An open gardens event at Swanscombe House turns sour when Midsomer Conservation Society stalwart Maureen Stubbs accuses builder Geoff Rogers and Councillor James Otley of threatening the future of picturesque Great Pelfe. She hates Norman Swanscombe's ultra-modern property and lashes out at his architect Clifford Bunting.


Later, Maureen returns to the house but is attacked with a broken bottle in the grounds and bleeds to death. Swanscombe, who's standing in the forthcoming local elections, reveals Maureen knew he was illegitimate but claims he's innocent of murder.


Planning officer Liz Gerrard beds Rogers, while police discover the victims of a spate of burglaries and vandalism all support a controversial development at Pelfe Chase.


Retired major David Walsh, who's standing as an independent, believes Swanscombe wants votes in return for backing Pelfe Chase. Barnaby finds a catapult at Maureen's house - was she the vandal? Swanscombe visits Fiona Conway, an aging raver who lives in fading glamour at Pelfe Hall, and Bunting's house is burgled.


At a hustings, Conservation Society secretary Angela Lawrence pledges more direct action in a hysterical outburst, while Walsh claims the development is a conspiracy - a cover for plans to build an out-of-town supermarket - and that Maureen was killed because she was about to expose those behind it. But the evidence has gone with her.


At Swanscombe House, Bunting is trying to fix some high-tech security blinds when his neck is crushed in the sliding door. Is it an accident or is he the next victim? A worried Rogers tells Liz he's out of his depth - but Otley warns him not to pull out of their deal.


Images on Bunting's camera reveal he was spying on his neighbours, while Liz finds Walsh snooping in her house. The next day, Rogers' body is found in his car buried neck high in concrete. Liz tells police he was being blackmailed about their affair and Walsh admits he was behind the burglaries - but not the deaths.


Barnaby stops Angela as she leaves the village with a suitcase full of cash. She admits to being an agent provocateur - Rogers was paying her to discredit the Society by associating it with extremist tactics. Then she gives the police documents proving the Pelfe Chase development was a money-making scam, but who stands to gain?


As Election Day approaches, Jones suspects Fiona has given Swascombe free land as a bung, but the truth surprises him. And a night of passion for Liz and Otley turns deadly as Bullard discovers Rogers was killed using Otley's veterinary drugs. Barnaby realises the murderer will not stop until everyone who knows the truth is silenced.