Sneaking away in the night, they manage to join an expedition of Rus tribesmen who are on their way to take over the Slav city of Novgorod. The three comrades build a trading post there, appoint a factor, and then take the opportunity to move south with another expedition sailing down the Dnieper River with the intention of colonizing the Slav town of Kiev. On the main trade route to the Byzantine empire, the Viking conquerors of Kiev start to organize both Vikings and Slavs into a federation of tribesmen.
The area, just north of the open steppes, is terribly vulnerable to attacks from powerful nomad tribes that roam the steppes to the east and the south. After settling in Kiev, Polonius marries Kuralla, the Slav chief's daughter whom Ambrose saved from a terrible death. Kiev is perfectly suited to control the trade from the north to the fabled city of Constantinople, and the friends work hard to establish a secure base for their Swedish sponsor, Gunnar of the Rus. Within a year of arriving, the new settlers find themselves fighting the Pechenegs, a fierce Steppe nation that is, itself, being forced from its traditional territory.
Thanks to the mobility offered by the Viking ships, the Slav and Viking allies are able to hold back the savage raiders. Polonius acts as a military advisor, and his ideas allow the Vikings to attack the Pechenegs at their most vulnerable point. With their cavalry decimated by the stubborn river people and their own enemies catching up to them, the Pechenegs flee across the Dnieper and move west.
With the Rus leaders now firmly in control of Kiev and much of the Dnieper River Valley, the dead are buried and reconstruction begins.
The Rus have come to stay, and, after long and exciting travels, Ambrose, Phillip and Polonius have found an adopted home. The Lannington Rosary, missing for years, is a relic blessed with healing powers. Professor Hilary Ambrose James Laurenson has sent an ancient prayer book containing a clue to its whereabouts to his old friend Father Brown, before he goes missing and his home is ransacked.
Brown receives unexpected help from the untrustworthy Flambeau John Light , returned from the dead. A terminally ill fellow priest, Father Ignatius Anton Lesser , also desperately seeks the rosary to heal both himself and others. Father Brown is laid up in his attic bedroom with a broken leg, and young Father Roland Eager is acting as his locum.
His film of African orphans being shown at the Kembleford Women's Institute is switched for a pornographic film. In the following days, two members of the Institute are murdered, one poisoned and one stabbed with a hat pin. Inspector Sullivan arrests Dianah Fortescue, whose husband was earlier arrested in a Soho pornographic cinema. Brown investigates with the help of Mrs. Alice Armstrong has been treated by electroshock therapy for memory loss and depression after she accidentally killed her mother.
When her father is murdered and a rope, gun and knife are left behind, Magnus the chauffeur is suspected together with Peter, Armstrong's secretary, whom Alice loves. The truth of a father in debt leads Father Brown to another conclusion about the deaths. Edward Gerard, a prisoner of war who returns from North Korea sympathetic to his captors, greatly displeases his martinet uncle, Colonel Cecil Gerard Nicholas Jones , who threatens to commit him to an asylum.
When the Colonel is murdered, the suspects include the nephew, the Colonel's daughter an adopted Chinese girl the nephew was going to run away with, the brother-in-law, and the victim's wife. Father Brown finds the solution lies in the family history and the Colonel's sexual intentions to his adopted daughter. When Alfred is killed in a threshing machine, the doctor is suspected when accusatory poison pen letters appear.
John Tatton believes his son was having an affair with the doctor's wife, who is pregnant. While racing her car at a local hill climb track , she is killed when her brake line has been cut. Father Brown's investigation infuriates Inspector Sullivan, who already has his own suspect in custody, and the Inspector arrests Brown for a breach of the peace to put an end to his amateur sleuthing.
While in jail however, Father Brown receives more information that makes him believe that he is right, and with Sid and Mrs. McCarthy, he escapes to convince them to do the right thing. Sid stumbles across a dead man about to be put in a river and Inspector Sullivan covers-up the death as an accident. Sid is arrested when he and Father Brown investigate and Lady Felicia is blackmailed by an MI5 spymaster looking for a Soviet agent who has infiltrated an intelligence base in a stately home.
