Superintendent Ron Pringle (James Bolam) is close to retirement but happily takes over while Tom is away on a much-needed vacation. Pringle is keen to be a part of the local hunting set even though he is hopeless on a horse and doesn't fit in at all well. When a tramp is found dead in some nearby woods, Pringle immediately arrests local larrikin Billy Girdie (Tom Smith) and is convinced he has the right man but Tom, returning from his holiday is far from certain.
A second death, that of Billy's father, Ben Gurdie (Fred Ridgeway) just a few weeks later which is ruled a suicide has Tom convinced that the picture is far from that painted by the insistent Pringle who seems to think he is absolutely right about everything and will not listen to any other hypothesis from Tom or anybody else.
In the midst of all of this, we encounter the wealthy, land owning, fox hunting Tranter family who are typically upper class and typically uncooperative. Barnaby and Troy are quite sure that this family are somehow connected to all the local goings on but they are just not sure in exactly what way and the family themselves are certainly no help!
The autopsy on Ben Gurdie, of course, proves that he was murdered and that fact rather shatters Pringle's version of events, however, there isn't much time to find out what really happened to Ben Gurdie before Pringle himself, being very inexperienced in the saddle, is killed in a riding accident, an accident which Barnaby is convinced was nothing of the sort.
The question is, who killed Ron Pringle and why and who is responsible for the deaths of the two members of the Gurdie family? Are the Tranter family somehow involved and if so, how?
You'll be on the edge of your seat with this one so watch it and find out for yourself how it all unfolds.