Columbo (1971–2003)
25 user 5 critic

A Trace of Murder 

A beautiful woman and her forensic expert boyfriend try to frame her very rich husband for murder.


Vincent McEveety


Richard Levinson (created by), William Link (created by) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

at Amazon


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?



Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Falk ... Columbo
David Rasche ... Patrick Kinsley
Shera Danese ... Cathleen Calvert
Barry Corbin ... Clifford Calvert
Raye Birk ... Howard Seltzer
Will Nye ... Officer Will
John Finnegan ... Barney
Franklin Cover ... Harry Jenkins
Alice Backes Alice Backes ... Harriet Jenkins
Dion Anderson ... Stuart March
Donna Bullock ... Tracy Rose
John F. O'Donohue ... Doherty
Dyana Ortelli ... Colenari
Kymberly Newberry ... District Attorney (as Kymberly S. Newberry)
Maury Sterling ... Store Clerk


A millionaire's being threatened with a lawsuit by a man he did business with. When he gets into a fight with the man, his trophy wife is more embarrassed than concerned about her husband. Now she can't divorce her husband because of a pre-nuptial agreement. And if she kills him, she would be the prime suspect. So she along with her lover decides to kill the man who is suing her husband and frame her husband. Which they do. When Columbo investigates the murder, one of the forensic people helping him is the woman's lover. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

15 May 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El rastro de un crimen See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Near the end of the episode when Barney is watching TV, a calendar for Escape from L.A. (1996) is seen. See more »


When Columbo is told that the emergency contact on the victim's alarm contract is his attorney "Tracy Rose", he asks if anyone has been in contact with "her". But he has no reason to assume "Tracy" refers to a female attorney, unless he knows her - and when they later meet it's absolutely clear neither knows the other. See more »


Lt. Columbo: Well, this is not easy, Pat.
Patrick Kinsley: No No No It is not easy. And if it was easy, we'd just ask the janitor.
See more »


References Escape from L.A. (1996) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Not bad, but the ending drags
26 December 2002 | by bregundSee all my reviews

Let me say this right off the bat: the two worst actresses in the world are Kate Capshaw and Shera Danese. Watching Danese's misplaced facial expressions, hammy acting, arm waving, and screechy voice sucks all the fun out of this Columbo film. She does absolutely nothing good with the plum role she's given. Bad director or bad acting? I tend to believe the latter.

Danese's acting aside, this is a pretty enjoyable Columbo film, well-paced and fairly involved. The joy of watching Columbo is wondering if he already knows who the killer is; in the 1970s films, you could never tell, and that was part of the fun. That sense of enigma is lost in these later films, especially in this one, where he doesn't realize it until well into the film. No matter what else he does, this is Peter Falk's signature role, and he has been a lucky actor for not getting typecast, given his variety of roles over the years.

All in all, I recommend this film as a worthy contributor to the Columbo legacy.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 25 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed