Miss Marple: A Murder Is Announced (1985): Season 1, Episode 1 - Part 1 - full transcript

A newspaper advertisement suggests that a murder will occur at an address in an English village. Is it a joke? People assume so - until a man is killed.

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Your tea, Miss Marple.

Thank you, dear.

A very pleasant young man.

Rudi? Hmm.

For a foreigner, I suppose.


There's going to be a murder.

Bloody man Nehru's too clever by half,
that's his trouble. Jolly good.

I said there's going to be a murder.

- What time?
- Seven this evening.

Short notice.

A murder?




- Hinch?
- What is it, Murgatroyd?

- Where are you?
- Hen-house,

Listen to this in the ''Gazette''.

''A murder is announced
and will take place

on Friday October 5th,
at Little Paddocks at 7pm.''

That's this evening.

''Friends, please accept
this, the only intimation.''


What do you think it means?

It means a drink.

Bad sherry, probably.

People don't announce murders.

Marriages, yes, but not murders.

Put that dreadful paper down
and have a look.

- It isn't a dreadful paper.
- You're not even a worker.

- I'm writing a book.
- I mean real work.

It's some sort of party, I expect.

Aren't there some rather boring
bright young things staying at Little Paddocks?

They'll pin pieces of paper on you
and then draw lots.

Somebody's the victim
and somebody's the detective.

Then they turn out the lights
and everybody screams.

Bourgeois escapism, Mother.
The opium of the people.

''Friends, accept this, the only intimation.''

- Sounds very exciting.
- Sounds extremely tedious.

Nonsense, Edmund.
I'm going, and you're coming with me.

Opium? Surely there won't be opium.

- Morning, John.
- Morning, ma'am.

- Good morning.
- Good morning.

A murder, it's scrumptious.

What time did you say it was?

Yes, at Little Paddocks.

Oh, I have a confirmation class.

What a shame! You do
so love a good murder.

May I see?
Yes, it's there.

Amongst the second-hand pianos and
old teeth and cocker spaniels.

It really is an extraordinary announcement,
and so uncharacteristic of Miss Blacklock.

- Patrick, is this your doing?
- No, indeed, Aunt Lettie.

Whatever gives you that idea?

I thought it might be
your idea of a joke.

I can think of much better jokes
than announcing murders in the local rag.

- Julia?
- Of course not.

Do you think Mrs Haymes?

I don't think aunt Phillippa
would try to be funny.

She finds it difficult enough being serious.
Or anything.

It's obviously
some sort of silly hoax.

But why? It's very stupid.

And in very bad taste.

Bunny, there's nothing to get worked up about.

It's obviously somebody's idea of humour.

But it says today.

Today at seven o'clock.

What do you think is going to happen?

Easy. The angel of death
will spread his wings on the blast.

I'll tell you exactly what's going to happen.

At seven o'clock this evening,
half the village of Chipping

Cleghorn will be banging
on the door, agog with curiosity.

I'd better go and see
if there's any sherry in the house.

Poor Lottie, she's so worried.

Two words, five letters and six letters,

''Terminal stiffening of sinews.''

Rigor mortis.

Of course.
Good old rigor mortis.

I wish you wouldn't talk about things like that.

Oh, Hannah, we shall need a bottle of sherry
for this evening. I'm expecting visitors.

- I will not be here this evening.
- What do you mean?

- I am giving you my notices.
- There is no need to give notice.

There IS need, Miss Blacklock.

In the newspaper. They are coming to kill me.

Nobody is coming to kill anybody. It's a joke.

Murdering people is a joke!

In England, everything is a joke.

In Europe, killing people is not a joke.
That is why I escaped.

I promise you, my dear, you are perfectly safe.

You promise?

If somebody was going to murder you,
they'd hardly advertise the fact in the newspaper.

Perhaps in England they would,

but perhaps it is you they mean to murder,
Miss Blacklock.


You've had the central heating lit, Aunt Lettie.

The whole house felt clammy.

Our precious, precious coke?

It was that or our
even more precious coal.

