A divorced and disliked man living in a nobleman's estate is found in a sewer ditch after someone rolled a concrete pipe on his head.



(screenplay), (novel)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
William Simons ...
Dominic Snowdon ...
Sandy Welch ...
Constance Cartell
Patsy Byrne ...
Mrs. Mitchell
Alfred Belt
Percival Pyke Period
Harold Cartell
Debra Beaumont ...
Nicola Maitland-Mayne
John Holz ...
Andrew Bantling
Belinda Lang ...
Desiree Dodds
Terence Wilton ...
Bimbo Dodds
Jayne Ashbourne ...
Mary 'Moppet' Ralston


Percival Pyke-Period isn't all he seems to be. Although he's rich and displays good breeding, he's not of aristocratic birth but has taken the identity of a now-deceased noble family. His divorced neighbor, Harold Cartell, has taken residence in the manor house but has not endeared himself to anyone, including the servants. After Pyke-Period's antique cigarette case is stolen, Cartell suspects his ex-wife's niece and her lower class boyfriend and demands its return. Cartell is later found in a newly dug sewer ditch along with the cigarette case and the concrete sewage pipe that crushed his skull. Luckily for Alleyn and Fox, all the suspects attend one of Pike-Period's luncheons. As a sidebar, an art forger is passing his paintings as Agatha Troy's. Written by duke1029

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery




Release Date:

10 January 1994 (UK)  »

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Inspector Fox: He's been in more tight corners than a feather duster.
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User Reviews

Well Done
25 March 2017 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Having just read the book, I decided to re-watch this episode. It's interesting how well the added subplot of Troy's forged paintings fits into the narrative. The unspeakable Leonard is involved in the art world, or so he says, and there's young Andrew who's keen to paint, so what could be more natural? The pacing in Marsh's books must have been a challenge to the writers; half to two-thirds of the books is character development and the last bit is Alleyn showing up and the action starts. Maybe that's why some of the licenses taken with her works haven't bothered me as much as those taken with Christie's work, although Andrew being obsessed with Troy was a bit hard to believe. On the other hand, I enjoyed the original ending and summation (some of the loose ends were handled better in the book and the ending was happier). Although, neither the book nor the episode explained what Moppet and Leonard were referring to when they said "that takes care of Mr. Harold Cartell." And it would have made much more sense if Leonard had been conked instead of Andrew. After all, he is exactly the type of man Connie rants against. The supporting cast was superb - Moira Redmond as the eccentric Desiree Dodds was wonderful and Barbara Jefford as Connie was perfect. At the end as she replays her actions in her mind, you can see the sanity return to her face. And Bimbo was a much more likable character in this adaptation. I found myself wanting to throw something at him as I read the book. It was also fun to see the exchanges between Alleyn and the art dealers, with one of them resembling a greedy badger. Troy has a much more important role in this and it's always nice to have her and Alleyn in a scene. Overall, worth the watch.

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