13 March 1994
After twenty-five years as a policeman, Detective Inspector Henry Crabbe wants to retire and open his restaurant Pie In The Sky, with his accountant wife Margaret as cashier/bookkeeper.A week before exchanging contracts he is shot in the leg by suave fraudster Dudley Hooperman. He is visited in hospital by A.C.C. Freddy Fisher,his police academy contemporary, who blames him for letting Hooperman escape and suspends him from duty until further notice. The suspension means that, as a non-serving officer, he does not have the option to resign. Woman constable Cambridge cannily notes that Crabbe has often cracked cases for which Fisher took the credit, hence the decision. Henry nonetheless presses ahead with his plan, buying hens to whom he plays Elgar and finding a vegetable supplier, Henderson, and an assistant chef in Steve Turner, a young ex-con who shares his passion for food. Henry is set up by a corrupt colleague, Skinner, paid by Hooperman to make it look as if Henry is taking a bribe. Skinner is killed in a car accident and his guilt exposed after which Fisher offers Henry "the best of both worlds". He exonerates him from all blame over the Hooperman affair provided he stays on as a policeman in addition to running the restaurant.
20 March 1994
As Pie in the Sky nears its opening night Henry and Sophia Cambridge are involved in the hunt for missing Detective Constable Ken Shipley. They locate him, via a journalist,in a hotel,where he has gone into hiding and appears paranoid. He gives Henry a tape which supposedly links high-ranking policeman Barry Simmonds with the theft of four million pounds in bullion but the tape is a fake and Mrs.Shipley tells Henry her husband, once best friends with Simmonds, is now insanely jealous of his career success and will do anything to bring him down. The tape does, however,expose overtime irregularities and Henry uses it to 'persuade' Freddy Fisher to offer Shipley an amnesty. The restaurant's opening night is a huge success, due in part to quick-thinking new waiter John, who has come to Henry from the hotel.
27 March 1994
A specialist surveillance team, led by heavy-footed Chief Inspector Fields, stake out the restaurant. Entrepreneur and train enthusiast Duncan Spellar, a regular customer, is expected to bribe M.P. Julian Tubbs in order to secure the local railway franchise and the team are gleefully hoping to catch him in the act. Duncan is aware that he is being followed but Henry cannot let him in on the secret even though he likes him. However, when the clumsy team take over the restaurant and antagonize the staff, Henry feels no compunction in sabotaging the operation so that Duncan can be seen to be an innocent man.
3 April 1994
With Fisher at a conference for a week, Henry is free to concentrate on planning a gourmet evening for a group of prospective Japanese investors in the town but gets side-tracked when he sees supposedly long dead villain Vince Palmer, now using an assumed name. Palmer comes clean but Henry is bribed with the offer of retirement provided that he keeps quiet. The dilemma weighs heavily on his mind and he is late for the Japanese evening,but Margaret steps into the breach and turns it into a success and events are taken out of his hands regarding Palmer even though it means kissing his retirement goodbye.
10 April 1994
Henry investigates when charter pilot Guy Featherstone is found shot in his office. The place is crawling with edible snails, which Featherstone and his co-pilot Bentley exported for businessman - and former drug smuggler - Leonard Roston. Fisher is convinced that drugs are again being smuggled and makes a fool of himself on television but dog hairs on the corpse links the airline to a nearby boarding kennel and a racket to evade quarantine, and a call to Featherstone's doctor wraps up the case for Henry.
17 April 1994
Fisher's 'research' project sends Henry and Sophia Cambridge to the nearby village of Wychwold, allegedly to assess public opinion of the police. However, Henry guesses - rightly - that this is Fisher's way of getting him to investigate the suspicious death of Dilip Patel, a philanthropist about to turn the ailing country club into a public leisure centre. Henry arrests the culprit and visits a culinary heroine whilst Steve solves a burglary from the restaurant.
24 April 1994
With Fisher on a week's vacation Henry wants to use the time to perfect his passion-fruit sorbet. However his love-lorn dry cleaner Alec involves him in rescuing his fiancee from her crazed ex-partner and he has to help Steve, who keeps getting arrested due to a dodgy friend from the past.
1 May 1994
Henry investigates a ram-raid at Ernest Drummond's wine warehouse whilst Margaret acts as caretaker for another wine importer, George Porter, married to her old school friend Rosie, after George has been run over. George once worked for Drummond and Margaret uncovers a complicated scam involving George and several worthies, one of whom - fortunately for the Crabbes - is the rival restauranteur who sent an officious health inspector to close down Pie in the Sky.
8 May 1994
The dismembered body of Claudette Thierry, who went missing eighteen years previously, is dug up on farmland and French detective Marianne Dupont is brought in to help Henry re-open the enquiry. At the time Fisher, then an inspector, convicted labourer Gary Bourne who confessed to the murder but Henry and Marianne start to doubt his guilt and suspect that he is covering up for a dead friend.
