Murder, She Wrote (1984–1996)
3 user

Death 'N Denial 

Jessica takes a trip to Egypt to finalize a cultural exchange program and ends up searching for a killer and a stolen artifact.


Jerry Jameson


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




Episode credited cast:
Angela Lansbury ... Jessica Fletcher
Turhan Bey ... Sherif Faris
Finn Carter ... Sally Otterburn
Michael Paul Chan ... Trevor Han
Steve Inwood Steve Inwood ... Rudy Grimes
Chaim Jeraffi Chaim Jeraffi ... Insp. Omar Halim
Lee Meriwether ... Vanessa Thorpe
Eric Pierpoint ... Bradford Thorpe
Jim Pirri ... Naser Muhammad Hasan
James Read ... Boyd Venton
Jeri Ryan ... Laura Gibson (as Jeri Lynn Ryan)
Michael Saad Michael Saad ... Minister of Interior (as Michael A. Saad)
Mike Akrawi ... Waiter
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Zuhair Haddad ... Multiple Roles (voice)


Egyptologist Sally Otterburn phones Cairo museum director Sherif Faris and informs him the Nefertari bust is original and 4000 years old. He expects her to smuggle it to Cairo, promising an affidavit it's only a copy, and suggesting to use Jessica's favorite museum as cover. However, Rudy Grimes had his phone wired and calls his boss Bradford Thorpe. The one in Cairo must be a fake. Thorpe's wife Vanessa agrees to finance $300,000. Jessica and Sally Otterburn arrive in Cairo where even Nasar, the driver awaiting them, who has two years New York cab driver experience, can't prevent a thief getting away with Jessica's bag, mainly containing notes. Sally phones Faris but assures him it's not "you know what", just when the Minister of Antiquities pays his museum a surprise visit. Inspector Omar Halim almost immediately investigates the theft. Nasar asks Jessica to help him get a visa to go legally to his fiancée in the US, now being courted by a relative. Thorpe's loan shark Trevor Han ... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

22 January 1995 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Although set in Cairo, Egypt, no scenes were filmed there. See more »


At the start, when Jessica Fletcher is being met at Cairo Airport, her driver is holding up a sign that says "Mrs Flesher" instead of "Mrs Fletcher." See more »


[first lines]
Sally Otterburn: Sherif, I'm looking at the reports. Carbon dating puts it over 4, 000 years old. This is the original Nefertari bust from Medina. I bet my life on it.
See more »


References Death on the Nile (1978) See more »

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User Reviews

A death in Cairo
1 December 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.

"Death 'N' Denial" is to me among the better episodes of an inconsistent season that is one of the weaker seasons of 'Murder She Wrote' generally. It is not a 'Murder She Wrote' classic, but it is fun and keeps one guessing enough. It perhaps takes a little too long to get to the murder, most of what happens before centres around the theft and the character tensions.

The story occasionally gets a little over-complicated, the dialogue doesn't always flow and the acting is variable.

Still, as said, "Death 'N' Denial" is entertaining and compelling, with the story moving along at a good pace. Both the theft and murder intrigue (although the murder could have been focused on a touch more) and things are explained neatly with a plausible solution that isn't solved based on scant evidence, coincidental chance or hearsay. One of the pleasures of the episode actually is Jessica's motivation for eating the local specialty (evidence hunting).

Angela Lansbury is terrific, while Lee Meriweather, Steve Inwood and James Read fare best of the supporting cast.

Production values are slick and stylish with an exotic locale. 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. Script is thought-provoking and amiable, the character tensions are handled well and if the Sally Otterburn name was a nod to Lansbury's character in 1978's 'Death on the Nile' that was clever.

In short, nice episode but not a classic. 6/10 Bethany Cox

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