Agatha Raisin (Ashley Jensen) is still having no luck on the relationship front. Things aren’t going anywhere with James Lacey (Jamie Glover), even though she had high hopes. We see her strut through the village in her signature high heels and impeccable wardrobe, with a huge smile on her face. She’s clearly on the prowl. But why, pray tell, is she dressed to the nines and carrying her cat, Hodge, in a cat carrier?
Cut to James Lacey coming out of the pub to see that the village looks like a ghost town. When he inquires where everyone has gone, he’s told that there’s a new vet in town—and the pieces all fall into place.
Agatha reaches the vet, opens the door, and walks in to see every woman in Carsley in the waiting room with one pet or another. One woman even brought in a goldfish, claiming he’s not himself. Looks like some stiff competition for the new man’s affection. Agatha, who isn’t known for her patience, approaches the receptionist, and the girl clearly isn’t in the mood to help. “Hashtag waiting,” says Agatha.
Suddenly, the door to the back opens, and all the women take in an audible breath of anticipation, only to realize that it’s not the vet they’re waiting for, it’s his partner, Peter Rice (Nicolas Asbury). They let out their breath in disappointment.
When Agatha does finally see the new vet, Paul Bladen (Daniel Ings), it’s clear that, in addition to being quite handsome, he’s quite full of himself. Agatha is about ready to give up flirting, due to his condescending behavior and because she thinks he’s not interested, when he asks her out to dinner. Love-starved and lonely as we know she is, she accepts.
Perhaps Agatha is a bit too lonely because she seems way too eager to put up with this new guy. First, he’s a bit rude in the office, and then, he’s late to dinner. Agatha calls him, and a woman answers the phone, saying she’s his wife. When he arrives and she confronts him, he explains that it was his sister who just arrived in town and was a bit irritated that he was leaving for a date instead of staying home to visit with her. He offers to call the sister to explain, and we’re thinking yes, do that, call her. But, Agatha stops him, clearly believing the story.
When dinner ends and Agatha stops by Paul’s house, things start to get steamy. Surprisingly, though, she makes an excuse and leaves before anything happens. Agatha may have some self-restraint after all.
The next morning, Paul Bladen makes a house call to treat a horse. No one is around when he arrives, and he starts preparing for the procedure, a process that includes taking out a large syringe full of a clear liquid. We know this is not going to end well. Sure enough, he gets conked on the head and the syringe is stabbed into his chest. Needless to say, he does not survive the large amount of horse tranquilizer that is injected.
The police think it was an accident—since it’s so common for people to accidentally stab themselves with a syringe and inject all the contents. Agatha takes it upon herself to investigate, and this time, James offers to help. They question Lord Pendlebury (Douglas Reith), the owner of the stables where the body was found; Bladen’s business partner, Peter Rice; and all of the village women that Bladen had been involved with. The list is way more extensive than Agatha was aware and doesn’t just contain the single women in town—at least one married woman was involved with him. Her husband jumps to the top of the list.
Our investigative team of Agatha, James, Roy, and Gemma (Katy Wix) is in full swing as they search for clues. And, DCI Wilkes (Jason Barnett) is his usual funny self. He’s got his own dancing scene in a night club where they go to question a suspect. The scene does nothing to further the plot, but is extremely funny. He’s full of his usual one-liners too. He tells Agatha and Bill Wong (Matt McCooey): “I don’t think anything. Until someone tells me exactly what to think, I don’t think at all. And neither should you.”
We see another side of Roy Silver (Mathew Horne) in the little side story that features him and a lover he didn’t have the nerve to break up with properly. It was nice to see a bit more of Roy, he’s a fun side character and one of Agatha’s biggest champions.
We had a few items in this episode that required us to suspend our disbelief and go with the flow, namely the police thinking the murder was suicide. But this isn’t a problem; the show is light and contains a lot of humor. We don’t expect the plots to be completely serious or ultra-plausible. I mean, how plausible is it that so many murders happen in such a small village? It’s Cabot Cove all over again, and it should make you want to rethink that vacation to the Cotswolds.
Kerry Hammond loves all types of mysteries. She is a Book Reviewer and Blogger for Mystery Playground. Follow her on Twitter @kerryhammond88.