Season 1 Episode 7

The Murder's in the Mail

Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Apr 02, 1985 on ABC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

The Murder's in the Mail
Dave and Maddie find a man dead when they try to collect a debt for a collection agency. By the time they alert the authorities and return the body has disappeared.

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  • It's lies, spies and pies as the Blue Mooners try to scrape up some cash by tracking down deadbeats.

    A mystery man arrives in the country. He had just avoided getting on a flight that was destroyed. Why is he here, who is he looking for and can he be stopped in time?

    Over to the good detectives, who are in the midst of one of their periodic money struggles. Dave comes up with the scheme of working some accounts for a debt collection service. Maddie is reluctant but caves in.

    They meet the first subject, and he's big enough to have his own post office. He fails to respond to polite does the next man, he of the uncanny luck with airplanes. This one won't be paying either, unless he can write checks from beyond the grave. An even more shadowy operative got to him first.

    The gumshoes alert the cops, who can't find either the killer or the body. Back to the office--where they are trailed by agents who could have good or bad intentions, and it's not worth waiting to find out. They hotfoot it out of there.

    So do the agents.

    One of them corners the detectives and lets them in on a little secret. He's one of the good guys.


    And he must meet a foreign emissary at a dinner tonight. Sounds fine and dandy.

    Then why does he give them the creeps?

    Something is wrong with this little operation. David and Maddie break into the opulent dinner and try to beat him to the target.

    They say revenge is a dish best served cold. And hurled through the air at a high rate of speed.

    An exciting and funny episode with one of the best ending sequences on offer.moreless
Allyce Beasley

Allyce Beasley

Agnes DiPesto

Bruce Willis

Bruce Willis

David Addison Jr.

Cybill Shepherd

Cybill Shepherd

Madeline "Maddie" Hayes

Curtis Armstrong

Curtis Armstrong

Herbert Quentin Viola (seasons 4 - 5, recurring previously)

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • The business book David read is called Being Second Stinks.

      The author? J. C. Caron... That is a tip of the hat to the show's creator, Glenn Gordon Caron.

  • QUOTES (10)

    • (As a huge fight breaks out, and people around the hall pelt each other with food)

      David: Who says you can't bring the countries of the world together and settle their differences in a civilized and orderly way?

    • (At the event hall, after Maddie had to change into a uniform as a disguise--a maid's outfit, the showy French style)

      David: Just remember, you're dressed like that for America! And I, for one, salute you!

      Maddie: Salute you, Addison.

      David: That's good, I like that…look waitery.

    • (After they speak to a cop, Maddie is even more confused about the case, but David says they should push on)

      David: We are investigators, we should investigate! I know what you're going to say—'Who's the client?' You think Alexander Graham Bell sat back in his workshop and said, 'Why am I inventing the telephone? Nobody else has one. Who am I going to call?' Heck no. He went out there and did what he had to do—invented the telephone, dialed a number until people got good and sick of all that ringing! They went out and bought a phone so they could answer it!

    • (The detectives go in to find Roy Hirsch sitting across the room. He is silent and doesn't move. Maddie hands him his checkbook from the table. He drops it.)

      David: Stick him with a pin!

      Maddie: I will not!

      David: Yank out one of his nose hairs.

      Maddie: Addison?!

      David: Rip off all your clothes and see if he reacts! (Maddie glares) You're right, that would kill me.

    • (As they approach the apartment of the next man on the collection list, Roy Hirsch. Maddie was allowed in after saying she was here to 'appeal to (his) sense of fair play.')

      Maddie (to David): I don't know why you're so surprised. It's like I said before. People are fundamentally good.

      (Cut to a quick view inside the room: Roy Hirsch and a man who broke into the place, beating the daylights out of each other)

    • David: Maddie…trust me.

    • Maddie: Did it ever occur to you that the only reason your friends at ECAC would give you a chance to collect money from these people is that they know it's impossible to collect money from these people?... Wake up! They sent you out to get money from Paul Bunyan!

      David: You wake up. I'm doing this for us, for the good of the company! If we don't figure out some way to bring some money into the company, I can see the writing on the wall…and if I have to go out there and get another job—you may not know this, but there are people out there who think that I'm not a very good detective! Go figure!

    • (As the detectives go to the home of the first person on the collections list)

      Maddie: We can't bully this man. People are fundamentally good, present company excluded, and I believe if you give them a chance to live up to their obligations, they'll rise to the occasion.

      David: I like to make money the old-fashioned way: scare the creep.

    • Maddie: If it's so easy to get money out of these people, then why didn't ECAC get it themselves?

      David: Why didn't Detroit make smaller cars before Japan? Why didn't those cereal companies put two scoops of raisins in from the get-go? Why didn't Donny marry Marie? Who knows? Doesn't matter. Their loss is our gain.

    • David: We're looking for a man with a mole on his nose.
      Doorman: A mole on his nose?
      Maddie: A mole on his nose!
      Doorman: What kind of clothes?
      Maddie: What kind of clothes?
      David: What kind of clothes do you suppose?
      Doorman: What kind of clothes do I suppose would be worn by a man with a mole on his nose? Who knows?
      David: Did I happen to mention, did I bother to disclose, that this man that we're seeking with a mole on his nose, I'm not sure of his clothes, or anything else,
      except he's Chinese -- a big clue by itself.
      Maddie: How do you do that?
      David: Gotta read a lot of Dr. Seuss.
      Doorman: I'm sorry to say, I'm sad to report
      I haven't seen anyone at all of that sort. Not a man who's Chinese with a mole on his nose and some kind of clothes
      that you can't suppose. So, get away from this door
      and get out of this place or I'll have to hurt you--put my foot in your face.
      David: Oh.
      Maddie: Time to go.
      David: Time to go.

  • NOTES (1)


    • (As the detectives look over a ransacked apartment)

      Maddie: Who could have done such a thing?

      David: The Seven Santini Brothers?

      This is a reference to a moving company that once operated in the northeastern U.S. They were notorious for their questionable service, and their legal troubles culminated in the company's eventual bankruptcy.

    • Agent: Why are you here?

      David: I'm here tonight because we've replaced this banquet hall's real coffee with frozen crystals.

      When David is cornered by the secret agent, he jokes about being at the hall to do a switch on the banquet's coffee.

      This is a reference to a very popular commercial of the time, for Folger's Crystals. They would go around to different places and secretly change out the usual coffee brand for their own. The people would be pleasantly surprised.

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    20/20: In an Instant Murder in the Maternity Ward