alled to the village of Midsomer Market to investigate someone's car being set on fire, Barnaby and Troy soon find themselves investigating the murder of Marjorie Empson who is found in her home bludgeoned to death. The focus of their attention is the Reading Club, a group of five women who meet regularly not to discuss books in fact, but to manage a investment fund they have established. Two of the members were hoping to cash out their investments, but were prevented from doing so by the others. There are several other suspects, all in one way or another connected to the financial and investment world, but when a second member of the book club is killed, the police realize they may need to look for an altogether different motive.

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