The village of Midsomer Barton is celebrating Oak Apple Week when a local single mother, Marion Slade, is found drowned in the village stream. It looks like suicide, and that she was driven to it by grief over the death, eight years before, of her daughter, Bella, a local beauty pageant winner. Barnaby investigates and is shaken by two villagers who look like murder victims from his past. Then another body is discovered and it appears that the festivities have stirred up a cocktail of adultery, contempt, unrequited love and revenge in the village. And it all appears to center around Bella Slade.