- Summaries (3)
Tom Barnaby joins the Causton Chamber of Commerce trip to Brighton as he is suspicious of dodgy mayor Hicks' plan to buy coastal land on which to build chalets. Also opposed to the plan is Lady Matilda William, who has received threatening letters, as have the local vicar, oily property developer Hugh Dalgleish and hotelier Jenny Russell. Lady Matilda is descended from Richard of Guillaume, a ruthless contemporary of William the Conqueror. She believes that her son Richard, last of the line and brain-damaged for twenty years, was the victim of ancestral jealousy. In Brighton Dalgleish is murdered with a sword stolen from Guillaume's tomb and Hicks is arrested for fraud. Having learnt how Richard came by his accident Barnaby is convinced that Richard and not the property scam is the cause of yet another victim being claimed by the sword of Guillaume.
DCI Tom Barnaby heads off to Brighton on a bus tour arranged by the Mayor of Causton, Dave Hicks, and the local Chamber of Commerce. Tom has had his eye on Mayor Hicks for some time and his plan for Causton to buy land on which to build summer camps for underprivileged children has a smell about it. Also on the trip are antiques shop owners Lucy and Trent Terry; hotel owner Jenny Russell; developer Hugh Dalgleish; Rev. Giles Shawcross; and Lady Matilda William, along with her disabled adult son Richard and his helper Marcia Macintyre. Lady Matilda traces her ancestry to 1066 and Guillaume of Normandy. She is very much opposed to the land deal Hicks is proposing in part because Brighton is where her brain-damaged son was severely beaten some 20 years before. When the obnoxious Dalgleish is murdered - decapitated while riding through the house of horrors - Tom works with his cousin DCI John Barnaby to solve the crime, It will take a second murder, this time in Causton, for he and DS Jones to identify the killer.
When the Causton Chamber of Commerce takes a bus trip to Brighton, a serial killer swinging an ancient sword decapitates some of them in the seaside resort.
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