Actress wheels bicycle with film crew in foreground

Angela Lansbury wheels her bicycle past Mitch’s Barber Shop on the northeast corner of Lansing and Ukiah Streets, 1988.

You can’t find Cabot Cove, Maine, on any map, but like Brigadoon, it comes back to life every now and then. This coming weekend is one of those times. The Kelley House’s first annual Murder, She Wrote Festival will celebrate the memory of Angela Lansbury, and let Jessica Fletcher fans walk in her fictional footsteps on Saturday and Sunday. On May 4th, “Deadly Lady,” one of the first episodes filmed in Mendocino, will be screened at the Matheson Performing Arts Center at 4:00 pm (with a special introduction by local resident Doug Nunn, who appeared in the episode back when he was much younger). 

Afterwards, attendees will walk across the street to a hosted reception at the Blair House, Jessica’s lovely home, where they are invited to explore the inn’s rooms, including Angela’s Suite, peruse original scripts from the TV show, and bid on items in a silent auction, the proceeds of which will benefit the museum’s Education Program. The screening and reception are sold out, but if you need to feel part of the celebration, there is a special Angela Lansbury Exhibit all weekend in the Kelley House. 

On Sunday, May 5th, at 1:00 pm, lucky fans will take a Murder, She Wrote walking tour through Mendocino. The 1.5-hour stroll will visit a dozen filming locations for the TV show and conclude with a tea party in the Kelley House Museum. Participants will enjoy the special exhibit about Angela while they sip teas provided by the Mendocino Tea Company, currently observing its 20th anniversary, and nibble on cookies from the Good Life Bakery. Alas, tickets for the walking tour and tea party have sold out, but an extra walking tour has been added on Saturday, May 4, at 11:30 pm. Tickets are $25 each.

If you are bummed that you missed out on all the fun because earlier announcements about the festival somehow passed you by, email to sign up for the Kelley House newsletter. That way you’ll be among the first to find out about next year’s festival plans, and you’ll keep up with other interesting events at the museum.

The Kelley House Museum is open from 11AM to 3PM Thursday through Monday. If you have a question for the curator, reach out to to make an appointment. Visit the Kelley House Event Calendar to schedule a Walking Tour of the Historic District.