I remember when there
was plenty of coal,

plenty of coke.
Plenty of everything.

- Was this in the olden days?
- Oh, yes, my dear.


- Is there a party?
- Welcome to the scene of the crime.

Is it a joke? I'm very stupid
when it comes to jokes.


There is to be a murder in this room
in about...quarter of an hour.

Here you see the funeral wreaths
and here the funeral supper.

- I don't understand.
- Read this.

- I was explaining.
- It'll be quicker if she reads it for herself.

- I must go and lock up the ducks.
- I'll do it.

Certainly not. Last time,
you didn't put the latch down properly.

I've read what it says,
but I still don't understand.

Nor do we.

Great fun, isn't it?

You don't think anyone will come, do you?

- I shouldn't think so.
- Village people are very inquisitive, you know.

Well, there's a brand-new bottle of sherry
on the premises.

So that won't go to waste,
whatever happens.

Shall I fetch it, to be
on the safe side?

I think Lettie wanted you to
move the table into the bay.

Work, work, work. Will it never cease?

Thank you, Patrick.
When you've done that, would you...

Fetch the new bottle of sherry from the pantry?
My pleasure.

- Yes, that's better.
- How is that better?

We're prepared for guests,
but we don't look as if we're expecting guests.

We give a lovely performance of a quiet evening
at home and look astonished if anybody drops in?

- Precisely.
- I do hope nobody drops in.


Somebody at the door.

Mr and Mrs Borgia from along the road.
They brought their own bottle.

Patrick, could you make a huge effort
and behave yourself?

I'll make a huge effort,
and we'll see what happens.

Colonel Easterbrook
and Mrs Easterbrook to see you.

Thank you, Hannah.

What a lovely surprise.

- Well, good evening.
- Good evening.

Happened to be passing. Quite a mild evening.

- Central heating on?
- The whole house felt clammy.


- Lovely chrysanthemums.
- A bit scraggy, in my opinion.


We haven't started ours yet.

Your chrysanthemums?

Central heating.

Miss Murgatroyd and Miss Hinchcliffe.


Good evening.

Good evening.

Such a lovely evening. We came out for a stroll.

I said to Murgatroyd, ''Why don't we pop in
and see how the ducks are laying?''

It's lovely and warm in here.
Have you got the heating on?

Yes. I'm told the house felt clammy.


- Well, this is jolly nice, isn't it?
- Bang on.

Bang on? Is that what they say nowadays?

I'm afraid so, Colonel.

Mrs Swettenham and Master Swettenham.

- Here we are.
- Indeed we are.

I just popped in to see whether
you might be interested in a kitten.

A kitten?

Our cat is about to...

Be blessed with issue.

Father unknown,
but probably various.

- The result will certainly be a monster.
- Edmond.

- Do sit down, Mrs Swettenham.
- It's jolly warm in here.

- They put the central heating on.
- The house was a bit clammy.


Bet you never had that trouble in India, Colonel.

The odd flood during the monsoon.
No clamminess to speak of.

- Mrs Harmon.
- Hello, everyone.

- Hello, Mrs Harmon.
- Hello, Miss Blacklock.

Not too late, am I?
When does the murder begin?

- No, you're not too late.
- Everybody's still intact.

Julian's simply frantic with
rage he can't be here.

He adores murders.

He writes his best sermons
when he's in the middle of a good thriller.

With four or five decent corpses
littered about the place.

- Oh, sorry. I'm talking too much.
- No, you're not.

When is the murder
going to begin?

If it's going to begin,
it ought to happen soon.

It's just one minute to seven.

- Time to pour the sherry, I think. Patrick?
- Yes.

Phillipa, be a dear.

What do you mean, if?

I know no more about it than you do.


Well, now. Yes, perhaps a cigarette.


- Oh!
- It's beginning!

- Archie? Archie, where are you?
- I'm here, dear.

- Ow!
- So sorry.

- Stick 'em up!

- Stick 'em up, I tell you!
- Isn't it wonderful?

I must say, it's quite impressive so far.


Somebody switch the lights on!

