Tommy and Helen go to his family estate for their engagement party, but long-hidden family secrets and a murder in the extended family disrupt the celebration.



(novel), (screenplay)


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Trenarrow
Karl Picton ...
Dying Patient
Gail Kemp ...
Lady Asherton
John Penellin
Mali Harries ...
Justin Brooke
Claire Cox ...
Mark Penellin
Peter Lynley


It's a tension filled weekend for Tommy Lynley when he and Helen go the family estate to hold their engagement party. Tommy is estranged from his mother owing to the time he found her in bed with their family physician, Dr. Trenarrow, while his father was dying of cancer in the next room. He's on less than good terms as well with his brother Peter who feels that Tommy abandoned him when their father died. When Mick Cambrey is found dead in his shop in the village, the police arrest his father-in-law John Penellin, the Lynleys long-time estate manager. Lynley and Haver soon determine that the death is related to drug smuggling. When one of the weekend guests, Justin Brooke, is found dead on the estate, they realize something other than heroin was being smuggled. Written by garykmcd

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Not Rated


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Release Date:

24 March 2003 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


When Peter proposes the toast he calls Helen "The face that launched a thousand... etc." The quotation is from Christopher Marlowe's play Doctor Faustus, and refers to Helen of Troy as "The face that launched a thousand ships, and burned the topless towers of Ilium." See more »


When the murderer commits suicide by injecting strychnine, he/she dies within a few minutes and remains quite calm, just keeling over at the desk. In reality, strychnine poisoning causes violent spasms and the backbone to arch continually within ten or twenty minutes. The body would also show signs of great trauma. See more »

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User Reviews

Minor spoilers - Which Lynley characters are NOT in the movie.
5 August 2005 | by (Santa Cruz, CA) – See all my reviews

A good movie but somewhat of a disappointment for fans of the book. I understand a screenwriter has to make major changes in order to fit a full-length novel into a 90-minute TV show – but I was still think that deleting major characters makes it a different story. No Simon St. James, no Deborah, no Cotter – so we had to have Lynley engaged to Helen instead and made Sidney Lynley's COUSIN? I guess a lot of the changes were due to changing the chronology of Lynley's stories. This was the fourth book published, but the whole book was a flashback to before Lynley even worked with Havers. Now the TV episode was the ninth installment and set right in line with others.

Enough whining. The movie was very good, well acted, the plot points all tied together well. Sharon Small was excellent as a guest at the Lynley mansion completely out of her element. I would have really loved it if I hadn't read the book.

13 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
Helen (Lesley Vickerage) brings the show to a dead halt chengiz
Inspector Lynley or Inspector Lewis which is better? NEPatsFan83
Why a new Helen john-4385
I don’t understand why... gnyg
Is this series over in the UK? georgigems
Hayer's wierd face? quinntheeskimo
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