A housebreaker dubbed 'the Creeper' is terrorising the villages of Midsomer and the latest victim is none other than Chief Constable Richard Lovell.
At Chettham Park House, Jack Filby hosts a birthday dinner for his neighbour Freddy Chettham. Due to hard times, Freddy lives in the Dower House in the grounds with his parents Lady Isobel and Sir William. Filby and his daughters, spoilt Martha and unkempt Tallis, live in grandeur with their butler Rupert.
Fellow dinner guest David Roper made his name ghost-writing a book by gangster Harry Godbolt. Now he wants to write his friends' life stories, even though William is broke and Filby hates the idea.
Angry at being rejected, Roper hits the bottle and wanders into the park where he's attacked. He turns up at the Dower House covered in blood and is put to bed. During the night the Creeper enters - and the next day Roper is found smothered.
Barnaby and Jones investigate the murder and the Chief Constable's break-in. Filby is also burgled, as is Dr Goring, another dinner party guest. Tallis shows Barnaby a fox she has rescued, while Jones finds Martha flirting with Rupert.
It appears Roper was dragged to the Dower House after being hit by a branch and had taken codeine. That night, the Creeper breaks into the Barnabys' house and leaves two framed pictures - one of the high society friends at an art gallery in the 60s and an etching marked 'fake'. Barnaby realises the Creeper knows the group's secrets.
Martha says her father was angry because she had a fling with Roper. Rupert admits hitting Roper after the party but claims he only wanted to scare him off. Meanwhile, art dealer Hugo Greening helps the detectives realise Filby and Isobel were once an item.
Dr Goring is shot dead in Curate's Wood but it is staged to look like suicide and her medical notes have been shredded. Barnaby makes a discovery at a London clinic - but when he tells the family that Filby is Freddy's real father no-one is surprised.
Joyce finds it was the Chief Constable who arrested Godbolt in the 60s after a tip off, boosting his career. What is the connection between the police chief and the friends and who is the Creeper? As the net closes, Barnaby realises there are secrets worth killing for.
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