Robbie Lewis attends a book launch for a fantasy novel penned by prodigious young research fellow Dorian Crane, with whose adoptive mother, Ginny, Robbie's boss Jean is trying to match-make him. Later that night a Czech hotel worker Marina is found murdered. Professor Deering, the uncle of Dorian's fiancée and muse, Alice, confesses to having seen Marina on a foreign website and paid for her to come to Oxford, finding her work. However, as a supposed gay man, he is keen to hush up his sex life with her. Robbie believes that Marina was killed in mistake for Alice and then Dorian is also murdered, in order to preserve a secret well beyond Robbie's imagination. Written by
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Lewis and Hathaway Have an Inkling to Ensue a Prank at Oxford
Fans of this series may wish to tune in if only to watch Laurence Fox's interrogating his real-life father, James Fox, as one of several suspects whom the team investigates once bodies begin to pop up in the aftermath of a book launching ceremony just off campus at Oxford University.
As a point of reference, "The Inklings" indicates an informal literary discussion group associated with the University of Oxford, England, during the 1930's and 40's, praising the value of narrative in fiction, and encouraging the writing of Fantasy elements. This historic set includes J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Owen Barfield and Nevill Coghill, among others, meeting at The Eagle and Child Pub.
And now, young author Dorian Crane (Tom Mison) plans to kick off his trendy "New Inklings" with a fantasy novel book launch in the lobby of the Randolph Hotel with many adoring fans and the ones who admire them in attendance.
Alice Wishart (Cara Horgan) naturally attends this event, as the fiancée of Dorian, who strings along several others on the side. In addition to the brunette Alice, there's the blonde Australian student, Melanie Harding (Louise Dylan), and the auburn haired Kelly Belford (Claire Brown), whom Dorian's foster mother, Ginny Harris (Anastasia Hille), sends away after discovering in Dorian's apartment.
Alice's relatives also attend the book launch: Doctor Jem Wishart (Adrian Lukis), her father; Hayden Wishart (Olly Alexander), her brother; Professor Norman Deering (James Fox), her uncle, and his associate Professor Hamid Jassim (Art Malik) an instructor of Comparitive Religion courses.
Marina Hartner (Katia Winter), a Bosnian call girl working at the Grapevine Bar, and residing at the Randolph, also finds herself mixed into the equation amid several other characters, including her friend Leyla Adan (Farzana Dua Elahe), who serves as a hotel chambermaid, and Oxford Professor Bernice Rutherford (Selina Cadell), who stirs a scene on a return to The Eagle and Child Pub.
And also attending the reading on the evening of the book launch, Detective Inspector Robert Lewis (Kevin Whately) and his partner, Detective Sergeant James Hathaway (Laurence Fox), launch an investigation of their own, along with their team of Chief Superintendent Innocent (Rebecca Front) and Doctor Laura Hobson (Clare Holman) once the first body is discovered along the riverfront, the victim of a slashing with a symbolic broken mirror.
But it's not entirely all done with mirrors, as a second body is discovered bludgeoned with a literary trophy, and a third stabbed by C.S. Lewis' "Sword of Truth" from his "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," having been on display at the Randolph. One victim may survive to return onto the list of suspects for the other two murders, however.
So, as Detective Inspector Robert Lewis and Detective Sergeant James Hathaway hit the trail to link the secret mirror with the fantasy box to the quotation of "I ask to be no other man than I am," amid a string of suspects, hidden scandals begin to emerge, often interrupted by an irritating new plot device of the intrusive cell phone (minus points for that), Lewis and Hathaway aim for a showdown to nab the perpetrator to prevent another murder.
The cast is rounded out by Mike Burnside as Pub Landlord, Simon Kerr as Canadian Tourist, and Colin Dexter as Man leaving The Randolph.
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