The Inkpen-Thomas family, owners of Inkpen Manor in Midsomer Deverell, announce that their memorial garden will no longer be open to the public. The villagers are furious, however, are any of them angry enough to kill? When members of the Inkpen family are murdered, closure of the garden looks like a possible motive. However Barnaby and Troy uncover many family secrets during the course of their investigations.
When Gregory Chambers, the manager of the Easterly Grange Hotel, fails to turn up at the owner's funeral and the rather unconventional Punch and Judy Show, the villagers know that something is seriously wrong. A search of the local woods in Easterly Grange, where Gregory spent much of his time collecting mushrooms, leads to the discovery of a severed hand, presumably belonging to the missing man and it is not long before Barnaby and Troy are investigating a whole series of killings and attempted murders.
The body of criminal Ronald Stokes is found in the middle of a crop circle in Midsomer Parva with his hands burnt, puncture wounds in his back and a chunk of his hair missing. Lloyd Kirby, the local Ufologist, believes that it is the work of extra terrestrials, however Barnaby and Troy are not convinced by his theory. When the body of a second criminal is found in similar circumstances the detectives set out to find what links the murders and who could be perpetrating the crimes.
An Irish stranger vanishes after being knocked down by Dr. Burgess on his way home from an evening of drinking. Barnaby discovers the visitor to be Sean O'Connell, a disgraced veterinary surgeon turned horse whisperer, then his search brings him face to face with an old adversary Melvyn Stockard. Stockard's daughter is about to be married, however, when the body of the best man's father is found in the well the wedding looks to be in jeopardy. It is no secret that Stockard was opposed to the marriage but would he murder to stop it going ahead?
Postman Dave Cutler is murdered on his early morning rounds in the tiny hamlet of Goodman's Land. The brutal killing rocks the community where WPC Jay Nash is more used to dealing with traffic cones than slashed throats. With WPC Nash's help, Barnaby and Troy discover that the postman offered more than just a postal service to the female villagers and that they are several jealous husbands or jilted lovers who might have wanted him dead. After a woman's body is found on the village green with the same horrific injuries, the motive doesn't look quite so straightforward.