15 May 1994
Level Earth conservationists target the chief engineer of a new motorway link road and disable a bull-dozer. Told to catch them Henry finds that the protesters number some very respectable people including Margaret and Henderson, who is sheltering the leading activist.When he discovers evidence that a thuggish security boss has been sending heavies to intimidate the protesters Henry gets the chance to put one over on the construction company and Fisher and strike his blow for free speech.
15 January 1995
Henry and the newly-promoted Detective Sergeant Cambridge investigate a Peeping Tom who steals ladies' undies and makes detailed obscene phone calls - all to women involved with restaurants, including Margaret. Henry suspects Hugh Downing, his handsome cheese supplier, but he turns out to have quite a different secret and ultimately it's Margaret who catches the culprit.
22 January 1995
A customer is found dead in Pie in the Sky's toilet but when the emergency services arrive his corpse has gone. Henry traces his car and finds the boot full of paper money, after which the man's son comes to the restaurant, pursued by two detectives who claim that the family are notorious forgers and tell Henry that he is out of his league in dealing with them. Inevitably they must be taught a lesson in detection.
29 January 1995
Whilst Fisher's wife is abroad, his daughter Jane changes her name and her hair colour to Magenta and goes off with a group of travellers, squatting in a field owned by Henderson. Henry brokers a deal to move them on and teaches Fisher that a little humility goes a long way in effecting a reconciliation with Jane.
5 February 1995
Trout farmer Bill Pritchard's fiancee Jean goes missing after he has accepted a lucrative take-over by a chain fishery and pushy Inspector Browning accuses him of her murder, even before any body can be found. Bill's friends Henry and Margaret are not convinced despite Bill's confession that he may have killed her whilst drunk and set their own little trap to haul in the one that might otherwise have got away.
Season 2, Episode 5: Dead Right12 February 1995
Faith Revelle, a psychic medium who is appearing at the Middleton Theatre, has been receiving daily hate mail and, as she has helped the police in the past, Fisher asks Henry to investigate. At first he is cynical and accuses her of sending the letters to herself in order to gain publicity for her forthcoming book. However, not only is she totally innocent but she also uses her psychic gifts to clear up a young girl's recent death.
19 February 1995
In addition to sorting out a feud between John and Steve, Henry answers a distress call from his culinary idol, the cantankerous Hilary Smallwood, who, in a moment of weakness, gave power of attorney to her nephew Colin. Not only has he sold her cottage and put her in a home but he is after the rewards to be had if he can publish her saucy memoirs, which she has entrusted to old flame, pig farmer Seymour Flint - who makes divine black pudding. Hilary is not long for this world but even from beyond the grave she can get one over on her greedy nephew.
26 February 1995
Fisher takes a reluctant Henry to Bath, where undercover officer Lorraine Foster has seemingly become the third victim of a serial killer. Henry learns that she was keen to pose as the girlfriend of the main suspect and had had several affairs, including with her suspended Chief Superintendent. Her colleagues are defensive, with only Detective Jan Connor offering Henry any help. He believes one of them may have killed Lorraine.Is he right?
5 March 1995
The man who wounded constable Ian Lefebvre and put him in a wheel-chair is being paroled, so Fisher, to keep Ian otherwise occupied, teams him with Henry in pursuit of the elderly Coverly sisters, mistresses of multiple cheque fraud and queens of cuisine who always leave their victims a delicious bread and butter pudding. Henry's task is three-fold, to give the embittered Ian his self-respect back, catch the ladies and, most important, obtain their wonderful recipe.
12 March 1995
Whilst vulgar businessman Barry Wilkes and his family are eating at Pie in the Sky, his house is robbed. Barry and other worthies are convinced that this - and other crimes - are down to local bad boy Karl 'Pikey' Elves, but Henry is not persuaded that the boy acted alone and sets out to prove he had inside help. Henderson and Steve, meanwhile, are more concerned with catching pike than Pikey.
19 March 1995
After a rave review by a hard to please food critic Pie in the Sky does a roaring trade. Henry, however, is at a boring police seminar where Fisher admits he is disillusioned by the job and considering quitting. Henry swaps their assessment papers, hoping it will aid his retirement chances but the trick backfires. A visit by another food critic ends in disaster and things go back to normal - to Henry's relief.
31 December 1995
Henry is leading a stake-out of a pizza parlour, whose delivery drivers are suspected of robbing customers though Fisher doubts its cost effectiveness. Money problems hit the restaurant too. John and Steve have moved on and the account is in the red. Things look up with the knowledge that old bone of contention Hooperman has died, Henry's wooing the bank manager with his culinary skills and the arrival of new chef Gary, an ex-con and reformed drunk who nonetheless helps Henry catch the pizza gang. Unfortunately this success makes Henry so valuable an officer that his retirement is once more put on hold.