The young wife of Sir Raleigh Beresford dies mysteriously after seeing the coffin of Amenhotep, an Egyptian mummy Beresford had brought back from his excavations some 26 years earlier where his first wife was killed during a rock fall; a curse on the coffin is suspected. The circus returns to Kembleford and local waitress Laura is held to her promise given in jest the year before to marry the clown or the hypnotist. The clown is murdered; in his dying breath he names the hypnotist. Laura's boyfriend, the clown's girlfriend, and another clown are all suspected.
Laura's willingness to marry the hypnotist puzzles Father Brown, even though he agrees to marry the couple. A major is murdered on an army base by a legendary broken sword during commemorations of the men killed during the evacuation of Dunkirk. The sword belonged to the regiment's colonel who used the sword to charge an enemy position with his men.
Father Brown has to uncover the secret of two murders being kept to uphold the honour of the regiment. Loosely based on the story of the same title. The arrest of the new cricket captain of Kembleford's cricket team for the murder of the team's fast bowler, a suicide the year before in the cricket pavilion and a match against a rival village to determine the ownership of the cricket ground finds Father Brown consoling the victim's mother, solving a murder involving blackmail, playing cricket and watching Lady Felicia as the "last man" of the innings.
Father Brown is visiting his old Rector Dudley Sutton at Upcott Seminary for trainee priests when a student commits suicide, Brown attempts to find the truth behind his death and a student a year earlier, both members of a secret fraternity that has closed ranks. The domineering father Simon Williams of a successful young writer, year-old Hannah, is murdered in a locked room and the only suspect is an itinerant traveller who comes to Kembleford every year in a caravan with his mother. Father Brown's suspicions are aroused when the murder has the hallmarks of a boggart, an unwelcome infant from another world created by Hannah in her book.
Father Brown, Mrs McCarthy and Felicia find themselves stranded at a hotel hired by Madame Chania Ronni Ancona and her guests, international playboys, seeking hedonistic pleasures. When a local prostitute is found murdered in the grounds and two of the guests are killed, Father Brown realises they are in the lair of a hunter intent on killing them all.
A dead dog in a vat of wine precedes the shooting to death of an itinerant labourer and theft of wages from the safe in the study of Colonel Anthony Forbes-Leith, owner of a failing winery. Father Brown discovers none of the suspects are who they pretend to be. An exhibition of valuable art at the Belvedere Museum includes a priceless artwork on loan from the Vatican. Father Brown spots his nemesis Hercule Flambeau John Light , not realising he is a pawn in Flambeau's plan to steal the picture and wreak revenge on the museum's curator, a man who during the war had helped the Nazis loot paintings from Jewish families.
Flambeau is shocked to find a woman from his past he thought dead seeking to avenge the death of her parents by killing the curator. Lady Felicia involves Father Brown with Jacob Francis, a young quantum physicist, who claims to have built a time machine so he can go back in time to prove his father was murdered in his locked laboratory by one of his family. When Francis proves his machine works he is murdered in the same laboratory, leaving Father Brown's only option to use the machine and see who killed the father and son. Father Brown and Mrs McCarthy visit the cottage hospital in the village of Standing where many of the children have been struck down by an outbreak of polio.
When a local barmaid is found murdered at the local stone circle, her best friend Ginnie is arrested for her murder when it is discovered that they had fallen out over Ginnie blaming her for her son contracting polio. Unfortunately, the supposed murder weapon that is hoped will clear her only seems to strengthen the case against her. Then a local mystic makes a connection between the death and a legend about sacrificing an innocent at the stones — and someone tries to kill Ginnie and make it look like suicide. Father Brown and Mrs McCarthy are at the local bank when armed raiders force the manager to open the locked safe using Father Brown as a witness.