- Anybody got matches or a lighter?
- Yes, I have.

- Try the switches.
- They're off at the mains.


- Get the candles, Patrick.
- On my way.

- He's knocked himself out.
- Serves him right.

She's locked in!

I was cleaning the silver and a man locked me in!

And then I heard shooting!

- Now, stop it!
- Get the candles!

Miss Blacklock!

- You're bleeding!
- Something grazed my ear.

There's blood all over you.

Well, ears bleed. Everybody knows that.
Patrick, where are those candles?

We can't do anything...

- Phillipa's mending the fuse.
- Thank goodness.

Better take a closer look at the fellow.

Good God! The man's dead!

- It was just the one fuse gone.
- Better see who it is.

Anyone know him?

- Never seen him in my life.
- Nor me. He looks so young.

Do you think he shot himself?

Could have been an accident
if he tripped over that cloak thing.

- I know him!
- You do?

Lettie, it's that young man
from the Spa Hotel at Medenham Wells,

who came asking you for money.

- So it is.
- He might have killed you.

He came here to kill you, Lettie!

Phillipa, give Bunny some brandy.

Julia, run upstairs and get
some sticking plasters.

My blood seems to be
upsetting everybody.

Ring for the police.

Rudi Scherz.

Swiss nationality.
Employed here as a receptionist.

Yes, this is... he.

How long was he working for you, Mr Rowlandson?

I took the liberty in checking in my files
before you arrived.

A little over three months.
Good credentials, references, permits, et cetera.

Would you like to have a look at these?

I'll take your word.

Was he satisfactory?

Um, quite satisfactory, Inspector.

- That sounds to me like a negative judgment.
- Purely conjectural.

There were a couple of misunderstandings
about the bills,

items charged that oughtn't to have been.

- We assumed it was carelessness, inexperience.
- But it wasn't?

You now tell me
that he was some sort of criminal,

so I suppose he could have been
trying to cheat our customers.

But it's still different from an armed hold-up.

Any women in his life?

- One of our waitresses.
- Name?

Myrna Harris.

You were friendly with Rudi Scherz?

- I didn't know what he was like...
- We don't know what he was like.

I want you to help me find out.

Well, you always think that anybody
who works in reception's bound to be all right.

They're very careful when they employ people,
especially foreigners.

- Was he with a gang?
- We think he was working on his own.

He was a lovely dancer, nice to go out with.

Best seats at the pictures
and bought you flowers and...

I'm sorry he's dead.

Er, there's one.


Stuff's been going missing, you know.

- What sort of stuff?
- From rooms.

A diamond brooch, I think,
and a little gold locket.

Might not have been him.
Might've been me.

But it wasn't.

- You liked him?
- Yeah.

He talked big, mind you,
but I got used to that during the war.

The Poles were bad enough.

The Americans were even worse.

How did he compare to them?

He talked as big.
Said he came from a rich family in Switzerland,

only he couldn't get his money here
on account of the currency regulations.

That's what he said.

He didn't wear rich clothes. Very ordinary.

Not real class, you know?

I know.

And he'd saved all kinds of people
from certain death in the Alps.

I didn't believe that, either.

Did he ever mention Miss Blacklock?

No, I don't think so.

She sometimes comes here for lunch
so he might have met her, but...

Did he ever mention the village
of Chipping Cleghorn?

I think he asked about the buses once.

What time they went.

Not sure if it was Chipping Cleghorn.
Might've been some other Chipping.

There's a lot around here.

I wouldn't have gone out with him
if I'd known he was a crook.

But I'm still sorry he's dead.

Oh! Good morning, Inspector Craddock.

You've checked the house?

Sir. No fingerprints.
No signs of forced entry.

But the doors seem to be unlocked
most of the time anyway.

Scherz seems to have come
from Medenham on the bus.

It arrives in Chipping
Cleghorn at 6:30.

Why did the lights go out?

The drawing room and the hall
are on the same circuit.

If you can organise for them
to fuse at exactly seven...

You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din.

As you might say, sir.

