This episode is all about a bride, but don’t get too excited, the bride is not Agatha Raisin (Ashley Jensen). Agatha is, however, in attendance at the wedding. Not because she knows the bride or groom, but because she’s handling the PR for the wedding. So much for retirement. We see that Sir Charles Fraith (Jason Merrells) has decided to make his home, Barfield House, an event venue. Seems that our wealthy landowner might not be so wealthy after all and is looking to find a revenue stream.
The wedding is going great, if you don’t count the fact that the bride is in tears and in need of some comforting from our Aggie. She pulls it off, playing fast and loose with the truth of what was her own marriage. We see a little bit of regret for her youthful indiscretion and marriage at such a young age, but just a touch. Once Agatha calms the bride and the nuptials are complete, it’s the groom that looks uncomfortable. He looks more like he’s at a funeral than at his own wedding.
Meanwhile, Agatha is still not sure where she stands with James Lacey (Jamie Glover), and he has been avoiding her since they kissed. She has let Gemma talk her into yoga classes, maybe to work off her inner frustration with her love life, and on her way to class she drives by a scene by the river. It’s the body of the bride Kylie Stokes (Nell Hudson), and she’s been found floating in the water, still dressed in her wedding gown. And, as you can guess, she’s been murdered.
Agatha generally gets involved in any and all local murders, which are almost as plentiful as those found in Midsomer. She needs no real reason to investigate, but in this case, the fact that she met the bride makes her feel like she’s been put in the middle of things and gives her an excuse to get involved. She ends up promising Kylie’s mother that she’ll find her daughter’s killer.
So the questioning begins, and Agatha discovers that there were quite a few people who had a reason to want Kylie out of the picture. A complicating factor comes to light when Agatha finds out that the body had been frozen before it was put in the river, which just increases the suspect list to everyone who owns a freezer large enough to fit a small bride.
The usual group of friends help Aggie investigate, but this time, they really work as a team. Instead of Roy Silver (Mathew Horne) finding out about people online and Gemma (Katy Wix) asking around the village, they decide to go undercover as a television crew who are planning to put on a reality show about young people living in the Cotswolds, hoping this makes Kylie’s bridesmaids talk to them. They even rope James into helping, but he proves to be a terrible actor and too stiff to pull off the ruse.
The investigation and fake reality TV show uncover several clues and more suspects who had a motive to kill Kylie. Was it the older man she was having an affair with and decided to blackmail? Was it the best friend who also had a crush on the groom? Was it the groom to get out of the marriage? Or, and this is the tricky one, was it Charles Fraith, who it seems deposited 5,000 pounds into the bride’s bank account a day or two before the wedding?
This episode was a bit lacking in the usual Agatha Raisin flair. We didn’t have as many of the memorable one-liners from Gemma, and DCI Wilkes (Jason Barnett) didn’t provide as much comic relief as he usually does. Bill Wong (Matt McCooey) was kind of quiet, and the side characters weren’t as fun or colorful as some of those in previous episodes.
This goes to show that the characters are just as important, if not more important than the mystery in each episode. The show is cast so well that we can’t help but look forward to seeing each person perform their small part in the show, exhibiting their trademark characterizations.
As far as our two lovebirds go, we do see James get a bit closer to Agatha. We see him in a new role, that of protector, when she has dinner with Charles Fraith—since they both consider him a possible murderer. Charles sees that James is pining for Agatha and goes out of his way to let him know that he’s not interested in her romantically, letting James know he’s not trying to stand in his way. We will have to see what the next episode brings, but James really seems to be sorting out his feelings and making a decision on where he wants things to go.
Kerry Hammond loves all types of mysteries. She is a Book Reviewer and Blogger for Mystery Playground. Follow her on Twitter @kerryhammond88.