Midsomer Murders: Season 1, Episode 2

Written in Blood (5 Jul. 1998)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 450 users  
Reviews: 6 user

After a noted author speaks before a group of local Midsomer writers, the naked body of the event's host is found bludgeoned to death in his bedroom.



(novel), (screenplay)
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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel Casey ...
Jane Wymark ...
Honoria Lyddiard
Amy Lyddiard
David Troughton ...
Max Jennings
Jane Booker ...
Laura Hutton
Judith Scott ...
Sue Clapper
Robert Swann ...
Gerald Hadleigh
Selina Jennings
Annoushka Le Gallois ...
Barbara Neale
Mrs. Bundy


The Midsomer Worthy Writers Circle invites well-known author Max Jennings to one of their monthly meetings. The group's secretary, Gerald Hadleigh is opposed to to the invitation, but is outvoted. It becomes apparent that Jennings and Hadleigh knew one another at one time. When Hadleigh is found dead the next day, Barnaby and Troy begin looking into the backgrounds of the various Circle members and try to locate Jennings. When they do find him he is, as they say, incapable of assisting them with their enquiries. A second murder adds to the puzzle but in the end, the solution rests on learning of long ago events and a hidden family secret. At home, the Barbabys agree to care for daughter Cully's Russian Blue cat Killmouskie, with interesting results for Tom. Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama | Mystery

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Release Date:

5 July 1998 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


This was not the only time Anna Massey played a character who attempted to mentally control and murder Joanna David's character. In 1979 they appeared together in Rebecca, with Anna Massey as Mrs. Danvers and Joanna David as the second Mrs. de Winter. See more »


During the opening, Gerald Hadley's voice is reading out what he is writing. He says he fired 2 35mm rounds which missed by 2 inches etc. A 35mm round is huge and the size of round used in an anti aircraft gun, and not the size to be fired from a hand gun or machine gun. See more »


[first lines]
Liam's Father: Liam. Liam? What are you doing with that? Liam? Liam. Liam!
See more »


References Dixon of Dock Green (1955) See more »

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User Reviews

really good
27 September 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I just learned that there was a year gap between the first episode of this series and the second, which is "Written in Blood." This episode begins with a young boy named Liam shooting and killing his father. This took place in Ireland in 1955.

Cut to the present day, and the Midsomer Worthy Writer's Circle is discussing whom they should invite to speak at their next meeting. Someone suggests Max Jennings (John Shrapnel), who has written a best-seller.

The chairman of the Circle, Gerald Hadleigh (Robert Swann) is vehemently opposed to this, but he's outvoted. When Jennings gets the invitation, he isn't interested until he notices that Hadleigh is a member of the group. He decides to speak.

On the night of the meeting, Gerald takes his friend Amy (Joanna David) aside and begs her to make sure that he and Jennings aren't left alone. Amy actually leaves that evening with Jennings and her sister-in-law Honoria (Anna Massey), but then he says he forgot his gloves and has to return. Amy wants to return with him, but the domineering Honoria won't allow it, insisting that they leave.

The next day, Hadleigh is found naked and dead, beaten with a candlestick. DCI Tom Barnaby (John Nettles) and Sgt. Gavin Troy (Daniel Casey) take over, but they are frustrated by the lack of knowledge anyone seems to have about Hadleigh. They believe that Jennings can give them the answers they need. He is finally located, but he's dead, too, from poisoning.

Like many if not all Midsomer Murders, the solution to the murders can be found in the past and its influence on present events. In this case, the solutions to the murders are not the same, which make them all the more interesting.

Excellent, with Cully's kitten making Barnaby sneeze throughout the episode.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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