When Emilyn Simpson is found dead in her house, DCI Barnaby's instincts all lead him to suspect murder. Although she was elderly and everyone seems to have liked her, it seems she may have seen something in the woods that she shouldn't have. There are numerous suspects: the local doctor who lies about his alibi, Iris Rainbird, the local busybody who seems to live beyond her means or her son Dennis, who is the local undertaker. Barnaby also receives information that a death the previous year may not have been an accident. When two other residents of Badger's Drift are murdered, Barnaby uncovers an illicit love affair that the protagonists must keep secret. Written by
The saddest thing about this first episode is the question: How will they match the first one. The case is as complex as it can get. An elderly lady is out looking for a wild orchid species to photograph when she sees something. She is stunned and gets on her adult tricycle and scoots back home. She manages to make a phone call, but soon someone is at her door and it results in her death. She has been bludgeoned. Soon we are in the middle of a gaggle of characters from a young gay undertaker who lives with his snooping/blackmailing mother. A doctor who has a wife who is sleeping all over the place and spending all his money. A wealthy family whose mother has been killed during a quail hunt and where an older man in a wheelchair is going to marry his beautiful young Ward. I'm not scratching the surface of the intrigues that are going on. We are also introduced to DCI Barnaby and Sgt. Troy (his less than stellar partner). It is Barnaby who is the brains of the outfit. He is insightful and thorough, frequently giving of his time to search down leads. Of course, hardly anyone is forthcoming. I had heard about this series for years and am glad I am embarking on the journey.
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