A woman is found dead in Setwale Wood, an apparent suicide, except that her suicide note is emailed after her body has already been sighted.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel Casey ...
Hannah Harrington
Denise Fielding
Victoria Bartlett
Janie Dee ...
Caroline Harrington
Ian Driver ...
Edmund Nelson
Charlie Hicks ...
Sean Fielding
Jonah Bloxham
Clarista Hoult ...
Julie Fielding
Bernadette Sullivan
Adam Kotz ...
James Harrington
Paul Venables ...
Simon Bartlett


Some of the residents of Midsomer Worthy are trying to prevent James Harrington from turning Setwale Woods into a housing estate. Led by a solicitor, Bernadette Sullivan, and a local farmer, Simon Bartlett, who also happen to be having an affair, they haven't had much success in court. When Bartlett's wife Susan is found dead in the woods, Barnaby and Troy must first determine is if her murder is related to the planned development or something as yet unknown. The information provided by two inquisitive children, who see the investigation as a fascinating game, proves invaluable in solving the crime. Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama | Mystery


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Release Date:

23 June 2002 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


DCI Barnaby quotes the Hughes Mearns poem "Antigonish" to Sergeant Troy. See more »


When Jonah Bloxham is knocked out cold with the wrench, the unconscious man puts out a hand to break his fall just before he hits the floor. See more »


[leaving courthouse]
Sergeant Gavin Troy: Where do they get these judges from? The man burgled his way through every village in the county.
DCI Tom Barnaby: Look, we catch the criminals; we offer up the evidence. Not everyone likes what happens in court. Maybe the judge was right; give the boy one more chance. Oh, look. A squadron of pigs over Causton.
See more »

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User Reviews

Season 5 continues to go strong
11 January 2017 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The first three seasons of 'Midsomer Murders' were more consistent, with all the episodes ranging from decent to classic.

Season 4 became less consistent, with "The Electric Vendetta" being the show's first bad episode and "Who Killed Cock Robin?" only being a marginal improvement, while the rest were very good. Season 5 got off to a promising start with "Market for Murder", and that high standard is continued with "A Worm in the Bud".

"A Worm in the Bud" lulls in pacing in the middle with the-kids-playing-detectives not adding to the story as much as it could have done. Agreed also that the murders are on the bland side this time, in a show where they can be brutal and sometimes elaborate, and also on that it was an annoyance about not being given an explanation for why Susan wasn't killed straight after being made unconscious (if indicated in the episode, it was very vague to me).

However, as always, the production values are top notch, with to die for scenery, the idyllic look of it contrasting very well with the story's grimness, and quaint and atmospheric photography. The music fits perfectly, and the theme tune one of the most memorable and instantly recognisable of the genre.

Meanwhile, the script is smart, thought-provoking and suitably grim, the humour also being a breath of fresh air. Nothing felt inconsequential, everything had a point and it was intriguing and maintained attention throughout. The story is absorbing and rich in atmosphere, with some neat twists and turns, a very memorably tense climax and the murderer's identity being one that one doesn't see coming. The characters are suitably colourful and eccentric, though also not what they seem.

Acting is very good, superb in the case of John Nettles, and his chemistry with Daniel Casey (a great contrast as ever as Troy, and the two work brilliantly together), Jane Wymark (love their loving chemistry) and Barry Jackson always convincing and more. Gillian Barge and Wendy Craig give great support.

Overall, another strong episode if not quite on classic level. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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