Press Centre

Midsomer Murders

  • Episode: 

    1 of 4

  • Title: 

    The Dagger Club
  • Transmission (TX): 

    Wed 28 Jan 2015
  • TX Confirmed: 

    Yes
  • Time: 

    8.00pm - 10.00pm
  • Week: 

    Week 05 2015 : Sat 24 Jan - Fri 30 Jan
  • Channel: 

    ITV
  • Status: 

    Returning
The information contained herein is strictly embargoed from all press, online and social media use, non-commercial publication, or syndication until Tuesday 20 January 2015.
 
Series overview
 
A stolen crime novel, celebrity magic, a folk festival and the launch of a new English sparkling wine become the backdrops for murder and mayhem when Neil Dudgeon and Gwilym Lee return to the beautiful but deadly countryside of Midsomer in a new series of the top-rating Midsomer Murders.
 
Neil and Gwilym star as DCI John Barnaby and DS Charlie Nelson in four new two-hour episodes made by Bentley Productions for ITV. They are assisted by pathologist Dr Kate Wilding, played by Tamzin Malleson.
 
Barnaby must also juggle life as a new dad to baby Betty, with the support of his wife Sarah (series regular Fiona Dolman).
 
As ever, the episodes feature a stellar array of guest stars including Joe Absolom, Dean Andrews, Claire Bloom, Mark Bonnar, Daniel Brocklebank, Amanda Burton, Rosie Cavaliero, Ruth Gemmell, Lucie Jones, Adam Kotz, Naoko Mori, Lloyd Owen, Clarke Peters, Andrew-Lee Potts, Jack Shepherd, Una Stubbs, Georgia Taylor and Lia Williams.
 
 
Episode 1 - The Dagger Club
 
The unveiling of a newly-discovered novel by deceased Midsomer crime-writer George Summersbee at the Luxton Deeping Crime Festival is jeopardised when the manuscript is stolen and a woman is fatally electrocuted by a booby-trapped roulette wheel. Can new dad Barnaby untangle a web of jealousy and obsession to find the killer?
 
***
 
DCI Barnaby is adapting to life with baby Betty when he is interrupted by a phone call from DS Nelson. Artist Suzie Colebrook has been electrocuted by a booby-trapped roulette wheel sent in the post shortly after she discovered a break-in at her home.
 
Suzie illustrated the Jed Dagger detective novels written by late Luxton Deeping author George Summersbee. She was also the executor of George’s estate. The murder comes as a local crime festival is about to unveil a newly discovered Dagger story - and her publisher husband Niall seems more concerned that the priceless manuscript has been stolen than that his wife has been murdered.
 
The festival itself is a hotbed of tension between George’s daughter Bella, a bookshop owner and sole beneficiary of her father’s will, and her mother Jeanie, while Bella’s partner Rob Mead is stressed about money.  Organiser Maggie Markham is in her element promoting her GP husband Nick Summersbee’s memoirs about his famous brother.
 
Nelson discovers the electrocution mirrors a plotline in the first Dagger novel ‘The Wheels of Justice’, except that in the book roulette wheels are posted to two victims.  Many villagers would have loved to get their hands on the manuscript, including obsessive fan Curtis Braylesford and big time publisher Miles Rattigan, while Maggie claims Jeanie hated Suzie for having an affair with George.
 
A second deadly roulette wheel is traced to the house of retro specialist Cecilie Peterson 30 miles away, but the police get there too late. At first there is no obvious connection between the victims but Barnaby spots Suzie’s original artwork for ‘The Wheels of Justice’ on the wall.
Curtis’ aunt Audrey demands money from Rob while Jeanie tells Barnaby her husband died in a boating accident. She is convinced the missing manuscript is fake, while Maggie and Nick offer a reward for its safe return.
 
Phone records reveal both victims knew Bella. As forensics reveal Suzie’s break-in was staged, Bella reveals Suzie wanted Miles to publish the new book rather than Niall, giving the dead woman’s husband motive to steal it and possibly kill her. But then police find Niall crushed to death under his printing press.
 
At an exhibition of Suzie’s art, Rattigan tells Barnaby that George had huge debts. Nelson follows gallery owner Vincent Treaborne to the bookstore where an illicit game of poker is taking place. The stakes are high – and Audrey wins Rob’s share of the bookshop. Barnaby makes a shocking discovery that George is alive and had been living with Cecilie. Meanwhile Curtis stumbles upon George himself and arranges for Bella to meet her father in the woods. But when she gets there they are chased, and George is stabbed to death with a dagger. Kate reveals that the murderer is left-handed.  
 
Jeanie learns that her husband is dead – not years ago but only hours ago, while everyone converges on the bookshop where Nick is launching his memoirs. Can Barnaby find who really died in the boating accident, locate the manuscript and unmask the killer?
 
Characters – The Dagger Club
 
Suzie Colebrooke – Oona Kirsch
A vibrant local artist, who is executor of author George Summersbee’s estate and married to publisher Niall. She is rumoured to have been having an affair with George.
 
Cecilie Peterson – Liberty Mills
A retro-specialist who is something of an enigma and seemingly living on her own in Midsomer. 
 
Bella Summersbee – Georgia Taylor
Bella is the warm, hardworking, book-loving owner of Summersbee's Book Emporium. She was the apple of her father's eye and is sole beneficiary of his estate.
 
Niall Colebrooke – Howard Ward
A bitter man with a strained marriage, Niall is a publisher who has fallen on hard times and who dreams about sailing away from it all in his boat.
 
Maggie Markham – Lia Williams
The high-achieving former managing director of a publishing company and the brains behind the Luxton Deeping Crime Festival. She’s a champion of crime-writing and married to Nick.
 
Curtis Braylesford – Ed Birch
Curtis is an obsessed fan of George Summersbee’s Jed Dagger books; he’s a brooding data analyst who knows the books inside out.  He’s also obsessed about Bella.
 
Audrey Braylesford – Una Stubbs
Previously a powerful career woman, Audrey is quirky, carefree and full of zest. She’s also a poker ace and Curtis’s aunt.
 
Rob Mead - Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
Bella’s partner Rob runs the bookshop with her. He’s conscientious, if stressed.
 
Jeanie Summersbee – Charlotte Cornwell
George’s widow Jeanie is uptight and defensive. She is wounded to the core by rumours of her late husband’s infidelity.
 
Nick Summersbee – Adam Kotz
Nick is an affable but at times pompous GP, who helped his famous brother with the medical elements of his books.  He’s married to Maggie and is used to being in people’s shadows.
 
Miles Rattigan – Simon Kunz
An important publisher and he knows it. Miles loves being the Harvey Weinstein of the book world.
 
George Summersbee – Grant Russell
The successful author of the Jed Dagger detective novels who died three years ago.
 
Vincent Treaborne – Timothy Watson
A local art gallery owner with a weary cynical manner and something of the night about him.
 
Silas Raven – James Lance
A crime and horror writer who dresses all in black. Guest speaker at the Crime Festival.