The robbers flee when the vault is opened and the manager's son-in-law is discovered dead inside. As the only key-holder, the manager is arrested by Inspector Sullivan. Father Brown uncovers fraud at the bank by the manager, financing a seedy nightclub owned by his son-in-law, but he needs Sid's help to break into the vault to discover how the murder was committed. Father Brown hears a penitent in confessional declare that they are going to kill Bishop Talbot the next day during a shooting party organised by a theatrical producer.
Unable to reveal what he has heard, Father Brown also attends the shoot and although saving the Bishop, the Bishop's Assistant Albert Davies is killed instead. Father Brown discovers a deadly pact involving a child abuse victim and the murdered man's wife to kill another man while providing unbreakable alibis. Final appearance of Tom Chambers as Inspector Sullivan. First appearance of Jack Deam as Inspector Mallory. Filming took place at Coughton Court. Sid falls for Grace Fitzgerald, the married heiress to a brewery, and is her alibi when Mallory arrests her for murdering her father in a fire.
Fitzgerald, refusing to use Sid as an alibi, asks Father Brown to search for the real killer and he uncovers evidence that Fitzgerald's husband and her younger sister killed the father. The suicide and a note left by another lover of Fitzgerald complicates the issue as he had been sacked by her husband when he caught them kissing. A former hangman, Henry Lee, is confronted at his wedding anniversary by a mother about her son whom he executed a year before for the murder of a court secretary — an execution where the condemned man whispered to Lee the identity of the real killer.
The following morning Lee is poisoned with hemlock. His friend George, an ex-policeman, is arrested and released. The mother, recently released from prison, is arrested and a motive for Lee's wife emerges. Father Brown untangles a web of deceit and corruption in the police as Lee lies dying. Father Brown is apprehensive when he receives an invitation to a party given by the recently-released Uncle Mirth, a former music hall comedian whom Brown helped put in an asylum. When Brown and the other invitees arrive at the venue, a derelict warehouse, he and Mirth's brother find envelopes containing their death certificates.
Inspector Mallory finds another death certificate for a second brother who had died of a heart attack outside the presbytery the previous day. Father Brown knows the Pope's coronation gift to the Queen of a priceless cross is too tempting to Flambeau and Brown convinces the Bishop to let him guard it. Flambeau arrives on Brown's doorstep seeking his help to steal the cross in order to save the life of his daughter whom he has never met, and who has been kidnapped by Flambeau's criminal partner he once left for dead. Before they can steal the cross it goes missing from the Bishop's Palace.
Brown has underestimated Papal politics, Flambeau's daughter, and the consciences of men. Lady Felicia's reckless driving lands her and Mrs McCarthy in adjoining hospital beds. A new admittance to the ward dies the following morning on the operating table. A nurse claims it is murder and is found dead the same afternoon, forcing Inspector Mallory to do more than his initial cursory investigation. Father Brown, once Sid makes it past the officious substitute Parish Secretary and notifies him of developments, follows a different line of inquiry and Lady Felicia and Mrs McCarthy's snooping put the latter in danger on the same operating table.
A pilot returns from the dead after eight years as Father Brown is about to marry his wife to his brother. No-one except his daughter and the family's dog is pleased to see him, especially his father who believes him to be a deserter. When the returnee is found shot in the head and blood-stained women's clothing is found, Inspector Mallory charges the wife, dismissing the daughter's claims that another woman entered the house. Father Brown finds a visiting card for a cross-dressing bar, realises the identity of the real killer and decides that they cannot be exposed.
Father Brown is puzzled when the grave of a recent burial is opened and the body is missing, only for it to turn up at the premises of a different undertaker. Inspector Mallory is even more mystified as the victim died of decapitation in a motor cycle accident with no sign of other injury.
The undertaker is arrested and the animosity between him and the victim's mother is evident for all to see.
