When Barnaby and Troy find the dead body of arrogant local beauty Melissa Townsend by a swimming pool at her manor house in Midsomer Malham, they uncover a seedy world of adultery and deceit within the affluent rural community.
Death threats against Melissa Townsend, the beautiful but spoilt daughter of the manor, bring Barnaby and Troy to the affluent village of Midsomer Malham.
Melissa is blamed by some residents, including retired botanist Hugo Balcombe, for causing the death of a local poacher by refusing to mend the leaking roof at his peppercorn rent cottage. But in the eyes of her cronies, tennis club captain Adam Keyne and district nurse Sally Rickworth, she can do no wrong.
A large quantity of barbiturates and syringes are discovered stolen from the veterinary surgery run by Raif Canning and his wife Georgina on the same day that Sally is found at the wheel of her crashed car in a confused state.
Fearing that the death threats could be carried out, the detectives race to Malham Manor. But they are too late - Melissa is dead by the swimming pool, a used syringe hanging from her stomach.
As Barnaby and Troy investigate, they uncover a seedy world of adultery and deceit.
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