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Murder at the Stratley  - The first novel written by Dick Loudon (Bob Newhart), an author of how-to-books who lived with his wife Joanna (Mary Frann) at the historic Stratford Inn in Vermont on the situation comedy NEWHART/CBS/1982-90. (episode No. 139. Originally aired May 15, 1989)

Dick Loudon at the Stratford Inn

On page 6 of the novel, the innkeeper's wife, Johanna (Joanna with an "H") is bludgeoned to death with a typewriter, dismembered and then dumped in a lake.

All the novel's characters were poorly veiled references to everyone in the author's small Vermont town, despite the author's insistence that nobody in town appeared in the book.

Because the novel featured a lusty, man-hungry librarian, Miss Prudence Goddard (Kathy Kinney), the local town librarian prominently placed "Murder at the Stratley" in the library's glass display case under the big lamp....Wow! Dick immodestly called his mystery novel "The Greatest Story Ever Told."

Some of Dick's previous works were "So You Wanna Plant Plums" (Dick's first book), "Building Your Own Patio Cover'; "How To Make Your Dream Bathroom"; Installation & Care Of Your Low-Maintenance Lawn Sprinkler"; "Let's Build a Barbecue"; "Pillow Talk" (how to make pillows) and "Shelf Help" (how to build shelves).

Bob also hosted of a short-lived local cable show at WPIV-TV on Channel 8 called "Book Talk" where he interviewed authors and discussed their new books, for example, "Up the Amazon" written by Lloyd Menninger, a retired Air Force Colonel with delusions of CIA conspiracies [who purported seeing dinosaurs and extraterrestrials in Brazil]; and later "Vermont Today" that strove to be an intelligent audience participation program but sunk to the level of featuring such guests as Joco Braverman, the owner of the "World's Smallest Horse."

Cast of NEWHART
George, Michael, Dick, Larry & brothers Darryl & Darryl


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