Alan Hollingsworth (Roger Allum) is a very unpopular man in the Midsomer village of Morton Fendle. Mr. Hollingsworth is in charge of a substantial amount of money invested by local people in the craft mill. When Alan tells them that the mill is losing money and that it must be closed and, therefore, they will lose their investment, several of them are far from happy with him and make it abundantly clear that they expect to get their money back.
When Alan's wife, Simone, (Lesley Vickerage) goes missing, DCI Barnaby is convinced that one or more of the disgruntled investors have kidnapped her in order to get their money back in the form of a ransom demand. The problem for Barnaby is that nobody is talking and he can't narrow down a suspect list because of the conspiracy of silence.
Talking to the locals, Barnaby and DS Troy (Daniel Casey) find out that Alan was often violent towards his wife, who was often covered in hidden bruises after domestic disputes. Learning this, Barnaby wonders whether Simone's disappearance may be closer to home than he first thought. To complicate matters even further, Alan manages to avoid the police detail who have him under survelliance, taking with him a large bundle of cash, which is obviously for the purpose of paying a kidnapper for the safe return of Simone, or, at the very least, that is how he WANTS it to appear.
When Brenda Buckley, (Sophie Stanton) a neighbour of the Hollingsworths, who has a large crush on Alan, follows him and is then killed in an horrific accident, Barnaby has to wonder whether the accident was really a murder and whether Brenda was the intended victim.
Everything begins to unravel when the police learn that Sarah Lawton, (Tessa Peake-Jones) a local resident and one of the investors in the mill is, in fact Simone Hollingsworth's lover and that she believes something dire has happened. None of them, however, counted on the elderly former actress, Elfrida Molfrey (Eleanor Summerfield) who, along with her old friend Bunny Dawlish (Peter Jones) has been keeping an eye on all the goings on at the Hollingsworth house. When Simone is released by the kidnappers, badly beaten and dazed, it is Elfrida who inadvertently solves the case with some startling news for Tom.
Not a bad episode, but not among the best either. Worth watching though for terrific performances from the two elderly neighbours who see and hear all!