Tell me about the people here.
Miss Blacklock?

- I think she's all right, sir.
- Miss Bunner, is it?

Nice woman, sir.
But, with respect, a bit scatty.

- Patrick Simmons?
- Fancies himself as a joker.

- Julia Simmons?
- Just fancies herself.

Philippa Haymes.

I haven't met her yet.
Out for work all day.


Pretty garden.

This is where the incident occurred?

- Yes.
- But we tidied up, of course.

Such a mess! Tables knocked over,
people barging about in the dark.

And a nasty cigarette burn.

But that happens
all the time these days.

Bunny. I think we should
answer the questions.

Thank you, Miss Blacklock.

Tell me when you first saw Rudi Scherz.

- Was that his name?
- Yes.

Oh, it was about three weeks ago.

We went shopping for the day in Medenham Spa.
We had lunch at the hotel.

He came over to our table

and said he was the son of the proprietor
of the Hôtel des Alpes in Montreux,

where my sister and I stayed during the war.

- Did you remember him?
- Oh, no!

All these boys at reception desks look the same.

- And then he came to see you?
- Yes, ten days ago.

He had some absurd story about
his mother being dangerously ill

and needing the money to
get back to Switzerland.

- You didn't give him any money?
- Certainly not.

Very wise.

I was secretary
to a financier for many years.

I know all about hard-luck stories
and appeals for money.

When he came here, did
you sense that he might

have been spying out the land,
so to speak?

- You mean casing the joint?
- Yes, that's what I mean, Miss Bunner.

Yes, it is quite possible.

I remember he took a keen interest in the house.

But all that elaborate nonsense.

The advertisement in the newspaper.

I just really don't understand any of it.

- Do you keep much money here?
- A few pounds, no more.

- Jewellery?
- A couple of rings and brooches.

- These cameos.
- There's nothing worth stealing.

It was revenge, Inspector.

Lettie refused to give him the money,
and he came here to kill her.

That's where he shot at you, Miss Blacklock?

Just a scratch. Made a lot of blood, but it...

Tell me what happened.

- The clock struck.
- Seven.

And then the lights went out.

- And next?
- The door opened.

- Which door?
- That door.

- What about that door?
- Never used.

That's a hangover from when this was two rooms.

So, this door opened and...

Well, there he was.

- A man with a revolver.
- A masked man with a revolver.

And I thought...

I mean we all thought that it
was just some silly joke.

- And then he said something.
- ''Hands up, or I shoot.''

- Something like that.
- You put your hands up?

Oh, yes.

It seemed like part of the game.

He shone his flashlight in my eyes.

It dazzled me. I began to get annoyed about it.

And then?

Well, then there was the first shot.

Somebody screamed, I think.

And then I felt the pain in my ear.

You see? It wasn't just a scratch.

Where were you standing,
Miss Blacklock?

Over here by the table.

- I was reaching for the cigarette box.
- There are the bullet holes!

He WAS trying to kill you.

You tell her, Inspector. She won't believe me.

And having failed to shoot you,
he then turns the gun on himself?


Do you think it's obvious?

Of course I don't inspector.
I think it's absolutely ludicrous.

He wasn't the sort of
man to shoot himself.

Or anyone else, for that matter.

Oh, will you take those away? I hate dead flowers.

I picked them fresh yesterday.

Even flowers don't last the way they used to.

- Is Miss Bunner a relation of yours?
- No, an old friend.

We were at school together.

About a hundred years ago.

- A companion.
- We keep each other company.

And the other people who live here?

Patrick and Julia.

They call me Aunt Lettie,
but they're actually distant cousins.

Oh, sorry.

Aunt Dora says the police want
to cross-examine everyone. Is that so?

This is Julia.

Since you're kind enough to volunteer,
Miss Simmons, Inspector Craddock.

- This is Sergeant Fletcher.
- We've met.

- Have you finished with me for now?
- I think so.

Oh, will you be speaking to Hannah?

Hannah is?

- My cook.
- She screams a lot.

- The poor girl is a refugee.
- Nationality?

