Alleyn Mysteries (1990–1994)
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The Nursing Home Murder 

A member of Parliament who has taken controversial stands on Palestine and A-bomb development is murdered during a routine appendectomy.



(screenplay), (novel)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
David Sibley ...
Harold Sage
Aaron Blautwicz
Ian Abbey ...
Blautwicz's Man
Peter Florence ...
Blautwicz's Man
William Simons ...
John Stride ...
Sir Derek O'Callaghan
Geoffrey Wilkinson ...
Prime Minister
Nurse Jane Harben
Lady Cecily O'Callaghan
Ruth O'Callaghan
Sir John Phillips
Antony Byrne ...
PC Dixon
Colin Dudley ...
The Speaker - House of Commons


Sir Derek O'Callaghan is receiving death threats because of the position he takes as member of the House of Lords. He is taken to a nursing home with pains and dies during an operation - a death that is found to be murder. Alleyn investigates. Was it the nurse O'Callaghan used and rejected (and who was also in the operating room)? The doctor who loves her (and led the surgery)? Those threatening his life? Written by Anonymous

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Crime | Drama | Mystery




Release Date:

25 April 1993 (UK)  »

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Lady Cecily O'Callaghan: It's only my tolerance that kept our marriage and his career intact.
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User Reviews

A Good Adaptation
29 January 2017 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I recently read this book and wanted to write something about it while the details were still fresh. On the whole, this episode is quite faithful to the novel. The casting, with one exception, was superb and, as I read the book, it was easy to visualize Anna Massey as the batty sister or Judy Parfitt as the Ice Queen wife. I do think Sir Derek was miscast. It was difficult believing a beautiful young woman (who's name for some reason changes from Harden to Harben) would really fall so hard for a portly gray haired man. In the book, he's middle aged but handsome with nary a gray hair to be seen. A few other differences: a subplot involving Palestine takes the place of the Communist brotherhood, and Roberts goes from being a mad serial killer intent on wiping out any genetically defective patient he finds before him on the operating table, to one who is trying to save the world by killing a man he sees as a war-mongering politician. In my humble opinion, the book's solution made more sense. Nurse Banks is also more sympathetically portrayed in this adaptation than in the novel (although, in the book she makes it out alive). Malahide and Simons are, as always, superb.

I've read about three novels that these eight episodes are based on and overall, the adapters did a a very good job of staying true to the novel. Much better, for instance, than those who did the later episodes of Poirot, which were absolutely cringe worthy. After reading Hand in Glove and Final Curtain, I felt as if the screenwriters had actually (gasp!) read the original books.

One other small note. When Fox and Alleyn are discussing having to let a suspect go, Malahide seems to resurrect his character Mr. Jingle as he assesses the situation; all that was missing was the "very." A few moments later, PC Perkins sounds very much like Sam Weller (both of The Pickwick Papers).

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