Midsomer Murders (1997– )
3 user

The Sting of Death 

The Deddington's thriving bee Empire has put Granville Norton on the map, but what lengths will they go to ensure they're never dethroned?


Matt Carter


Julia Gilbert


Episode credited cast:
Aaron Anthony Aaron Anthony ... Cal Ingalls
Annette Badland ... Fleur Perkins
Renée Castle ... Dr. Serena Lowe
Bryan Dick ... Cyrus Babbage
Fiona Dolman ... Sarah Barnaby
Neil Dudgeon ... DCI John Barnaby
Jack Fox ... Jude Deddington
Derek Griffiths Derek Griffiths ... Reverend Nigel Brookthorpe
Nick Hendrix ... DS Jamie Winter
Jacquetta May Jacquetta May ... Melissa Deddington
Pete Meads Pete Meads ... Police Officer
Paul O'Kelly Paul O'Kelly ... CID
Wendi Peters Wendi Peters ... Lynda Babbage
Griff Rhys Jones ... Ambrose Deddington
Isabel Shaw Isabel Shaw ... Betty Barnaby




The Deddington's thriving bee Empire has put Granville Norton on the map, but what lengths will they go to ensure they're never dethroned?

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery



Did You Know?


The title is drawn from 1 Corinthians 15:56: "The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law." (KJV) See more »


Midsomer Murders
(Theme Song)
Written by Jim Parker
See more »

User Reviews

Stinging with silliness
17 March 2020 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Just because "Sting of Death" has gotten a low rating and not too great review from me, doesn't mean that 'Midsomer Murders' is a bad show in my estimations. Not so. It was actually a personal favourite of mine for a while, especially during Seasons 1-9. It did dip in quality in the last few seasons of the Tom Barnaby era, before becoming more inconsistent when John took over (which started rocky and has been up and down since).

"Sting of Death" just didn't do much for me, and am saying this with sincere regret. Being somebody who was actually fairly intrigued by the premise and has found that since the joy that is Fleur Perkins that the John Barnaby era of 'Midsomer Murders' has progressed generally, while still inconsistent of course. It is the worst episode since "Curse of the Ninth", one of the worst episodes of the past few years, a lesser outing of the John Barnaby era and of the whole show's run. It has its moments, but too many things undo it and it is one uncomfortably bizarre episode.

Am going to start with the bad things, which feels like nearly everything to a disastrous level (though actually as said there are moments). Apart from Fleur, one of the best things to happen to 'Midsomer Murders' in a long time, there is not a single interesting, likeable or realistic character in the whole array of suspects. Every supporting character is an exaggerated caricature and nothing else. This is a rare 'Midsomer Murders' episode where even the acting is not good, only Annette Badland and Nina White impress. Neil Dudgeon takes it too seriously and it doesn't gel with the episode's tone, Winter has very little presence and most of the supporting cast especially towards the end shamlessly overact. The murderer is especially cartoonish.

The script has very little intrigue or spark and just goes overboard on the unintentional camp and over-heated melodrama. The worst of it, namely towards the end and at the end, beggars belief. The mystery starts off promisingly and the murders are inventive but it goes downhill rapidly and gets worse and worse. Some of the first half is dull while also trying to do too much and do little with it, too much of it is under-explored and very little shocks or even intrigues. The second half is not just just as bad, it's worse. It's even more over-stuffed and manages to be muddled and insultingly silly.

Lets not get started on the last 20 minutes. The John Barnaby era has its fair share of underwhelming denouements, where they are rushed, last minute with senseless motives and perpetrators, but they are taken to a whole new level here. Very few denouements from this era are as jaw-droppingly ridiculous, unintentionally funny or "lifted out of somewhere else" entirely as that here (reminding one uncomfortably of that for "Blood on the Saddle"), which is also rushed and with too much crammed in.

For all those bad things, there are redeeming values. The production value quality is still very high, very rarely did it disappoint ("Blood on the Saddle" being a rare exception). The music is both pleasant and haunting and it's hard to forget the main theme.

Annette Badland and Nina White as said come off well, considering what is going on around them. There are fleeting moments of charm.

In conclusion, very odd. 4/10

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18 December 2019 (USA) See more »

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