The Lions of Causton and The Mad Hatter
The Lions of Causton’ - Episode 4 of Series 20 of Midsomer Murders first broadcast on the twentieth of August has a promotional paragraph saying:-
“A death at Stubbington Hall Sports Club, home to the rugby of Causton Lions brings DCI Barnaby and DS Winters to the club investigating a muddle of rucks, old grudges and new romances. Where do artisanal chocolates fit into the case?”
We shall tell you a bit more as, for D.I. Barnaby and D.S. Winter, the solution lies in Lewis Carroll and the Mad Hatter.
After the murder outlined above we are taken to a chocolate shop where we first see several shots which include a large Mad Hatter cake and are introduced to Dominic and his charming grandmother Belinda.
It turns out that Belinda and Dominic have been photographing people in the local community in compromising situations then blackmailing them into making donations to worthy causes. Unfortunately for Dominic one of his photographs also includes the murderer in a situation which negates his alibi and, as a result, Dominic is himself murdered by being struck on the head and then choked by smothering his head in liquid chocolate. This is far too disturbing a picture to include here.
The blackmailing activity is discovered when Barnaby and Winter find a collection of pictures on the hard drive of Dominic’s laptop but, significantly, a few vital pictures are missing. DS Winter is interviewing Belinda trying to see if she knows of any backup for the laptop, but she can’t tell him anything except that when she asked Dominic about anything like that he would say “It’s all under my hat”. There then follow various scenes of Winter looking inside hats but all to no avail until …. In the middle of a discussion about the case with Dr Perkins, the pathologist, Perkins sets of an epiphanal moment for Winter when, as result of their musing on the strange happenings in the case, Perkins says that famous phrase ‘Curiouser and curiouser’.
We can almost see the wheels in Winter’s brain working, then he dashes off to the chocolate shop and, lifting up the hat on the top of the Mad Hatter cake, finds a USB stick tucked up inside it. This, of course, has the missing images on it and the episode rolls on to an explosive ending.