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. John Nettles stars as the humorous, thoughtful and methodical Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby. It is the big race of the season in Midsomer, The Causton Gold Cup. The local favourite is Bantling Boy, a horse owned by a syndicate led by Bruce Hartley. After a last minute jockey change Bantling Boy wins and Sam Tate offers to buy him. The syndicate cannot agree on whether or not to sell. Shortly after this heated debate Bruce Hartley is brutally clubbed to death. Barnaby and Scott investigate.