An investigation of a car fire and a bludgeon murder lead Barnaby and Troy to investigate the members of a local reading club which has an agenda that goes beyond books.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel Casey ...
Jane Wymark ...
Harry Painter
Eamon Geoghegan ...
Serena Gordon ...
Ginny Sharp
Vera Hopkins
Marjorie Empson
Christopher Ravenscroft ...
Dr. Rupert Bradshaw
Lord James Chetwood
Jay Smith ...
Police Technician
Gerda Stevenson ...
Sandra Bradshaw
Lady Lavinia Chetwood


Called to the village of Midsomer Market to investigate someone's car being set on fire, Barnaby and Troy soon find themselves investigating the murder of Marjorie Empson who is found in her home bludgeoned to death. The focus of their attention is the Reading Club, a group of five women who meet regularly not to discuss books in fact, but to manage a investment fund they have established. Two of the members were hoping to cash out their investments, but were prevented from doing so by the others. There are several other suspects, all in one way or another connected to the financial and investment world, but when a second member of the book club is killed, the police realize they may need to look for an altogether different motive. Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama | Mystery


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Release Date:

16 June 2002 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


The photographs of Gerald, Marjorie Empson's late husband, are,in fact, pictures of George Baker, who played DCI Reg Wexford in The Ruth Rendel mysteries (1987-2000). Christopher Ravenscroft, who plays Dr. Rupert Bradshaw, played Wexford's assistant DI Mike Burden. See more »


When Ginny Sharpe is killed in the swimming pool Blood pours into the water, however when her body is discovered there is no blood in the pool. See more »


[first lines]
Selwyn Proctor: I'm afraid I've got to drive off to town.
Tamsin Proctor: What? Now, Selwyn?
Selwyn Proctor: Bit of a panic on. Dow Jones closed two hundred points down. You go to bed. Till tomorrow evening. Honestly, this place is lit up like a damn Christmas tree; it all costs money, you know.
Selwyn Proctor: [outside, on mobile phone] It's me. We're off. Usual place.
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User Reviews

For fans only
12 August 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is another one of the Midsomer episodes in which the solution seems to come out of no where at the end. If you enjoy the typical Midsomer shows, you'll like this one - just don't expect it to make much sense. As with some other Midsomer scripts, this one needed more time and polish. At least we don't have to deal with Troy's bad driving, which makes no sense - why would a young detective be unable to pay attention to the road? Many of the Midsomer episodes remind me of Hollywood B movies, in which shooting was rushed, and plot branches left hanging.

At least none of the suspects called Barnaby or Troy "impertinent." Do people still talk to police investigators in England like that, or is it done with a wink? Every time it happens - "damned impertinent!" - I want the police to get out the truncheons and give them something to complain about.

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