I asked her that. She said, ''I do not know.
I have not read ze papers today.''

Please don't be prejudiced against her,
just because she tells lies.

There are a lot of atrocity stories around now,

but I think there is a real core of truth
in some of hers.

I can't help feeling sorry for her.

- And she is a very good cook.
- When she feels like it.

I shall bear all that in mind.

Thank you.

- Would you tell me about last night.
- I told Sergeant Fletcher.

- He wrote it all down.
- I'd like you to tell me.

Well, a lot of tiresome people called round.

- Who?
- In order of arrival?

Colonel and Mrs Easterbrook,
Miss Hinchcliffe and Miss Murgatroyd,

Mrs Swettenham and Edmund Swettenham,

and Mrs Harmon, the vicar's wife.

They all said the same things,

''Lovely chrysanthemums'' and ''I see
you've got your central heating on.''

Except Mrs Harmon.

She said what everyone
else was thinking.

''What time's the murder?''

- You like Mrs Harmon?
- She's the best of the bunch.

And then?

The lights went out and
this man walked in

and said, ''Stick 'em up''
or something equally ridiculous.

Then the shooting started.
It wasn't ridiculous any more.

Was the only light from the man's torch?


And from what you could see,
when he fired the shots,

was he aiming at Miss Blacklock?

I shouldn't think so.

A revolver in one hand,
a torch in the other,

having to keep that door open,

everybody all over the place,
he'd do well to hit anyone.

If he wanted to take
a pot-shot at Aunt Lettie,

I can think of better
ways of doing it.

Stand behind a hedge and do it. Bang!


But to fill the room with neighbours
and put that advertisement in the newspaper...

It's more like a student rag.

You're a student, I believe, Miss Simmons.

I'm training as a dispenser
at Milchester General Hospital.

But if I'd planned last
night, as a joke I wouldn't

have filled the room
with colonels and vicars' wives.

And if you were planning a murder?

I'm a dispenser.

I'd mix a lethal potion.

Quick and clean and quiet.

Ah. Should I make a note of that?

Better not, in case anyone else
pops off in suspicious circumstances.

- Is your brother at home?
- No, he went out somewhere.

- He's a student too, did you know?
- Really?

Milchester University.
Reading engineering. Occasionally.

He's a bit of a waster.
But I like him, considering he's my brother.

And I believe he was
quite heroic during the war.

I might have a word with Hannah, in that case.

Crazy foreign cook?

An obvious suspect, Inspector.

All my life I am pursued by men in uniform.

I escape to England, thinking I will be safe.

Still I am pursued by men in uniform.

- We're not here to arrest you.
- No?

- I want to know about last night.
- Last night?

I see the announcement in the paper
and I know I am going to be murdered.

I try to leave, but she will not let me.

- She is a very strong woman.
- Miss Blacklock?

Yes. The others are silly
but she is strong.

You stayed, and then what?

The doorbell rings. I answer the door.

The doorbell rings again.
I answer the door again.

The doorbell rings again.
I answer the door again.

After the people had arrived.

Oh... I go to the dining
room to clean the silver.

I hear shots.
I scream!

I try the door. It is locked.
I scream again.

Somebody turns the key and let me out.
I scream again.

Somebody hits me. I see blood.

- You scream again?
- I think so.

- Are you going to arrest me?
- Not today.



Am I too late for the sleuths?

Mr Patrick Simmons.

Am I under suspicion?

There is a feeling that placing the advertisement
was your style of joke.

It is the sort of thing I go in for.



At some point, we'd like your version
of what happened last night.

It'll be as confused and
contradictory as everybody else's.

Perhaps you'll tell us
where we'll find Mrs Haymes.

Our Phillipa?

She works at Dayas Hall, assistant gardener.

- I know it, sir. Along the road.
- Phillipa doesn't say much.

She's nice in an anonymous sort of way.

Not the murdering kind. But then, nobody is.

- Somebody must be.
- Unless the fellow shot himself.

Peculiar way to commit suicide.

Equally peculiar way to commit murder.

So, what is your conclusion?

