MIDSOMER MURDERS

SMALL MERCIES
DETAILED SYNOPSIS


© ITV/Mark Bourdillon

The sleepy hamlet of Little Worthy is shaken when a man's body is found tied down in the model village, just like Gulliver in Lilliput. Sisters Harriet and Hilary Compton, who own the miniature village, are stunned, but caretaker Bob Moss seems more upset about the blood on his figurines from the violent stabbing.

 

Victim Richard Tanner was a man who didn't want Little Worthy to move with the times. His sister Jackie reveals he recently jilted his lover, schoolteacher Rebecca Rix, and Barnaby finds her classroom is full of children's paintings about Gulliver's Travels.

 

The local hotel, Franklins, is run by Edward Palfrey and his simple girlfriend Bernice. Edward's rebellious teenage daughter Christa is devastated at news of Tanner's death.

 

Rebecca tells Barnaby and Jones that Edward suggested the school's Gulliver theme. Meanwhile, Mike Johnson from the gift shop and Kate Dove from the tea room are having a secret affair. Mike begs Barnaby to let the annual fancy dress craft race along the river go ahead as planned.

 

Bullard reveals Tanner was struck with a single blow. Christa was the last to see him alive but has locked herself in her room. And the Compton sisters are disturbed when the figure of a policeman is put through their letterbox. Harriet threatens to sack Moss.

 

On race day, Christa admits that she and Tanner were lovers. They broke into the model village for a romantic liaison before he died. Stephens finds an eight-inch bodkin among the miniatures, just like the ones in Jackie's craft shop. Could it be the murder weapon?

 

While straight-laced Harriet stays at home, villagers flock to the race with crazy costumes and bizarre boats. Amid the collisions and splashes, Christa's craft goes off course. Joyce drags Jones to meet it but everyone has gone - except Christa who is lying dead, the trident from Mike Johnson's Neptune costume driven through her heart. Mike protests his innocence, although Jackie says he asked her to make the trident with sharp points.

 

Barnaby is questioning Edward and Bernice when there's news of another murder - Harriet is found battered to death in the chapel and some small graves at the sisters' house are desecrated. Moss confesses to the murders but Barnaby doesn't believe him - can he persuade the caretaker to reveal the truth about the residents of Little Worthy?

 

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