sheriff Mort Metzger (as Ron Másak)
William Windom ... Dr. Seth Hazlitt
Will Nye ... Deputy Floyd
Teri Ralston Teri Ralston ... Lydia Johansen
Paige Pengra Paige Pengra ... Lee McAdam
Edwina Moore ... Nurse
Dane Winters Dane Winters ... Post Office Clerk


Land owner Jack Franzen, a flirtatious scrooge, disappears for three days until his corpse is found behind the wheel of his crashed car, skull smashed in, possibly staged as an accident. At the same time, a tenant, widow Marla Bryce, went missing. Her young son, Kevin, a diligent student and Jessica's excellent gardener, who takes his status as 'man of the house' seriously, kept her disappearance silent fearing to end up in foster care, as he did while in Chicago. Luckily, he can stay with Jessica, first informally, then in temporary foster care after his mother is found in a Portland hospital suffering from a mugging-related concussion. She's arrested when the Sheriff can't verify her alibi, but Jessica and Kevin investigate other suspects with motives, such as her employer, shoe factory boss, Owen Brownwell. Written by KGF Vissers (edited by canadazbest)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

21 January 1990 (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?


The title is from the common expression "If the shoe fits, wear it" meaning the if something fits the facts, then accept it or live with it. See more »


[first lines]
Jessica Fletcher: Kevin, how are you doing?
Kevin Bryce: Well, this dirt's putting up a pretty good fight, Mrs. Fletcher, but there's no way it's gonna win.
See more »

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User Reviews

Landlord homicide
2 October 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.

While not one of the best 'Murder She Wrote' episodes, and there are better episodes from Season 6 (such as "The Error of Her Ways"), "If the Shoe Fits" is a vast improvement over the previous episode "Good-Bye Charlie" (one of my least favourites). It's a nice enough episode, just not an exceptional one.

"If the Shoe Fits" in terms of story is pretty derivative, the whole trying to prove the innocence a young single mother in the murder of her boss is not a new concept in murder mysteries and has even been done before a little better on 'Murder She Wrote' ("Simon Color Me Dead").

The victim is not just Season 6's most hateable, to me he is one of the show's most vile and deserved-it "victims". One where nobody feels any kind of mourning over and it is one of the show's strongest cases of not caring who actually did it and feeling degrees of sympathy for everybody who was treated badly by him and even the killer (revealed in a pretty blah denouement).

Angela Lansbury is terrific however, Jessica Fletcher is one of her best-remembered roles and it's a very deserved distinction. Ron Masak has settled well and Mort is getting more likable and interesting all the time. William Windom's adept comic timing and curmudgeonly charm are reasons why Seth Hazlitt is in the top 3 of my favourite recurring characters.

Season Hubley makes it easy to root for her character, while Lorna Luft brings amusing zest to her role and Jonathan Brandis charms immensely in particularly his chemistry with Lansbury, which is the heart of the episode and where it's particularly successful in.

Production values as ever are slick and stylish, with Cabot Cove's picturesque setting and close-knit community never failing to charm. 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 suitably light-hearted and intriguing.

Despite it being derivative and having difficulty connecting properly when it concerns a despicable victim the story is paced well and has enough to keep one diverted, namely the chemistry between Lansbury and Brandis, Luft and the charms of the Cabot Cove regulars.

Overall, nicely done but not exceptional. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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