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The Woodley family have been tailors for generations and have a small shop which is part of the feudal estate owned by Edward Milton. His estate encompasses the whole village and several surrounding areas as well.
Two years previously, tailor, Gerald Woodley, died in his back yard following his third heart attack, leaving a widow, Sonia, and a son, Luke, both of whom work in the tailor's shop, 'Woodley and Woodley', along with Gerald's brother, Matthew.
When, on the second anniversary of Gerald's death, something is still clearly troubling Sonia, she reaches out to her friend, Wendy Minchin, to whom she shows a letter which clearly is a shock to both women. Still unable to cope with whatever is troubling her, Sonia makes an appointment to speak to The Reverend Moreland but is murdered in the church graveyard before she gets there. Later, after the mysterious letter is given to the Reverend, he too is murdered. The question is, why have these two people been killed, what was in the letter and how is the estate owner, Edward Milton connected, if at all?
The village of Ford Florey is hosting its annual Wild West show and festival. Tom and Joyce are in attendance when Faye Lennox is shot dead by a sniper from some distance away and with a deadly aim. Faye, as the whole town is aware, is having an affair with Jack Fincher, who has been involved in a long-standing struggle with Silas Burbage over a piece of seemingly worthless swamp land.
Soon after the death of his lover, Jack Fincher is also murdered and Barnaby and Jones have a whole list of potential suspects as Fincher was an unpopular man and the Burbage family, among others, were certainly no friends of his. The only person with a cast-iron alibi is his wife, Susan and the police have to try and sort out who owned the swamp land before they can zero in on a likely suspect? Are Silas Burbage or his son, Adam, in any way involved or perhaps they should be looking more closely at Leo Fincher, son of Jack? When Leo also turns up dead, slung across a horse western- he is one more suspect who can be eliminated.
A closer look into the entire situation surrounding who does or doesn't own the swamp leads to the possible involvement of a gypsy traveller who wants to buy the land from whoever owns it. Unfortunately, when there is another death, the plot thickens to the point where just about everybody is a suspect. Thank goodness for Tom's excellent powers of detection and his ability to anravel the whole mystery.
In the picturesque village of Great Pelfe it's time for the local election. Close to election day Barnaby and Jones are faced with burglary, murder and accusations of corruption. The dark secrets of the inhabitants are suddenly revealed.
Inspector Barnaby's birthday is soon coming up, and Tom is reminded that he's nearing the age when his father died prematurely of a stroke. He starts thinking about his existence and how he wants to spend the rest of his life. Together with Joyce he goes to Midsomer Health Farm for a peaceful weekend. His weekend naturally ends up far from being peaceful...
This is John Nettles' last episode of Midsomer Murders.