Nothing is as it seems behind the well-trimmed hedges of the picturesque cottages in the idyllic English county of Midsomer. Beneath the tranquil surface of sleepy village life exist dark secrets, scandals and downright evil. When Gregory Chambers (Philip Bowen), the manager of the Easterly Grange Hotel, fails to turn up to the owner's funeral the local villagers are concerned. When Gregory fails to turn up to perform the rather unconventional Punch and Judy show, the villagers know that something is seriously wrong. A search of the local woods, where Gregory spent much of his time collecting mushrooms, finds a severed and belonging to the missing man and it is not long before Barnaby (John Nettles) and Troy (Daniel Casey) are investigating a whole series of killings and attempted murders.