Commander Dalgliesh Returns to the Scene of the Crime in an Encore Presentation of P. D. James's Original Sin
Book publishing, is a competitive business, and none feel it more keenly than
the staff at Peverell Press -- for at Peverell, publishing has become a cutthroat affair.
There's a snake in the grass at Innocent House. The elegant, melancholy
mansion on the Thames, which for more than a century has served as home to Peverell Press, is hardly "innocent." It was a cold, silent witness to the suspicious suicide of Lady Peverell, wife of the Press founder's grandson, Sir Francis Peverell. And now, 160 years later, history, may be repeating itself.
Commander Adam Dalgliesh finds himself at Peverell Press's Innocent House offices at the request of one of his longstanding, literary heroes, poet and
Press partner Gabriel Dauntsey (Ian Bannen). Dauntsey asks Dalgliesh to
investigate the anonymous typewritten threats recently received by members of Peverell's board -- Dauntsey included:
Once upon a time you had a talent, a very minor talent, but it is long
You contribute nothing to the Press which has employed you for so long.
You have no family and few friends. What is the point of your continued
existence? Why don't you do us all a favor and save me a tedious chore
terminating it forthwith?
When the body of recently dismissed editor Sonia Clements is later discovered
on the premises, Dalgliesh's friendly consultation takes a new turn. His
preliminary investigation leads him to Peverell's brash and ruthless young
managing director, Gerard Etienne (James Wilby). In his first year at
Peverell, Etienne has made scores of unpopular changes and troubling cutbacks,
leaving Peverell's staff on edge -- and, very definitely, hostile.
But Clements's death is ruled a suicide, and the case is closed -- until a
stuffed snake is found wrapped around the neck of the cold-blooded Etienne,
leaving Dalgliesh and his crack assistants, Detective Inspectors Kate Miskin
(Lizzie McInnerny) and Daniel Aron (Tim Dutton), with a murder to solve. And
it won't be easy: the late-publisher had a long list of enemies, from board
member and former lover Frances
Peverell (Amanda Root) to his executive secretary Miss Blackett (Carolyn
Pickles); his indifferent sister Claudia (Cathryn Harrison) to disgruntled
former Peverell author and self-proclaimed grand dame of mystery
fiction, Esme Carling (Sylvia Syms). Motives abound -- and another victim
Dalgliesh soon becomes convinced that the answer to Etienne's murder lies buried deep in the past -- but whose?
Dalgliesh is running out of time as the body count continues to rise when D.I.
Aron discovers a long-forgotten photograph -- at once a shocking picture of the
past and an unexpected new lead.
Introduction | More | Episode Descriptions | Cast and Production Credits