Season 3, Episode 2: Game Pie7 January 1996
Henry supplies the catering at his friend Alistair's pheasant shoot, where Fisher is among the guests. Another member of the party is shot and killed and it looks as if Fisher accidentally shot him but Henry's investigation reveals a crime of passion involving a love triangle, a jealous husband - and a cover-up.
Season 3, Episode 3: Irish Stew14 January 1996
The large family of much-married Irishwoman Kit Kelly book the restaurant for a wedding banquet for her and her new husband, American television writer Byron De Goris. Byron's briefcase is stolen from his hotel and Henry is suspicious of his reaction and even more so when Margaret tells him that the groom is not Byron De Goris but his friend James Jackson. Margaret had known them both thirty years earlier and discovers that Byron killed himself and James assumed his identity. Henry has to find out why.
21 January 1996
Charles Rider, a wine-loving regular at Pie in the Sky, is being threatened. It turns out he is really Joseph Webb, an ex-burglar turned supergrass, and now in witness protection. His collection includes many valuable bottles of wine, some of them stolen property and formerly owned by a bent policeman. His cronies have tracked Webb down and want the most priceless bottle back. So Rider comes to Henry Crabbe for help. Can Crabbe restore justice while keeping his friend safe?
28 January 1996
Whilst investigating thefts of valuable plants from gardens,which are always replaced by the Gardens of Eden landscaping firm, Henry has to team up with the incompetent National Horticultural Division to stake out likely targets. By coincidence Margaret employs Gardens of Eden to create an alfresco eating area though the identity of the real thief is rather a surprise.
4 February 1996
Henry is drafted into Operation Grabbitback with bossy woman superintendent Chalmers, recovering stolen cars. Thanks to Henry, Chalmers catches the small fry and closes the case but Henry, with Fisher's help, apprehends a larger smuggling ring headed by two Russians, seeing off both Chalmers and an equally officious health inspector.
15 September 1996
Henry and Margaret spend a day at the races with her new client Bob Bishop, who is resisting a take-over bid for his cider brewery. A mysterious man shadows Henry and then the corpse of stable lad Ben Tucker is found in a horse-box. Bob's brother Tony owns the stables, which are failing, and he is very curt with Henry when he comes to investigate. On the night he died Ben had argued with another stable lad Jerry Lawless over female jockey Jude O'Brien but he too is murdered and Bob's daughter Liz, another jockey, is found in his caravan with a bag full of bank-notes.
22 September 1996
Liz claims the money is winnings from a bet and Henry releases her but notes that Jerry too has a healthy bank balance and surmises he was trading inside information for cash. Tony apologizes to Henry but tries to push Bob into accepting the take-over and Henry's mystery man proves to be a private eye, since Tony has been fixing races and the Jockey Club have hired him to get proof. Henry believes Tony got Jerry to nobble his horses and killed Ben when he found out. He has the correct motive but the wrong suspect and it's Margaret who literally stumbles on the real killer and has a close call with them. Meanwhile Nicola is annoyed when a spoilt school-friend appears to be making a play for Gary, though she is actually trying to poach him for her restaurant - unsuccessfully.
29 September 1996
The Chen family appear to be victims of racial harassment when their Chinese takeaway is set on fire, but widowed Mr. Chen will not go to the police so his daughter Mei asks Henry for help. It turns out that Chen is a gambler deeply in debt to a restauranteur in London's Chinatown who has been threatening him for the money he owes. When Pie in the Sky makes it to the final of the Great British Grub contest being held in London, Henry uses the trip to visit Chinatown and act as go-between. A winner and a loser return to Middleton come the end of the day.
Season 4, Episode 4: New Leaf6 October 1996
When Fisher allocates Henry to guard Sasha Wilkes,due to testify against her gangster husband, in the police 'safe house',D.C.I. Harding,who had expected the job,is resentful. Sasha is initially hostile but,won over by Henry's cooking,comes to confide in him. Harding uses a drug pusher called Vicky, who once knew Henderson, to discredit Henry and also discloses the safe house's location to Wilkes. Henry averts disaster and parts as friends with Sasha but wonders if they were used as bait by Fisher because he already suspected Harding.
13 October 1996
To save money Fisher turns over the police catering to a mass production company, The Happy Ploughman, clients of Margaret. Henry is appalled but investigates after several acts of sabotage against the firm. Former police canteen manager Tom Selly and his bread supplier Flora McKee are suspects and Henry arrests Flora. However such is the resentment in the force that no one uses the new automated canteen and Fisher hints that he would like to find discrepancies in The Happy Ploughman's books that would allow him to revoke the franchise. Henry duly obliges, as well as catching the real saboteur.
