Midsomer Murders (1997– )
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The Ghost of Causton Abbey 

The ancient Causton Abbey is now a brewery, but the old curse is still active: one person is found boiled to death in one of the vats shortly after a party to launch a new ale.


Matt Carter


Helen Jenkins (screenplay), Caroline Graham (based upon the books by)

On Disc

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Neil Dudgeon ... DCI John Barnaby
Nick Hendrix ... DS Jamie Winter
Fiona Dolman ... Sarah Barnaby
Annette Badland ... Fleur Perkins
Amber Aga ... Emani Taylor
Michael Byrne ... Keith Grundy
Beth Cooke ... Young Sylvia
John Cummins John Cummins ... Brother Jozef
Zebb Dempster ... Toby Grundy
Angela Griffin ... Jenny Moss
Tony Gardner ... Russell Grundy
Anita Harris ... Irene Taylor
Jason Merrells ... Paul Taylor
Anjli Mohindra ... Faiza Jindal
Chu Omambala Chu Omambala ... Kwame Asante


Causton is buzzing at the opening of a new brewery on the site of a famously cursed Abbey. But excitement turns to fear when a man is found boiled to death in one of the vats. DCI Barnaby and DS Winter are puzzled; could this really be about beer?

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery








Release Date:

10 March 2019 (UK) See more »

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Did You Know?


The Prebendal, Thame, which doubles as Causton Abbey, was the home of Bee Gee Robin Gibb. He is buried in St Mary's Church yard, as is Elizabeth Spriggs who was in the first episode of Midsomer Murders (1997) as Mrs Rainbird and then in another episode as her cousin. Both graves are easy to find, near the wall on Priest End Road. Elizabeth's is to the right of the small stone steps and Robin's is to the left. See more »


[Fleur keeps pestering Barnaby to get his dog, Paddy, castrated]
DCI John Barnaby: If you're going to stick around here, you'll have to learn the legends.
DS Jamie Winter: Yes, we've got a headless horseman, a faceless phantom...
Fleur Perkins: A bollock-less dog?
[Paddy growls]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: CAUSTON ABBEY MIDSOMER 1539 See more »

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User Reviews

Brewery murder
14 April 2019 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

It has been stated many times regarding my love for mystery/detective dramas and shows, ever since being introduced to 'Inspector Morse' and Agatha Christie during my early secondary school years and watching the episodes and adaptations (and of course reading the books) over and over. There is a wide range of types of mystery shows/series/dramas, "intellectual", gritty, light-hearted, a mix of comedy and grit, foreign-language, not-for-the-faint-hearted, full-on-suspense you name it and there are classic examples of all.

When in its prime, 'Midsomer Murders' was one of my favourite examples of the mix of light-hearted and not always for the faint hearted. It was for a while a near-consistently very good to great show and a personal favourite, especially Seasons 1-9 before as far as the Tom Barnaby era goes. Before becoming more uneven but generally still more than watchable and at its best great. Since Tom left though, it has in my mind not been the same and there is a vast personal preference to Tom than to John. The general standard of the John Barnaby era episodes in my mind has been somewhat disappointing but watchable to above average without being classic, although a few of the show's worst ever episodes are from this era ("Night of the Stag" being a particular low-point).

Enough of that, lets talk about how the start of Season 20 "The Ghost of Causton Abbey" fares. On the most part, not too shabbily. Far from a 'Midsomer Murders' classic or one of the best episodes, but at the same time it's lightyears away from being a low-point and is a vast improvement over the disappointments that were "Death By Persuasion" and especially "Curse of the Ninth". As far as the John Barnaby episodes go, it's in the better half.

There are flaws. Some of the characters and subplots could have been much better explored or followed all the way through, suffering from being neglected prematurely (especially Kwame, an immediately forgettable character) and feeling incomplete to the point of basically nothing. That way you question their presence in the first place. Would have liked more development to Sylvia too, but Elaine Paige in a rare television appearance in recent years has such a presence as the character that it doesn't matter as much.

Also was mixed on the final solution. Liked how it was shot and staged, quite unique for 'Midsomer Murders', and the identity of the murderer was a surprise and just about buyable. Less convincing was the motive, which was far-fetched and last minute-like. Also felt that the pacing was on the rushed side in this scene, if slowed down the viewer could properly digest what was being said, my mind was in a whirlwind admittedly.

On the other hand, "The Ghost of Causton Abbey" has much to recommend, starting off very promisingly in one of the most grisly opening scenes in 'Midsomer Murders' history that really sticks in the mind for a while. The production values cannot be faulted as usual. It's beautifully and atmospherically shot with suitably picturesque scenery. The music fits perfectly, with some lush jauntiness and sometimes an ominous quality, and the haunting theme tune is one of the most memorable and instantly recognisable of the genre. The atmosphere was a mix of picturesque and unnerving, which is appropriate and suits the tone of the show very well.

For me, the writing while patchy was an improvement on the writing for most John Barnaby era episodes, with a nice mix of thought provoking and amusing like 'Midsomer Murders' at its best was. The story mostly did engage, with a diverting and suitably keeping-one-guessing mystery, with lots of twists and turns and enough suspects to not make things too obvious, making up for some subplots and characters being under-explored. The chemistry between the actors is more natural and warmer than before, while the acting is generally good. Didn't have as big a problem with John as have done in previous episodes and he works well with Winter. Michael Byrne gives the best guest supporting turn, he clearly was having fun, and Annette Badland is a surprising joy as Fleur, by far the best pathologist of the show since Bullard. Love her deadpan and lively personality and sense of humour, she is far from bland or condescending.

Concluding, pretty good episode. 7/10

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