When a man who's been missing for two weeks is found dead in the woods near Midsomer, Barnaby finds connections between him and a magazine editor known for his killing reviews of local hotels and restaurants.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Guy Sandys
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Julia Benson
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Eleanor Crouch
David Crow ...
Garth Platt
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Gemma Platt
Thomas Lockyer ...
Matt Morecroft
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Martin Reid
Serena Gordon ...
Christina Finleyson
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Brad
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Mandy
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Storyline

Christina Finleyson's ex-husband, who left Midsomer for London years earlier, is found dead in his car in woods at the back of Christina's house. Enquiries lead to the hotel where Christina's brother Martin is head barman and where a mystery man booked in with an appointment to see Guy Sandys, editor of the glossy 'Midsomer Life' magazine. Sandys is found stabbed to death after expecting to receive an envelope and when alcoholic hotel housekeeper Eleanor Crouch voices her suspicions about the mystery guest she ends up dead in a tumble dryer. Barnaby discovers that years earlier a miscarriage of justice had been perpetrated which only now certain people are aiming to rectify and which the original criminal is anxious to keep secret, striking at the heart of Midsomer life. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

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Release Date:

13 July 2008 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jones tells Barnaby that Tomlin's car is found at Waterloo Station & they think he's taken the Eurostar to Paris. This episode aired in May 2008 and at that time, the Eurostar was no longer leaving from Waterloo - it was leaving from St. Pancras. See more »

Goofs

Towards the end whilst driving through the wood Jones asks Barnaby which direction to which Barnaby replies left and Jones turns right. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Charlie Finleyson: Hell!
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Connections

References An American Werewolf in London (1981) See more »

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User Reviews

 
In the "good but not great" category
13 February 2017 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

As has been said by me a number of times, 'Midsomer Murders' is one of my most watched and most re-watched shows. It is nowhere near as good now and the Tom Barnaby-era wasn't alien to average or less episodes, but when it was on form or at its best boy was it good.

While it is a long way from 'Midsomer Murders' at its best, "Midsomer Life" is not bad, pretty good in fact to me. Comparing it to the previous Season 11 episodes, "Midsomer Life" is the second best after "Blood Wedding", which was excellent. "Left for Dead" was also a decent episode that sadly fell apart with a terrible ending that is one of the show's worst. Then there's "Shot at Dawn", a poor start to the season and a poor episode in general, good opening but fell downhill fast, memorable for its ridiculousness (including perhaps the most outrageous attempted murder in 'Midsomer Murders' history).

"Midsomer Life" could have been better certainly. It is agreed (although the reviewer is far harsher on the episode than me) that the killer was pretty anonymous for much of the episode and pretty forgettable, that it was a surprise to find out that it was them, and that the motives were both drastic and flimsy. The final solution is contrived and somewhat convoluted, and one of the murders needed more explanation and like it came from nowhere.

However, the production values as always are just great, the idyllic look of it contrasting very well with the story's grimness, and quaint and atmospheric photography. The music fits perfectly, with some lush jauntiness and sometimes an ominous quality, and the theme tune one of the most memorable and instantly recognisable of the genre.

There are some thoughtful and humorous moments in the script, which is generally well structured and crafted, and the supporting characters are entertaining enough. The story is very compelling, there is a lot going on but doesn't get that confusing or overcrowded and apart from one of the murders it's wrapped up neatly but not too conveniently. Really liked the amusing and never overly-silly subplot with Joyce, and it was nice to see serve a proper purpose.

Really appreciated the first murder happening early on and that we didn't have to sit through at least 30 minutes of exposition (which varied in how interesting and necessary it was in most of the previous season and in "Shot at Dawn"). More red herrings, clues and twists and turns than with some of the previous episodes, and the characters are back to the colourfully eccentric ones. The murders are more grizzly than usual (without being overly or gratuitously so) and pretty inventive, the washing machine murder for 'Midsomer Murders' is unique.

John Nettles and Jason Hughes are both superb, individually and together (their chemistry, and the chemistry with Daniel Casey and John Hopkins before Hughes, being a huge part of their episodes' charm). Can't fault the supporting cast either, really liked Selina Caddell here.

In conclusion, good but not great. 7/10 Bethany Cox


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