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The Secret of Chimneys 

An attempt to bring a famed stately home back to its former glory is marred when a visiting Austrian diplomat is shot to death decades after the disappearance of a priceless diamond.

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(based on the novel by), (screenplay)
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Ian Weichardt ...
Laura O'Toole ...
Robert Dunbar ...
Young Count
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Virginia
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Cade
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Blenkinsopp
Alex Knight ...
Jaffers
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Finch
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Storyline

A lavish weekend party sees Miss Marple accompany Lady Virginia Revel to her family home of Chimneys - a house which was once prized for its diplomatic gatherings until a rare diamond was stolen from the premises over twenty years ago. The tenacious career politician, George Lomax, has persuaded Virginia's father, Lord Caterham, to host an evening for an important Austrian Count, Ludwig Von Stainach. Virginia, the daughter of Miss Marple's late cousin, must decide by the end of the weekend whether to accept a marriage proposal from George Lomax or to follow her heart and the courtship of another more adventurous suitor, Anthony Cade. Dismayed by the odd array of guests, including socialist spinster Miss Blenkinsopp, Caterham's formidable eldest daughter Bundle and the quietly inscrutable maidservant Treadwell, Lomax castigates his affable assistant Bill Eversleigh, who also has a soft spot for Virginia. It becomes apparent that Count Ludwig has taken a personal interest in Chimneys ... Written by shanty_sleuth

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Plot Keywords:

count | diamond | secret | murder | maid | See All (36) »

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Crime | Drama | Mystery

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Release Date:

20 June 2010 (USA)  »

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Trivia

Hatfield House was used as the location for Chimneys. The Old Palace as nicknamed was the home of Elizabeth The First when she was a young child. And today, the 7th Marquess and Marchioness of Salisbury call it home. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Jane Sees How the Other Half Perishes
20 June 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In Julia McKenzie's sixth outing as Agatha Christi amateur sleuth Miss Jane Marple, she visits the country estate of Lord Caterham (Edward Fox), at which guest Count Ludwig von Stainach (Anthony Higgins) expresses an interest in the lovely Lady Virginia Revel (Charlotte Salt), who is also pursued by her intended, Anthony Cade (Jonas Armstrong), plus Bill Eversleigh (Mathew Horne) and George Lomax (Adam Godley), each of whom proposes matrimony.

Other ladies of the manor and guests, Agnes (Laura O'Toole), Treadwell (Michelle Collins), Bundle (Dervla Kirwan), and Miss Blenkinsopp (Ruth Jones), join in the fun until bodies begin to pop up around the lavish estate, maintained by Jaffers (Alex Knight).

Inspector Finch (Stephen Dillane) serves as a bright spot, with his soft-spoken, gentlemanly manner, as he investigates without the benefit of law enforcement officer assistance the body discovered in the basement corridor with a suspect's hovering above it after a blast is heard, causing residents and guests to search the grounds, with Miss Marple at the forefront of the snooping.

During the course of the next evening's dinner, a soup of mushroom and sage is laced with the next murder weapon, a secret ingredient causing the next body to plop, a factor which doesn't initially seem to tie in with the first murder, or are these the second and third homicides at Caterham Manor?

When a suspect or two are arrested, Miss Marple begins to tie together a series of clues leading to the perpetrator, who recalls via flashback scenes an earlier murder, connecting to this recent double homicide, paving the way for Lady Virginia Revel to decide among her suitors, or, should we say, her surviving suitors if any remain innocent of murder, that is?

This adaptation of "The Secret of Chimneys" contains wonderful Cinematography with its excellent location shots plus its flowing camera movements, as well as its effects of creating live action footage from still photography, and its morphing from daytime to night-time seemingly effortlessly although excessive sound effects' noise does irritate the dialogue's pleasant conversational tone at times.

(Extra points for Stephen Dillane in his authoritative yet personable role of Inspector Finch.)


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