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Barnaby and Troy are called in to investigate at the museum in Aspen Tallow when the painting of a local historical figure, Jonathan Lowrie, is slashed. When the museum's curator is subsequently assaulted and Lowrie's direct descendant is murdered, the detectives must unravel another mysterious knot. Barnaby does focus on one important clue, however: a packet of smoked mackerel inadvertently dropped in the cemetery. Meanwhile, they are joined by Nico, Cully's actor boyfriend, who has landed a part in a TV series as a detective sergeant.
- John Nettles as DCI Tom Barnaby
- Daniel Casey as Sgt. Gavin Troy
- Jane Wymark as Joyce Barnaby
- Laura Howard as Cully Barnaby
- Barry Jackson as Dr. George Bullard
- Malcolm Sinclair as Alan Bradford
- Cheryl Campbell as Sandra MacKillop
- David Robb as Charles MacKillop
- James Laurenson as James Tate (also known as Michael Aron Whistler)
- Prunella Scales as Eleanor Bunsall
- Patricia Brake as Anne Quarritch
- Sylvestra Le Touzel as Linda Marquis
- Roger Sloman as Ralph Bailey
- Ed Waters as Nico Bentley
- Charles Simon as Marcus Lowrie
- Neil Conrich as Police Constable Angel
- Alwyne Taylor as Dr. Catherine "Kath" Bullard
- Chris Stanton as Vicar
Prior to the Episode
In the Episode
- The episode before guest starred Timothy West. He is married to Prunella Scales who guest stars in this episode.
The following actors and actresses who appeared in this episode have also appeared in the following episodes
- Ed Waters - Death of a Hollow Man
- Alwyne Taylor - Faithful unto Death, Death in Chorus and Death and Dust
- Malcolm Sinclair - Shot at Dawn and Saints and Sinners
- Cheryl Campbell - The Sicilian Defence
- Patricia Brake - Let Us Prey
- Sylvestra Le Touzel - Master Class
- As Troy and Barnaby are leaving Eleanor Bunsall's house, a female background extra carrying wine bottles in a basket trips over a curb and almost falls down going up a flight of steps.
- When DCI Barnaby and DS Troy arrive at Tate's house they have their siren and rotating light switch on when they get out of the car. But when Ralph steals the car a minute later, the rotating light is no longer on the car.
- The village name of Aspern Tallow is published in the newspaper in the closing scene as "Aspen Tallow" (see Episode Images above).