A veteran DCI and his young Sergeant investigate murders around the regional community of Midsomer.
A tramp is found murdered in the woods near Marshwood. Superintendent Ron Pringle (who is on the point of retirement) has a local poacher arrested and charged, and he is later convicted of the crime. But then there is a second murder, and Barnaby thinks Pringle has got it badly wrong. He intends to see matters straightened out. Then Pringle himself is killed in what seems at first to be a riding accident - but Barnaby rightly suspects foul play.
Barnaby is planning to take a week's holiday to decorate his new house. He also wants to visit his Aunt Alice, who is in a local nursing home, Lawnside, following an operation. However, he stumbles on something curious - it seems that Lawnside residents may be coming under pressure to change their wills, before being helped on their way to the next world in subtle ways by the local doctor... Things come to a head when someone is found dead who has undoubtedly been murdered.
A thief gets killed with a pitchfork, and the villagers of Midsomer Mallow worry that the killing may undermine their chances of a prize in this year's Perfect Village competition. Things clearly take a turn for the worse when two of the competition judges are the next to be murdered.
Barnaby and Troy are called in to investigate at the museum in Aspen Tallow when the painting of a local historical figure, Jonathan Lowrie, is slashed. When the museum's curator is subsequently assaulted and Lowrie's direct descendant is murdered, the detectives must unravel another mysterious knot. Barnaby does focus on one important clue, however: a packet of smoked mackerel inadvertently dropped in the cemetery. Meanwhile, they are joined by Nico, Cully's actor boyfriend, who has landed a part in a TV series as a detective sergeant.