The late, great Jack Cassidy is my favorite "Columbo" villain, and he does not disappoint in his second of three appearances. Here, he is dastardly publisher Riley Greenleaf, who is desperate to prevent his star author (played by "Mike Hammer" scribe Mickey Spillane in a nice bit of casting!) from defecting to another firm.
We are guessing from the opening moments, when we find Greenleaf at a junkyard watching an obviously disturbed man demonstrating his homemade bombs. Where is the story going from here? How does Cassidy's drunken behavior at a nightclub play into the plot? Writer Peter S. Fischer went on to run "Murder, She Wrote" for several years, and with the 90 minute episode canvas to play with, he creates an elaborate mystery that ranks among the best of the original "Columbo" episodes.
Cassidy is the ideal "Columbo" killer with his arrogance and suave menace. He would truly pull out all the stops for "Now You See Him" in Season 5, but he delivers another ace performance here. Actors like Cassidy, Robert Culp and Patrick McGoohan who had great chemistry with Peter Falk are a delight to watch in their multiple appearances on the show.