The Wolf Hunter of Little Worthy follows the discovery of local handyman Jez (Attah). He is left with claw marks across his chest and a bullet hole in the head. DCI Barnaby (Dudgeon) and DS Winter (Hendrix) lead the investigation that points towards a wolf hunter urban legend.
The investigation sees the detectives needing to search the small village for answers. It has a popular internet café that has thrived under the urban legend’s new fame. Along with a growing glamping experience. However, with this many suspects, who is behind bringing the legend to life?
This is a great first entry into the season. By mixing a newly formed urban legend with a series of murders. There are plenty of suspects behind the murder that keep us guessing along with the detectives. Nearly everyone we meet could have something to gain from the wolf hunter fame. With the ability to give us a host of substories that give the characters time to flourish, we get a mystery that hits home well. (4/5)
The Stitcher Society (D. Roberto Bangura)
The Stitcher Society follows an elite health club whose newest member Toby Wagner (Jersey) causes a stir. He has previously been found innocent of a crime everyone believes he committed. However, that night one of the few people who believe people should be given another chance is murdered.
Barnaby and Winter are called to investigate, leading them to learn about the social groups in the area. They must navigate the divide created by the murder and who could have been behind the latest one.
This shows the dangers of vigilante behaviour within a small village. It focuses more on the divide in the village, instead of giving us enough to work with. The mystery sees more bodies piling up and plenty of different leads. It keeps us guessing while everything becomes solved. (3/5)
Happy Families (D. Audrey Cooke)
Happy Families follows board game tycoon Victor Karras (Milligan) is killed at his own murder mystery birthday party. The Wells family were behind the game that night, while loved ones and business associates remained in the home. Barnaby and Winter head to the remote location and a storm sees them sharing a roof with the killer.
As the investigation unfolds, the suspect list grows and now the detectives must solve the murder. Each guest has a reason to not like Victor and like most investigations, we have plenty of suspects.
This episode has a real ‘Knives Out’ feeling about it, with the family business on the line. Along with a sleuth acting detective adding some comedy to the story. This like the rest keeps us guessing along the way and is fun to guess along with. (4/5)
The Scarecrow Murders (D. Christine Lalla)
The Scarecrow Murders follows a small village on the eve of a scarecrow festival. One of the main people behind it, Naomia Ashworth (Bevan) is found murdered. Barnaby happened to be attending and takes the case with Winter.
The case sees them investigating another close-knit village who have their problems with each other. Although, they should village keeps face. Now, they all have problems that could have seen them target Naomi. This includes a falsely disgraced Reverend, business partners, a newcomer and others around the village.
In the fourth episode, we get to see a much more personal murder, as the villagers have a closer reality of what happened. It has plenty of mystery going on, along with a few disturbing moments involved. However, this one puts a bit too much of a focus on the detectives and not enough on the crime. (3/5)
The Death Prepare (D. Toby Frow)
The Death Prepare follows an amateur theatre group that discovers a dead body in one of the props. However, nobody knows who the victim is. This brings in Barnaby and Winter to investigate the members of the theatre group.
Here, the detectives learn about the bigger series of events involving the theatre group running low on money. A young member considering giving up his dream for love and a strict enforcer that demands people follow his instructions.
This does feel like one of the weakest in the series so far. It continues to show the larger group of suspects that could create suspects in every conversation. While the bodies pile up, it never feels on the same level as the previous episode in the series. (3/5)
The Witches of Angel’s Rise (D. Gill Wilkinson)
The Witches of Angel’s Rise follows Barnaby and Winter investigating the body of a young woman. She is left in a ritual position, as a ritual festival has just started in a small village. This ends up seeing the detectives getting involved in a case that has a mix of scientific and spiritual minds.
In this episode, we get to dive into an interesting subject matter. However, it does feel a lot weaker than the rest of the series. With, this there is more focus on the special guest appearance than the actual case and things turn into a slow-moving case. (3/5)
Overall Season 22 of Midsomer Murders is an entertaining series of murder mysteries. They might well follow a generic formula, but it works extremely well. The show does an excellent job of making everyone feel like a suspect through the episodes. If you are a fan of the franchise, you will enjoy the continuing adventures of Barnaby and Winter.
Where to Watch: Midsomer Murders Season Twenty-Two is available on DVD from the 18th of September.
Final Thoughts – Midsomer Murders Season 22 is a great series of murder mysteries.