20 October 1996
Armed robbers in crash helmets target the restaurant and customer Cherry Burdett's jewellery is stolen. Obnoxious D.S. Slater investigates, alienating everyone with his insistence that it was an inside job and a staff member alerted the robbers to Cherry's booking. He accuses Gary because of his past, then Nicola - at whom he makes a pass - and her boyfriend Paul. When news of the robbery reaches the press Henry closes the restaurant to do his own investigation, solving the crime in time to mark two years of Gary giving up alcohol with a celebratory cake.
29 June 1997
Henry is appointed as the head of the Public Duties Squad, which essentially sells its services to the private sector, and, instead of the trusty D.S. Cambridge,he has two new staff members, W.P.C. Jane Morton and P.C Ed Guthrie, both of whom appear to have been side-lined in the past. Their first task is to guard a new housing estate which has been subject to vandalism. Local villagers claim that it is in the way of a centuries old right of way and, as usual, Henry has to use his diplomacy to form a resolution. On the home front there is trouble for Henderson when he is accused of growing tomatoes which do not conform to E.E.C. regulations and Henry has to sort out Gary, who is unhappy that waitress Nicola has left and is less than cordial to her replacement, Sally.
6 July 1997
Henry's team go to the garish Luxor Hotel to protect the jury in the long-running fraud trial of Marcus Benson, accused of embezzling the Police Benevolent Fund. Several of the jurors are intimidated, including the reasonable foreman,Eric Dunfries. Henry discovers that the pretentious manager is a friend of Benson and uses the fact to make him give scope to Andrew, his talented but put-upon chef. The saboteur, in fact, turns out to be working against, and not for, Benson, whilst back at the restaurant Sally learns to get the better of a sex pest.
Season 5, Episode 3: Pork Pies13 July 1997
Fisher sends Henry and the squad to a meat factory where animal rights protesters are demonstrating against the owner,Mr. Trubb's use of veal in his Trubbs' Thunderbolt sausages. However, Henry finds to his surprise that the sausages contain soya and are wholly meat-free. Margaret, meanwhile, is concerned when her friend Julia, a wealthy widow, falls for a pilot much younger than herself and agrees to finance a bucket shop for him.
20 July 1997
Henry and his team are called to a private boarding school where police Commander Colin Stilwell's son Alex has been beaten up by local youths. Henry initially encounters a wall of insular hostility from the establishment before Alex points him to another pupil, who has blackmailed the Chemistry teacher into manufacturing Ecstasy tablets, which he is selling around the school. Gary meanwhile creates a new blend of mustard and attracts the attention of a large food manufacturer who offer to market it. However, they want to alter the recipe, making it taste more bland, whereupon Gary, taking a leaf from Henry's book, puts his culinary principles first and tells them that the deal is off.
27 July 1997
Henry has to solve a series of thefts from lorries and gets unexpected help from private security firm Troubleshooters. Their accuracy is such that he is suspicious of how they came to know of the crimes and believes that there is a possible informer within police ranks feeding them information for a reward. Troubleshooters are due to play the police eleven in an important football match. Both teams boast an ex-professional, in the police team's case Kirk Flowerbridge, who has a murky past and a liking for the drink. Fisher tasks Henry with minding Kirk and keeping him sober for the match. In the process of helping Kirk,Henry gets to identify the informer.
3 August 1997
As Freddy Fisher launches a campaign to make the police more popular with young people, a boy named Nicky comes to Pie in the Sky, claiming he is there for work experience. Henry uses him in the kitchen and he impresses everyone, but then the till is robbed, and Nicky, who was not sent by any school, disappears. His mother last saw him a week earlier, the night a liquor store was robbed by a violent teenage gang. Henry tracks Nicky down to a childhood haunt, and finds out that he was bullied into joining the gang and now regrets it, which he proves by leading its members into a police trap.
10 August 1997
The Crabbes holiday in London in a flat owned by ex-policeman Nick Spencer whilst he is in America on business. However Margaret finds his packed suitcase under the bed and hears an answer-machine message from his daughter warning that her violent ex-con boyfriend Danny is on his way to see him. Henry discovers Nick in hiding whilst Margaret discovers Danny's corpse in the dust-bin, killed in self-defence by Nick. Henry's loyalty is put to the test, as is the patience of Sally and Gary when the agency staff turn out to be a quarrelsome married couple.
17 August 1997
As Henry mysteriously loses his sense of smell he is intrigued when Fisher seems obsessed with arresting tyre exporter Peter Watson and suspects that Fisher, about to divorce his wife, is having an affair with Mrs. Watson. In fact she has discovered that her husband is defrauding her charity and is using Fisher to trap him. Having seen the case through Henry, feeling used by Fisher to catch Watson, resigns from the police and immediately regains his sense of smell. With Gary turning down the offer of work at another kitchen, Henry and his staff and colleagues have every reason to drink to the continuing success of Pie in the Sky.
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