Magnum, P.I.

Season 7 Episode 9

Novel Connection

Aired Unknown Nov 19, 1986 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
26 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Novel Connection
Higgins is driving Pamela Bates—an old editor friend of Robin Masters'—along with her friend, and her secretary, to the Estate, when someone tries to run them off the road and over a cliff. But it seems that it's not a case for Magnum, as Pamela insists on waiting for her own mainland investigator friend to arrive and look into it: Jessica Fletcher.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Guest stars

    My favorite guest stars:

    Angela Lansbury (as Jessica Fletcher)

    Jessica Walter

    Ramon Bierie

    Jared Martin
  • After Higgins is run off the road when driving some of Robin Masters' guests to the Estate, Thomas finds himself investigating whether he likes it or not. But one of the guests insists on bringing in her own mainland investigator. A dull crossover ep...moreless

    After a great run of seventh season episodes (enjoyable 'A.A.P.I.', and classics 'Death and Taxes', 'Little Girl Who' and 'Paper War'), things inevitably come crashing down with this terrible crossover story with 'Murder, She Wrote'.

    This is the second of two MPI crossover episodes, the first being the third season's 'Ki'I's Don't Lie', which was a crossover with 'Simon and Simon'. Although not perfect, 'Ki'I's...' was an enjoyable tale that didn't take itself too seriously. 'Novel Connection', on the other hand, feels very forced and pointless, and ends up as one of my least favourite episodes.

    It doesn't help that I am not a 'Murder, She Wrote' fan in the first place – I find Jessica Fletcher irritating, and making matters worse, in the early-mid 1990s, my local ITV region ran the episodes over and over and OVER again, when most of the surrounding regions had stuff I loved, such as 'The A-Team' and 'Knight Rider', which made me dislike MSW even more!

    There is little to really note in 'Novel Connection'. I find the guest characters uninteresting (I couldn't care less about them), and the story plods along with little real interest. When they only moment I remotely liked is when Higgins, annoyed that Magnum has been invited to join the guests at dinner, makes him sit on a little table all of his own, is the only moment that made me giggle, signs are it's a pretty bad episode.

    Jessica Fletcher herself does not appear to halfway through the story, and when she does, it feels like two different shows awkwardly welded together, and does not work at all.

    I've also heard that Angela Lansbury when filming MSW had some 'eccentric' working methods, such as walking off of set on the dot of 6 p.m. no matter how far filming had progressed; and filming this crossover episode, was even more set on doing this, making completion of the episode awkward.

    As with aforementioned 'Ki'I's Don't Lie', there are two versions of this episode – one that rounds the story off in a single episode, and the originally broadcast version which leads on to part II in 'Murder, She Wrote'. The DVD version features the original two-part crossover, but I also have a recording from (Channel) Five in 2003 which is the single part syndicated version.

    The single part version shows Magnum to be defending himself against gunman Mayfield, thus he is not arrested and does not lead to a second part. Instead, there is a final scene where Magnum mentions to Higgins that he, with Rick and T.C., plan to make back the money they spent on the land hoax (a thin sub-plot from the episode that never fells fully developed), before settling down to read Jessica Fletcher's latest novel.

    In case you haven't realised yet (!), I really don't care for this episode very much at all. I find it dull and tedious, and a very awkward crossover. I must be a sucker for punishment, but being a completist, I still have to sit through the MSW second half, 'Magnum on Ice', to finish off the story. Oh dear!...moreless
Ramon Bieri

Ramon Bieri

Captain Frank Browning

Guest Star

Stephanie Faracy

Stephanie Faracy

Amy Sayler

Guest Star

Dorothy Loudon

Dorothy Loudon

Pamela Bates

Guest Star

Frank Atienza

Frank Atienza

Sergeant Puna

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • When this episode was originally aired it had a hanging ending that was concluded in the Murder, She Wrote episode "Magnum on Ice" which aired later in the evening. The original episode ended with Magnum being arrested by the police for seemingly murdering Paul Mayfield and the words "To Be Continued" flashed across the screen.

      When the episode aired in syndication the ending was reedited with new footage. A scene between Magnum and Jessica that provided a link to the later Murder, She Wrote episode was cut. The gun fight between Magnum and Mayfield was re-edited so that Magnum is defending himself from Mayfield and the police never arrive. Then there is a completely new scene between Magnum and Higgins in the Guest House. The new scene quickly ties up all the loose ends, including what happened to Rick and T.C. (which is never explained in the original episode). The syndicated episode ends with Magnum lying down on his couch reading one of Jessica's books titled The Umbrella Murders.

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Magnum: (narrating) Everybody, deep down inside thinks he, or she, is a private investigator. Jessica Fletcher was no exception. Despite her denials, I was sure she fancied herself as the consummate crime solver.

  • NOTES (2)

    • The German episode titles are "Immer wenn sie Krimis schreibt" (the German title for Murder, She Wrote) and "Konkurrenz vom Festland" ("Competition from the Mainland"). The French title is "Magnum à la une", meaning "Magnum on the Front Page". The Italian title is "Realtà e fantasia", meaning "Reality and Fantasy".

    • Unusually for the series, the guest cast of this story, up until Special Guest Star Angela Lansbury, are billed in alphabetical order.