Famous cookery writer Laura Tyler arrives in Prior’s Ford determined to become immersed in village life – and the village drama group’s forthcoming production of offers her the perfect opportunity. But Laura has cause to regret her involvement when murder calls a halt to rehearsals of the play. As for Constable Neil White, the death means that now he must team up with his estranged wife, Sergeant Gloria Frost, to conduct the subsequent investigation.
The course of true love never did run smooth, as the Prior's Ford villagers are beginning to discover. The once-failing Tarbethill Farm is facing a happier future thanks to Alison Greenlees but Ewan McNair doesn't see himself as the sort of husband Alison deserves, while at Linn Hall the return of famous actress Meredith Whitelaw is bad news for her daughter Ginny, anxious to catch the eye of the son of the house.
Taking advantage of recent tourist interest, the residents of Prior’s Ford plan a summer festival. But someone is determined to sabotage the event, and it takes all the villagers’ detective skills to stop the vandals. Meanwhile, at Tarbethill Farm things are going from bad to worse. In dire financial straits, Victor, the eldest son, is tempted by a developer’s offer. But if his father finds out it promises to tear the family apart. At the big house, Lewis remains absolutely besotted by his baby daughter.
Summer is approaching – and life is as eventful as ever at Prior’s Ford. When Tricia and Derek Borland bring home their baby daughter, their elderly neighbours are only too willing to help the new mother. But their enthusiasm begins to wane when it becomes apparent that Tricia is only too ready to take advantage of their kindness.
Paisley, 1920. In the post-war decade of peace, uncomfortable new conflicts are looming. Women no longer take a back seat in the business world and Fiona MacDowall has made it clear that she intends to inherit her father’s furniture emporium. Her half-brother Alex, although born out of wedlock, has other ideas. But it’s Alex’s wife Rose who objects most. A businesswoman in her own right, she owns Harlequin, the town’s grandest and most successful dressmaker’s.