Rachel Argyle, mother of five adopted children, is murdered and immediately, the rest of the family just assumes that Jacko, one of her sons, must be the murderer because he threatened to kill her earlier that same evening. Two years later, a man shows up at the Argyle's mansion and confirms what Jacko has told the police all along: he was hitchhiking at the time of the murder and in the company of that very man. Now, the Argyles have to deal not only with the loss of an innocent family member but also with the knowledge that someone else amongst them must have murdered Rachel Argyle. Fortunately, Miss Marple is on hand to find the guilty party, but it's not before the deaths of other innocent people that she can reveal the truth.moreless
The village of Aspern Tallow is being haunted, according to the villagers. Then a body is found in the graveyard, and Barnaby and Troy find themselves investigating the ghost.
The sleepy village of Martyr Warren is invaded by quarrelsome New Age travellers, some of whom fall out with Hector Bridges, a local magistrate. The police are well aware of the tensions, but matters come to a head when Hector is found shot dead. It quickly appears that he was feared by almost everyone in sight, including his own family. And there is more to the travellers than meets the eye - one of them is a former British army officer who fought alongside Hector in the Falklands War... Then (as so often happens to Barnaby and Troy) another dead body is found, this time that of an old man at the travellers' camp.
Meanwhile, Barnaby is not feeling in full fighting trim for murder investigations, as Joyce has put him on a strict diet to lose weight.