The Cup of Silence
Rosemary & Thyme

Music is the wine that fills it. Blake? Wordsworth? King Crimson, setting up (by way of The Real Thing) ten-pound wine in hundred-pound bottles, the motive for murder.

The innkeeper corks his own, the critic Angus Fairley quaffs the brew and might spill the beans. The inn’s a venerable ruin restored but still favored by film buffs who spill at the drop of a hat the treasure trove in the can, Dance of the Viper Woman (Dennis Quilley as Sherlock Holmes, Cecil Parker murdered), The Many Loves of Genghis Khan (dir. Vernon Sewell), The Body in the Boot (Hazel Court, 1962).

The Land Rover breaks down, the vineyard has weeds, the spice girls pull them for a mechanic’s pay till Rosemary mounts a steam apparatus on a mower.

Ebenezer Scrooge has the name on the door of the critic’s suite at the inn of filmdom. Chains and groaning in the attic are piped up from the cellar where the laundry’s dumped and lugged to a winch. Down there the corking apparatus is uncovered.


In a Monastery Garden
Rosemary & Thyme

On the surface, a “detached-center maze”, in that the two murders are unconnected. The arcane mysteries of the script make it all one.

Canon Matheson is supposed to have died in the Holy Land three years before, actually his wife put his body in the garden well. She and her new husband manage the gift shop.

Financial irregularities having necessitated a bishop’s visitation, things are looking bleak for the cathedral’s millennium. On top of that, the organist injures the dean in a hit-and-run accident, leaving the old boy on crutches. A girl witnesses this, and blackmails the organist.

He leaves a boy in the loft and meets her before evening service. There is a misunderstanding, he knocks her down against a statue of St. Anthony, killing her.

The well is unsealed and centered, the garden is sorted out in time for the Queen’s visit.

Farnham’s views of the cathedral rise to an eminence from the street and the nearly-finished garden, with a fine Proustian long shot pour la bonne bouche.