Sir Freddy Butler collapses during a speech. The PM suggests the death is due to natural causes, however Barnaby is not convinced. Sir Freddy's will is stolen and his lawyer's house is burned down in an arson attack.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Sir Freddy Butler
Lady Annabel Butler (as Sian Phillips)
Sheila Ruskin ...
Lady Lucinda Butler
Lady Tara Butler
David Beames ...
Richard Butler
Joanna Riding ...
Sandra Butler
Matthew Tennyson ...
Michael Butler
John Franklyn-Robbins ...
Teddy Butler
Richard Clothier ...
Simon Oliver
Carol MacReady ...
Hatty Down (as Carol Macready)


Sir Freddy Butler uses the occasion of a local festival to invite his extended family to an elaborate dinner at his large estate under the pretext of making a special announcement. Included are two ex-wives, his current wife, two sons, and his eccentric brother. However, Sir Freddy collapses and dies as he begins to address his guests, presumably for natural. When his last will and testament is stolen from his solicitor's office, and a duplicate copy is incinerated after an arsonist burns down the lawyer's house, Barnaby is faced with a half dozen suspects, all of whom had a motive for murder. Written by Gabe Taverney (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

5 March 2006 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Did You Know?


Rebecca Johnson plays the part of Jenny Downs, and also played Anne in "A Tale of Two Hamlets" (S6E4). See more »


Barnaby says to be careful and not drop the emeralds, because they will shatter, and Lucinda says that emeralds don't shatter. Actually, real emeralds can break and even shatter if struck in just the right manner. They have tiny, hairline cracks in them that can expand with improper care which heightens the possibility of breakage. See more »


DCI Tom Barnaby: Let your fox run free today, and you can hunt him again tomorrow.
See more »

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User Reviews

Tongue Permanently in Cheek
29 March 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is one of those episodes where the writer said, "Let's have a bit of fun." We are introduced to a man who is supporting numerous wives and children. They are basically royals and live a lifestyle where they have certain rights and privileges based on their heritage. The problem is that the patriarch drops dead after an evening of excess and a diabetes condition. Soon all kinds of discoveries are made. Because a will is going to be read and nobody knows what's in it, some interesting jockeying takes place. Also, someone is starting to kill off the family members. Barnaby and his crew are in the midst of all this, trying to keep their faces straight. There is also a significant secret (of course) that leads to a great deal of misery. The joy of this episode is the portrayal of a group of people full of self importance who actually believe in their own superiority. I had fun with this one.

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