Blueprint for Murder (1972)

Columbo (1968-2003)
Television Episode | Mystery | USA | English | 1h15m
Dir: Peter Falk | Scr: Steven Bochco | Story: William Kelley | Ph: Lloyd Ahern | Prod: Richard Levinson & William Link | Mus: Gil Mellé | Ed: Chris Kaeselau & Robert L. Kimble | AD: Arch Bacon | Snd: Roger A. Parish | Cast: Peter Falk, Patrick O'Neal, Janis Paige, Pamela Austin, John Fiedler, Forrest Tucker, Bettye Ackerman

Lt. Columbo comes to suspect that a renowned architect has murdered the financier of his latest and most ambitious project and buried him beneath its foundations, when his ex-wife reports him as being missing. Unfortunately, to excavate such a site requires an awful lot of standing in line, paperwork, and stress – not exactly what you need when you’re trying to quit smoking. For once, the viewer is as much in the dark as the dirty mac-sporting, cigar-chomping detective, as the murder and its immediate aftermath are for the most part kept from us, in this rare Columbo mystery. With particularly excellent plotting, dialogue, attention to detail, and characterisation, this is easily the finest episode of the first season.