It's easier being an engineering student
than an ace detective.

You arrived home at what time?

About six.

I had a bath, got changed,

then found some sort of party
was about to happen.

When you arrived home, which door did you use?

The side door. I'm generally a bit mucky,
so I never use the front.

Was the door unlocked?

- Yes. I locked it when I came in.
- I see.

Tell me about the... hold-up.

The lights went out exactly
as the clock was striking seven.

The door opened and...

..this man shone a torch on us and flourished
a revolver and told us to put our hands up.

Which you did?

No, I didn't, actually.

I thought it was just fun.

And I'd been working all day, so I thought,
''Bother it, I'm not putting my hands up.''

You were bored by the whole thing?

Yes, I was, rather.

Where were you standing?

By the mantelpiece. I was looking for my lighter.

When the man shone the torch around the room,

did you get the sense
that he was looking for somebody?


He wasn't looking for anybody?

Thinking about it since it happened,

he did it in a vague
sort of way,

waved the torch about aimlessly.

As if he hadn't the faintest
idea what he was there for.

- When you saw the body, did you know the man?
- No.

But then, I can't really afford to eat
at the Royal Spa Hotel.

That being so, presumably you don't keep
any valuable jewellery at the house.

I wish I could.
My engagement ring and a couple of brooches.

Are you aware of anything valuable in the house?

Not what you'd call loot.

Some quite nice silver.
But nothing out of the ordinary.

Miss Blacklock likes to wear her strings of pearls,
but they're just costume.

I'm sorry to be so unhelpful.

Patrick says I'm too sensible for my own good.

It's not a bad thing being sensible, Mrs Haymes.

And he stood there,
a shadowy figure with a revolver

and that blinding torchlight
sweeping around the room,

and he said, ''Your money or your life.''

He said nothing of the sort, Mother.

I've never enjoyed myself so much for years.
Until the bullets started.

Then it was quite dreadful.

- Where were you standing when this happened?
- I've no idea. Where was I standing, Edmund?

I don't know.

- Do you remember who you were speaking to?
- Either Mrs Harmon or Colonel Easterbrook.

- I think. Edmund?
- I haven't the faintest idea.

Do you remember who YOU were speaking to?

I was in the middle of the room,
talking to Julia Simmons.

When the man shone the torch,
did he hold it still or move it around?

It was right in my eyes for ages.
I couldn't see a thing.

He moved it around slowly,
so as to see what we were all doing.

Three shots were fired. Two of them hit
the wall, one of them injuring Miss Blacklock.

The third killed the intruder.
Was it suicide or an accident?

It certainly seemed to me like one of those.

Though I did say to Edmund
it felt more like murder.

Except that, it doesn't really
make sense, does it.

You've just told the inspector
that it was all three.

- Don't be silly.
- Murder, suicide, and an accident.

I'm simply trying to be helpful.

And I appreciate it, Mrs Swettenham.

Psychology, There's your answer,

- Psychology?
- Understand the criminal mind.

Why put the advertisement in the paper?

Wants to draw attention to himself.
Had a rough time at the hotel,

staff looking down on him
because he's a foreigner. Can easily happen.

Chances are some pretty girl turned him down.
He wants to win her affection.

How will he do it? He'll be the tough guy.

The gangster, the masked man
with a gun, the hero.

A Robin Hood with an audience to play to.

Robbery with violence.
Steal from the rich.

- And it all goes wrong.
- Took the words right out my mouth.

The crucial moment comes,
loses his nerve. Panics.

- Shoots blindly in all directions.
- You thought he shot blindly?

Oh, no doubt about it.
Room full of people, he misses the lot.

Suddenly it becomes real to him.

The dream becomes a nightmare.

Can't face the truth about himself.

Decides to put an end to it all.


Isn't it wonderful, Inspector?
Archie knows exactly what happened.

Yes, Mrs Easterbrook. Wonderful.

Do you like pigs, Inspector?

I love 'em.

Make a nice rasher by Christmas, this one.

Yes, I'm sure.


What can I tell you?