Evarts Ambrose Graham | Biographical Memoirs: V | The National Academies Press
Father Brown uncovers the reason behind their hatred and the forbidden love which the victim had for the undertaker's daughter. Robert Twyman, a leading aeronautics magnate, receives a note that his son, a piano player and contestant in a local variety show, would be killed if he does not confess. Next morning the son is found strangled next to his piano in a locked house with only his father and butler present. Twyman is convinced a journalist piano-player rival of his son is the killer.
Inspector Mallory arrests Twyman after Lady Felicia finds him standing over the dead body of the journalist by her piano. Father Brown notices that both pianists had been somehow playing the same music and the answer is to be found in a book given to him by Doctor Mordaunt Jackson, a psycho-analyst currently giving a lecture in Kembleford.
Final regular appearance of Alex Price as Sid Carter. The Duke of Frome, John Langton, with his wife, their baby born after complications during childbirth, a domineering nanny, nursery maid and valet arrive at Montague Hall for Lady Felicia's Yuletide ball. During the evening the baby is taken from his cot. Inspector Mallory suspects an inside job by the valet when his secret wife arrives while Brown is more interested in the birth of the baby at a home for unmarried mothers.
Mrs McCarthy, under pressure from the diocese to provide a Christmas service fit for a Duke, receives unexpected help from a vagrant, Michael Negal, she finds sleeping in the confessional. Robert Malmort and Joan Vanderlande are brought together by their respective parents with a view to marriage. When the maid Ruby is found dead, Lady Felicia's niece, Bunty, is suspected. Father Brown suspects the answer lies at the end of a Labyrinth and a sad secret the Malmorts are hiding. Following her latest scandalous headlines Bunty's father insists she stay in Kembleford and Felicia needs her to look after her home as she is leaving with her husband, Monty, who has been appointed Governor of Northern Rhodesia.
First appearance of Emer Kenny as "Bunty" Windermere. Kembleford District Council holds an emergency meeting attended by the local clergy to discuss a coven in Crow's wood. Father Brown's liberal views on witchcraft do not go down well and when the body of one of the coven is found dead, feelings run high in the village. Tensions are fanned by the Reverend Gillespie, a Methodist minister whose wife and daughter died in the blitz.
Mrs McCarthy sends Bunty to gather mushrooms for her soup and over dinner. Allsworthy, smitten by Bunty, has reason to propose marriage. Father Brown is drawn into the shady world of London Boxing promoter and racketeer, Denis Nelson, who is involved in illegal betting, fixed fights, and blackmail. Jed, suspected of murder, is arrested and then bailed into the care of Father Brown who uncovers Jed's secret love for Nelson's girlfriend.
She has lured a town councillor into a compromising position so Nelson can obtain a boxing venue. Father Brown has to uncover the murderer, ensure a fair fight and break Nelson's hold over everyone. Bankrupt writer of erotic novel 'Lulu and Lucia', Lucia Morell is murdered with an axe and her hand removed. Subject of a previous attack, her threat to reveal on whom Lulu was based is thought to be the motive. Suspects include Lady Ursula Lansford of Uxbridge who runs a home for released female prisoners, Lansford's son whom Lucia humiliated, the gardener, and two ex-prisoners.
Bunty becomes ill after eating the gardener's soup and one of the girls is poisoned; and when the hand is discovered in Lady Ursula's private bathroom the gardener confesses. Father Brown believes the answer is in the novel, leading to tragic consequences. Katherine Corven, awaiting execution for murdering her husband, summons Father Brown, who helped to convict her, to hear her confession; that she has arranged the death of her lover Raymond Worrall.
When Inspector Mallory finds Worrall, in a locked cottage, dead from a gunshot to the head and Father Brown in possession of a pistol and the key to the cottage, he arrests him on suspicion of murder. Bunty and McCarthy seek to prove his innocence and Sergeant Goodfellow contrives his escape from the police station cell. A Jackdaw egg at the cottage provides Father Brown with a clue to explain the death of Worrall. Agnes Lesser creates aids to detection in the form of dioramas of crime scenes. She invites Father Brown to an awards ceremony at her home where she unveils an exact diorama of her mother' death, at the bottom of a staircase 10 years previously, to the shocked guests including her father, the Chief Constable, and the detective who investigated at the time; hoping the death would be reinvestigated.
