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 exists dark secrets, scandals and downright evil. John Nettles stars as the humorous, thoughtful and methodical Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby. Several of the ladies of Midsomer Market belong to a select Reading Club. The women include the recently widowed Marjorie Empson, Ginny Stockton, a glamorous divorcee, Tamsin Proctor, the wife of a mean stockbroker, and Lady Lavinia Chetwood. Rather than reviewing books, the women meet to invest in the stock market and, thanks to some inside information, they are rather successful. When the club organiser is found battered to death, Barnaby and Troy investigate and discover that many of the villagers had secrets, however, would any of them be motivated to murder?