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A man is fatally stabbed with an antique sword during a ghost-hunting party at a manor house. New DS Charlie Nelson assists DCI John Barnaby.
A masked woman is found drowned in a river, and her father-in-law is crushed to death at a builder's yard. The retired local vicar claims that the murders are punishments for sinners, as depicted in a medieval fresco.
A wealthy landowner is tied to a tree, covered in truffle oil and eaten alive by wild boar. Barnaby's investigations lead him to a restaurant run by a celebrity chef.
The owner of an airfield is dropped from an aeroplane into a reservoir, killing him instantly. The detectives uncover ancient enmities and a smuggling operation.
The head of a local biscuit manufacturer, in Denmark to clinch a major export deal, is poisoned with strychnine. The investigation takes Barnaby and Nelson to Denmark, where they uncover a 20-year-old love affair.