Anything you remember
about the incident last night.


We used to have incidents in the ARP
during the war.

Saw some incidents then
would make your hair curl.

Enjoyed every minute of it.

You mean,
where was I when the shooting started?


Leaning up against the mantelpiece,
hoping to God somebody would offer me a drink.

Tell me about the shots. Were they fired blindly
or aimed at one particular person?

No idea.

The torch was whirling around dazzling everybody.

And...the shots were fired.

All I could think was, it was
that damn fool Patrick up to his silly games.

- You thought it was Patrick Simmons?
- Process of elimination, really.

Edmund Swettenham's some sort
of intellectual communist who writes books.

Bit soft if anything.

The Colonel isn't one for jokes.

Patrick's wild enough for anything,
though not robbery with violence.

What about your friend Miss Murgatroyd?
Did she see anything?

- Murgatroyd!
- Here!

She's up a tree.


She won't be much help.

Listen to her, by all means,
but don't take too much notice.

- Is it Scotland Yard?
- Inspector Craddock from Milchester.

Oh, even better. Have you found any decent clues?

All he wants to know is where you were
when the crime took place.

Oh, dear, of course.
I ought to have been prepared.


Uh, now, let me see.

- I was with everybody else.
- You weren't with me.

I remember that girl screaming
and a voice saying, ''Put them up, please.

''Stick 'em up!''
And he certainly didn't say please.

Oh, dear, I'm sorry
I can't be more helpful.

I get so confused.
It's all such a blur.

- Is there anything else you want to know?
- No, I don't think so.

The Inspector's already made up his mind
about you, Murgatroyd. No question of it.

I'll say anything that'll help.
If it's likely to help.

I think you'll find the vicar's wife
more value than the two of us.

We're more used to pigs.

You've both been extremely helpful
and I'm very grateful.

Thank you.

Oh, Hinch, was I very awful? I get so flustered.

As usual, you were quite astonishing.

Thank you.

Well, you see, I hate being dazzled,

so when he shone the torch I shut my eyes.

And I hate loud noises,

so when he fired the shots
I shut my eyes even tighter.

I wish it had been a quiet murder.

When did you open your eyes?

When I was quite sure
that the bangs had stopped.

Some people were out in the hall with candles.

Then the lights came on
and everybody was normal again.

People in the dark are
quite different, aren't they?

What did you see then?

The young man, Scherz. Is that the name?


Was lying there dead with a revolver beside him.

He looked so young and surprised.

It doesn't make sense.

All this, in Chipping Cleghorn.

I agree.

Except I have to make it make sense.

They all tell different versions,

Even if they told the same version,
it still adds up to nonsense,

- An important question, Fletcher,
- Sir?

How good is your typing?

Rough, but accurate.

Good. The Chief Constable likes accuracy.

I'll try not to disappoint him.

- Sit down, Craddock.
- Thank you, sir.

- Anything new since you wrote this report?
- Information from the Swiss police.

- Scherz had a criminal record.
- Ah.

Petty thieving. Falsified entries, cheques.

- A dishonest man?
- But in a small way.

Don't small things lead to larger things?

- I'm not sure, sir.
- It seems very clear to me.

Scherz travelled by bus
to Chipping Cleghorn,

evidence of the conductor
and two passengers.

He got into the house, probably by the front door.

He held up the company, assembled
by placing an announcement in the newspaper,

which we know he did,
evidence of the cashier in the ''Gazette'' office.

He then fired three shots.

Two go into the wall
and one goes into him.

In my practical world, that means
that a coroner's jury

is going to bring in a verdict
of suicide or accidental death.

Either way, we can draw a line across the ledger
and turn to the next page.

I have the feeling that
that silence indicates that you disagree.

- I disagree, sir.
- Why?

- I don't know exactly.
- Offer me a theory.

Miss Bunner insists that
Scherz intended to murder Miss Blacklock.

Is Miss Bunner a reliable witness?

Utterly unreliable.

She's a very sweet, slightly scatty old lady.

But she's totally sincere
and it's all her own idea.

