Marple: Murder Is Easy

Sunday, 13 September 2009, 8:00PM – 10:00PM

During a chance encounter on a train, the elderly Miss Lavinia Pinkerton (Sylvia Syms) confides in Miss Marple that she is going to Scotland Yard to report a murderer who has already struck several times in the peaceful village of Wychwood-under-Ashe. ‘Bumble bee’, she warns, is next. When she later reads that Miss Pinkerton died in a tragic accident before making her report, Miss Marple determines that it must fall to her to find out who the killer is…

Charming her way into village life, Miss Marple is befriended by Luke Fitzwilliam (Benedict Cumberbatch), a handsome former policeman who is increasingly drawn to the mysterious young American and newcomer to the village Bridget Conway (Margo Stilley). Luke and Bridget are not the only young couple making eyes at each other – the dashing young doctor Geoff Thomas (James Lance) also appears taken with his partner, the belligerent Dr Humbleby’s (Tim Brooke Taylor), beautiful daughter Rose (Camilla Arfwedson), much to Humbleby’s disapproval.

Miss Marple is soon acquainted with church organist Honoria Waynflete (Shirley Henderson), Miss Pinkerton’s closest friend. Honoria is pitied by the villagers, having given up a chance for happiness with local MP Major Horton (David Haig) many years ago to take care of her disabled brother, who died in a tragic accident. She also learns that the grandmother of Honoria’s maid Amy (Lyndsey Marshal) was fatally poisoned recently – an ‘accident’ Miss Pinkerton was most suspicious of.

The sudden death of Dr Humbleby – the ‘bumble bee’ of Miss Pinkerton’s warning – shocks the village even further, especially so soon after the ‘accidental’ demise of their beloved Reverend Minchin. His replacement, the Reverend Henry Wake, must proceed over his third funeral in just several weeks. Luke now finds himself becoming Miss Marple’s confidante and ally in the search for the truth, with the pair gently guiding the nervous PC Terence Reed (Russell Tovey) in their quest.

It’s not long before the bereaved Jessie Humbleby (Jemma Redgrave) loses her grip on reality, worrying the village residents with her blustering determination to cope with widowhood. Meanwhile, the local election gathers pace with Major Horton standing for the conservatives, aided by his adoring wife Lydia (Anna Chancellor). He is backed by the ubiquitous solicitor James Abbot (Hugo Speer), who barely bothers to conceal his lecherous intentions towards Amy.

When Honoria awakes to find Amy dead in her bed, having apparently mistaken a bottle of hat dye for cough mixture, Constable Reed turns to Miss Marple for guidance in the murky waters of his first murder case. As Luke downplays the link between the deaths and the arrival of Bridget, Miss Marple prepares to reveal a secret so shocking the villagers will never forget it…

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