Barnaby and Jones are faced with two unusual deaths when a widow and a reverend are killed in the same brutal manner. The question is, did a previous death two years earlier have anything to do with it or is there no connection?
It is two years since Gerald Woodley died in the back yard of his home following his third heart attack but his wife, Sonia, is still clearly grieving deeply even though he was a brute of a man who beat her and made her life a misery. She has the support of her young son, Luke, and her late husband's brother, Matthew, but she still seems unable to come to grips with her suffering.
To make matters worse, the lease on the Woodley's tailoring shop which has been in the family for several generations is up for renewal and it is not yet known what the feudal land owner, Edward Milton, will do. Milton owns the entire village, a manor house and large pacels of land, which includes the Woodley's place of business. If he chooses not to renew the lease, the family will be in a dire situation, which only gives Sonia even more to worry about.
Things are made worse for Sonia when she comes into possession of a hand-written letter, the contents of which clearly distress her. She shows the letter to her friend, Wendy, who is also stunned by what she reads but we, the viewers, are not privy to its contents. When Sonia, clearly with something on her mind, makes an appointment to see the reverend to 'confess', we wonder exactly what it is she needs to get off her chest but we don't have to wonder for long because she is murdered in the church graveyard before we find out what she had to say.
When a local man who had a 'thing'for Sonia gives the mysterious letter to the reverend, telling him that Sonia had asked him to do so, the reverend is also murdered in the same way as Sonia - throat cut from both sides and then stabbed in the back. It is Dr. Bullard who finally realises that the murder weapon, which had been giving him cause for concern, is a heavy pair of tailor's shears. This, of course, brings the focus back on to the Woodley family until Joyce Barnaby remembers an incident when she was recently in the Woodley's shop and the shears were there one minute and gone the next, she even remembers who took them and that gives Tom the lead he needs to arrest the killer, but not before yet another person almost dies.
I won't spoil the ending by saying any more but I WILL say that this is vintage 'Midsomer Murders' and it would be a great shame if you didn't watch such a terrific episode!
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