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

good episode
20 February 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a good episode, though I have to agree with one poster, that the solution came out of left field.

Barnaby and Troy are called in to investigate a car fire -- thankfully, there were no injuries. However, murders do occur: First, there's the murder of an elderly woman who is found bludgeoned in her home. The victim, Marjorie Empson, ran a reading club, which was really a front for five village women to invest in the stock market. It turns out that two members wanted to cash out but were voted down.

Then a second member of the club is killed.

Barnaby and Troy find adultery, unhappy marriages, a woman trying to handle her hypochondriacal husband, a pool man who seems too handy, and people receiving mysterious packages that indicate that someone knows their secrets.

Market for Murder is an enjoyable episode, with Troy indulging in his secret love for a childhood hero, The Hawk, buying the latest edition of his story. (Can he fly? asks Barnaby. Only when he's a hawk, Troy says.) And Barnaby is worrying about his pension which seems to be with a shaky company.

In order to make the end a little more satisfying, the script needed some shoring up. It's still pretty good.

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