Plot & Details
Robert Hays stars in Murder by the Book in the dual role of mild-mannered mystery writer D. H. Mercer and his creation, hard-boiled private eye Biff Deegan. While writing his latest book, Mercer becomes so immersed in his material that he inadvertently causes Biff to come to life. Mercer teams up with his Chandleresque doppelganger to solve a genuine mystery involving art fraud, murder, and a beautiful lady in peril (Catherine Mary Stewart). Made for television, Murder By the Book was based on a novel by Mel Arrighi, titled (what else?) Alter Ego. It was filmed late in 1985 and first telecast on March 17, 1987.