Nobody's put it there, and she insists.

A personal question, Craddock.

How do you get on with scatty old ladies?

I have nothing against them in principle, sir.

Good. Because there's one
staying at the Royal Spa Hotel.

It's a Miss Marple,

Miss, eh, Jane Marple.
She's an old friend of Sir Henry Clithering,

His opinion is you should take Miss Marple
into your confidence,

Show her your report, if you like,
She's entirely trustworthy,

Well, thank you
for letting me see those, Inspector.

Any observations, Miss Marple?

- Yes, but may I digress a little first?
- By all means.

I should like to show you something.

I'm staying here for a few days,
taking the spa waters.

Rheumatism, you know.

Well, you don't know,
but when you're my age, I'm afraid you might.

Of course, I couldn't afford to stay here
but I have a generous nephew called Raymond.

Now, then, here we are.

- A cheque?
- Yes.

- He altered it.
- He?

The young man who worked at the desk
and who is now dead.

You see, it was for seven pounds
and he altered it to seventeen.

A stroke in front of the seven
and a ''teen'' added to the word ''seven''.

Yes. Very neatly done.

A certain amount of experience
and practice, I should say.

As you say, very neatly done.

The bank sent me my cheques this morning
and I noticed it at once.

- What made you notice?
- I never write a cheque for £17.

- But you do for seven?
- Oh, yes, quite often.

Of course, what struck me
was that the young man had a shifty eye.

- A shifty eye?
- Yes. The kind that never blinks.

It reminded me of Fred Tyler.

- Should I know Fred Tyler?
- Oh, no. No.

He worked at the fish shop in my village.

Always adding an extra one
to the shillings column.

You know, people very rarely check their bills.

Fred Tyler would look people in the eye
and smile

and steal enough money to take Jessie Sprague
to the pictures and buy very loud ties.

Well, as you suggested,
you were quite right in your diagnosis.

Rudi Scherz had a...

- More coffee?
- No, thank you.

- Miss Marple?
- No, thank you. I shall last until teatime now.

Thank you.

Have you talked to her inspector?
I'm sure you have.

- Yes, I did.
- Talk to her again. There's more to come.

She brought me kippers this morning,
instead of herrings, and forgot the milk jug.

You see, he may have told her who it was.

- I'm sorry, who what was?
- Who it was put him up to it.

You think somebody
put him up to it?

Well, I... Yes, I think
that's obvious, don't you?

To be truthful,
it's not all that obvious to me, Miss Marple.

I am so sorry. Do forgive me.

But, you see, here is a personable young man.

He filches a little here and there, a petty thief,
likes to show off to the girls.

Then suddenly he goes off with a revolver
and holds up a whole room of people.

Well, he'd never have
done a thing like that.

We have witnesses to say
he did precisely that.

Oh, no. You have witnesses to say that
he flung open the door and shone a torch.

- And pointed a gun.
- But it was dark.

How could they possibly have seen the gun?

- You mean...
- They thought they saw a gun.

They heard shots. They heard him say,
''Stick 'em up'' or words to that effect.

Afterwards, they saw the gun lying on the floor
but they couldn't have seen it when he came in.

- Which means somebody else fired the shots.
- That's logical.

The same person who persuaded Rudi Scherz
to put the advertisement in the paper

and to burst open the door,
shine a torch and say those ridiculous words.

You're telling me to look for a Mr X?

A Mr, Mrs, or Miss X, I should say.

You know, Inspector,
some of the best murderers are women.

Especially in an English village.

You turn over a stone,
you have no idea what will crawl out.

- Somebody who wanted to kill Miss Blacklock.
- Well, it has that appearance.

Well, I must say,
you've turned my entire investigation inside out.

Oh, I'm so sorry.
I didn't mean to interfere, Inspector.

- May I cause you yet more trouble?
- If you like.

May I change my mind
and have some cheese and biscuits?

And talk to that girl again.
She's very frightened.

- Frightened?
- Someone shot Rudi Scherz.

Somewhere in Chipping Cleghorn,

a killer is at large.