A gentle stroll in the Badger's Drift's wood for Miss Emily Simpson ends in tragedy. To the village doctor Miss Simpson's death looks natural but her old friend Lucy Bellringer is unconvinced. Lucy eventually draws the unwilling Chief Inspector Detective Barnaby into the case. Barnaby's investigation reveals old rivalries, old loves and new scandals. Then a second horrifying killing shocks Barnaby into running the murderer to ground.
Gerald Hadleigh, secretary of the Midsomer Worthy's Writer's Circle never wanted to invite best selling novelist, Max Jennings, to one of their meetings. When Gerald is found dead the next morning from a brutal battering, the other members of the circle wish they had heeded his reluctance. Inspector Barnaby soon discovers that Gerald is a man of mystery with a past. When another body is found in Midsomer Worthy, Barnaby has a double murder on his hands.
At The Corn Exchange, preparations are in full swing for the forthcoming production of Amadeus, unaware that nearby the body of a local resident, Agnes Grey is about to be found floating in the river. Barnaby sets out to discover who has perpetrated the crime, however before he can conclude his investigations, there is trouble at the theatre.
A project to redevelop the Old Mill is struggling financially and many of the inhabitants of Morton Fendle believe that they have been conned out of a considerable sum of money. When the wife of the wealthy mill owner goes missing Barnaby suspects that she has been kidnapped and sets out to unravel the mystery.
There is a death at The Lodge of the Golden Windhorse. At the commune William Carter is found at the bottom of the stairs with a broken neck. Barnaby and Troy are called in to find out if this was a simple accident or if there are more sinister goings on. A few days later Barnaby and Troy are called back to The Lodge, only this time there is no doubt.