When the detective is murdered after removing a miniature newspaper from the diorama; Inspector Mallory is arrested for his murder and Father Brown realises the newspaper holds the clue to the tragic events that had befallen the Lesser family including the death of Agnes younger sister by drowning. Joselyn, Mrs McCarthy' niece and god-daughter, visits and then disappears. With Bunty's help Father Brown discovers Joselyn is at the club where she has been working for months. When one of the other girls, Verity, is murdered at the club wearing Joselyn's costume; Bunty goes undercover as Pepper Seymore, a burlesque dancer, and Mrs McCarthy as a cleaner take jobs at the club looking for clues.
Father Brown uncovers a pregnant victim, jealously, unrequited love, blackmail and other services being offered within the club. Cartwright's husband, a photographer, accidentally kills his assistant, Lewis, boyfriend of Ada, with a cricket bat believing him a burglar.
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Lewis is found to have been poisoned and Father Brown discovers his cache of nude photographs of local girls. One of the photographs is of Ada. Inspector Mallory arrests the photographer while Father Brown wonders why a book, The Lepidopterist 's Companion , is loaned out so often for only a day or two, and who used the photographer's studio where the pictures were taken. Mrs McCarthy walks out with a ne'er-do-well. Simon Gibney. Professor Hilary Ambrose, who is experiencing memory loss and delusions, seeks the help of Father Brown to solve a riddle over years old relating to an Alchemist who hid a formula believed to turn lead into gold.
When one of his students is murdered and the evidence points to Ambrose, Inspector Mallory arrests him. To prove his innocence, Father Brown has to solve the riddle, find the hidden formula, and discover the real killer. Discovering the terrible secret of the formula, and the killer, poses a dilemma for Father Brown but explains why an entire village, Thorndike, disappeared from the map over years ago.
First guest appearance of Alex Price as Sid Carter. When their landlady is murdered by smoke from a blocked chimney, yet her three kittens survived. The three cast members and new producer, who falls for Bunty and wants to impress, are suspected. Father Brown is concerned when Bunty invites the cast members to stay at Montague Hall.
Bunty finds the show announcer's diary revealing his colourful lifestyle and his new found prospects. When he is found dead in a locked bathroom Father Brown realises Bunty and blackmail are the motives.
Aldous Kemp and his daughter Grace arrive in Kembleford for the County Fair to sell a valuable item so he can pay for her training as a doctor. An employee of the East African Postal Service which he had in common with John Hammond whose father's business is failing. Father Brown recognises John's skill as an engraver and that the Tanganyika Green is a stamp.
Bunty lodges the antiques valuer at Montague Hall and is surprised when petrol is stolen from her car while Mrs McCarthy believes he's a fraud. Fear of alien invasion hits Kembleford as Charlotte, daughter of widower William Bailey, goes missing overnight and lights are seen in the sky. Charlotte arrives at the police station and collapses from injury and abdominal pains.
The hospital doctor, a war hero, confirms she is pregnant. William Bailey is found dead the following day from poisoning and Inspector Mallory arrests his gardener, Sean Crimp, he had recently dismissed who was Charlotte's boyfriend. More lights in the sky overnight and Crimp disappears from his police cell. Father Brown finds the answer in a science fiction comic that the younger brother of Charlotte's hospital nurse is reading.
Hercule Flambeau awaiting trial for murder asks for Father Brown to act as his chaplain and professes his innocence yet at his pre-trial hearing he pleads guilty and is condemned to death. Father Brown realises he is part of Flambeau's plan to find a gold medallion hidden by the architect of the prison that Flambeau is being held. A plan that begins to unravel when Flambeau's victim fails to reappear after he is murdered by his wife intent on obtaining the gold medallion for herself. Father Brown has to engineer Flambeau's escape from the death cell.
