Miss Marple meets with her old friend, Ruth Van Rydock, who is worried about her sister, Carrie Louise Serrocold, after a mysterious fire ends up destroying some of Carrie Louise's treasured possessions. She asks Miss Marple to visit her sister's estate, Stonygates, a huge manor house, where some of the buildings and grounds are used as a reformatory for juvenile criminals. Soon, Carrie Louise's stepson by her second marriage shows up. He is Christian Gulbrandsen, and he runs the trust which contributes a fraction of the funds used to run Stonygates. Later that night, as Carrie Louise's current husband Lewis runs a dress rehearsal for a musical revue for the inmates of the facility, Christian is stabbed while writing a letter on his typewriter. Miss Marple and the local police quickly learn that Christian believed Carrie Louise was being poisoned, but was killed before he could reveal the poisoner's identity. For the sake of Carrie Louise and her family, Miss Marple sets out to find the killer and alleged poisoner, but then another murder is committed during the revue, and tainted oysters, secret children, jealousy, a hidden passageway, and an unlocked gate are thrown into the mix, as well. Who is trying to poison Carrie Louise? And was the use of a clever conjuring trick the key to solving the mystery?moreless
The Ood warn of a danger that spreads across the whole of the universe. On Christmas Eve, the Master is reborn.
When Niles wants to surprise Daphne with a trip to Hawaii, their plans are put on hold by a depressed Mrs. Moon.
Colonel Sir Henry Simmerson arrives with his regiment, the South Essex, and Wellesley orders the South Essex to blow up a bridge at Valdelacasa. Aware that Simmerson is incompetent, Wellesley orders Sharpe to see that the mission is a success, in exchange for a promotion to captain. Simmerson is furious to learn that Sharpe is not a gentleman and was raised from the ranks. He orders Sharpe to train his men to fire three rounds a minute by nightfall, or they will be flogged. Sharpe and Harper succeed, but this infuriates Simmerson even more. Sharpe has made an enemy. The following day, Simmerson orders Captain Lennox to lead the South Essex across the bridge and chase off a small French patrol. However, a large body of French cavalry appears and the men of the South Essex panic and flee across the bridge. As the French cavalry butcher them, Sharpe leads his Chosen Men to the rescue, unaware that Simmerson has ordered the bridge to be blown, so they are trapped on the wrong side. The French capture the King's Colours of the South Essex. The dying Lennox urges Sharpe to avenge this insult by capturing a French imperial eagle. A furious Wellesley disbands the South Essex and promotes Sharpe to Captain. Sharpe is later warned that if Simmerson can't damage Wellesley, he will do his best to strip Sharpe of his promotion. Sharpe realises that the only way he can hold his own is by capturing the eagle.moreless
The owner of a private hospital is found murdered in his car, after a series of anonymous threatening letters. Suspicion falls on a retired book-maker whose daughter suffered severe brain damage as a result of negligence during an operation some years before.
Morse spends a lot of effort in investigating the possibility that the dead man was criminally negligent, and concludes that he was. While he does his best to bring the killer to justice, Morse does not seem very troubled that at the end of the day he is unable to nail him.