Murder by the Book (1971)

Columbo (1968-2003)
Television Episode | Crime Drama | USA | English | 1h16m
Dir: Steven Spielberg | Scr: Steven Bochco | Ph: Russell L. Metty | Prod: Richard Levinson & William Link | Mus: Billy Goldenberg | Ed: John Kaufman Jr. | AD: Arch Bacon | Snd: David H. Moriarty | Cast: Peter Falk, Jack Cassidy, Rosemary Forsyth, Martin Milner, Barbara Colby

A murder-mystery author apparently makes peace with his writing partner, whose intention to go solo had created some bad blood between the two of them, and invites him down to his lakeside weekend home for some drinking and fishing. However, with his guest expected by his wife, he convinces him to phone home and tell her that he is going to be working late at the office, and in so doing provides him with the perfect alibi to kill him right there and then whilst he’s still on the phone. However, a number of seemingly insignificant details soon raises the suspicions of a certain Lt. Columbo, in this rather straightforward episode that never entirely convinces. It's well enough crafted, but the plot doesn't really bear up to much scrutiny. Never the less, it proves fascinating, in the context of the series, for the way in which luck rather than judgement plays the greatest role in its murderer’s apprehension