Katherine Corven awaiting execution for murdering her husband is reprieved on the confession of her housekeeper. Father Brown is afraid she will take revenge on his friends. A wardress from Corven's prison is found hanged in a locked cottage and Corven's alibi is provided by the Mother Superior of a convent where she is training as a postulant. A local reporter pursues Father Brown, accusing him in the press of impropriety with Corven. Bunty goes missing while Father Brown is blackmailed to confirm the story under the threat of Bunty's life.
A Jackdaw flying in the church gives Father Brown the clue to the death of the wardress. British Railways proposes closing Kembleford Station due to non-profitability, causing its stationmaster Ben Webb, to have a heart attack. A fete to save the station finds Webb bludgeoned to death in a trunk on the platform. Learning Webb was a philanderer over many years gives Father Brown many suspects ranging from his pregnant wife Julia, a bus company boss, a British Railways manager, and the church's new cleaner Pandora. The murder is complicated by the fact that Webb died from drowning.
Mrs McCarthy's friend, Freda, dies in her sleep at a care home. Father Brown suspects foul play when he smells an unusual odour from the body. Animosity between Freda's son and Freda's new friend, Charlie, who is to inherit Freda's estate arouses Father Brown's suspicions until Charlie dies in his sleep. Another death and Mallory arrests Freda's son. All the victims were terminally ill and a white feather at each scene confirmed they were complicit in their own death by an angel of mercy.
Hartland school board to research school policing
Bunty's friend, Ellen, who is terminally ill and uses a wheelchair, goes missing and Bunty fears the worst after finding a white feather in her room. Inspector Mallory is taken off the case as he was present at the time. Frobisher was with the War Crimes Commission and war time memories are stirred up when Mallory and Father Brown discover Eric and Christina Worcester, from Poland had respectively connections with the SS and concentration camp survivor.
When Eric commits suicide; a typewritten suicide note gives Father Brown the clue to the killer of Frobisher. Father Brown , Mrs McCarthy, and Bunty attend a ballroom competition and one of the contestants, Lucy Dawes, is murdered; her blind dancing partner Alexander Walgrave, who found the body, believes he knows who the murderer is and asks Father Brown and Bunty prove it.
Father Brown realises the answer lies some time ago when Alexander was blinded when pushed downstairs. To continue his investigation Brown, McCarthy and Bunty join the competition. St Saviours schoolgirl, May Lewis, is found with a serious head injury in the boiler room of the adjoining boys school. Father Brown discovers the weapon, a cricket bat, and Inspector Mallory arrests the owner; schoolboy Daniel Gates her boyfriend. In hospital May is attacked again and her suspected attacker, gardener Jack Coll, is found dead. Father Brown uncovers years of bullying at the school and the use of a modified cat o' nine tails.
Raylan Reeve, an ostentatious American, opens a golf course and during the inaugural competition The Flower of the Fairway for women and Bunty taking part, a serious rival to Reeve's granddaughter, finds a body in the reeds. Inspector Mallory allows the contest to continue when a gunshot is heard and Reeve is found shot dead in his study. Mallory arrests neighbour Hermione Harvey who had a revolver and hated Reeve. Father Brown investigates the family; father, daughter, and granddaughter and uncovers a dark family secret, when a daughter can also be a sister.
Father Brown opens a letter with a key that Flambeau had sent to him a few days before his death. A woman claiming to be his wife Lisandra Flambeau wants the key, but it is stolen while the presbytery is empty. Father Brown becomes part of an elaborate plan of Flambeau and his wife to steal the crown requiring a key and a combination to a safe. Flambeau double crosses his wife and to flush out her husband, she injects Father Brown with a slow-acting poison.
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Third guest appearance of Nancy Carroll returning as Lady Felicia. Glossop is found dead in the bell tower and Father Brown uncovers a web of secrets; gambling, forbidden love, robbery, perjury, and blackmail amongst the group of bell ringers, all having a motive to kill Glossop.