etective Murdoch investigates the murder of university professor Samuel Bennett who was shot through the head while looking through his telescope at his university residence. He becomes aware that another member of the faculty, physics professor Albert Godfrey, frequently argued with Bennett. Throughout the investigation, Murdoch is shadowed by two inquisitive students. Constable Crabtree puts an ad in the paper in an effort to locate his biological mother. As a baby, he was left on the church steps and was raised by the Minister and his family. His newspaper ad produces two women who claim to be his mother. When he is shot during the investigation, Murdoch takes the opportunity to identify which of the two is his mother. Murdoch's relationship with Dr. Julia Ogden is at a low ebb. With her recent revelations, a chill has descended on their budding romance and they have returned to being very formal with one another.

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