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Murder by the Book
Season 03, Episode 16
Air Date April 19, 1996
Previous Mind Over Murder
Next FMurder

Murder by the Book is the sixteenth episode of Diagnosis Murder's third season which was first broadcast on April 19, 1996.

Plot Edit

The daughter of one of Mark's friends writes a juicy tell-all expose of the most prominent public figures. Mark takes her in after a crazed stalker starts threatening her and her co-authors.

Summary Edit

At a L.A. book signing for "Munchies, Snacks and Spreads", which Mark mistakes for a cookbook, but is actually a spicy true sex-for-money story which names real people, someone writes a death threat in the copy Mark picks up to have signed by former neighborhood kid Melissa Farnes, one of the three co-authors with call girls Shauna Teague and Carrie. Their pushy agent Janet Block refuses to call off the 21 city book signing tour, as the extra publicity makes the book a bestseller. Melissa asks to talk to Mark; Jesse, who knew what he wanted signed (none of the 86 stories are alike, that interests even Norman and Amanda), is not allowed to join the beach house lunch. Then Shauna doesn't turn up for a radio show, but is heard on the phone in a crazed kidnapper's power, who shoots; she remains missing, her car is found in Santa Monica. Carrie is tricked in her hotel room by the killer with a fake police idea and made to ask Melissa to come there alone. A maid finds Melissa next to Carrie's corpse, and the killer, leaving in a hurry left prints that prove it's ex-con Thomas L. Pitt. Community General's laryngologist Dr. Bannerman proves his skill by electronically analyzing the radio station's tape as made in a cab, calling in his L.A. position, which was stolen. Pitt is found in it, also shot dead. The co-authors had a survival-clause for all rights showing who gets the royalties in the event of their death. Meanwhile Amanda desperately tries to repeat her marriage vows to USN fighter pilot Colin, now on mission in Bosnia, as their wedding may not have been illegal.