The BBC has just released a two-episode miniseries adapted from Agatha Christie’s murder mystery titled Murder is Easy. It would be fair to say that reading Agatha Christie’s stories is much more engaging than watching something that has been adapted from the source material. But Murder is Easy is an easy-on-the eyes, quite picturesque adaptation of Christie’s work. It might not be that thrilling, but it takes us back to the scenic England village where someone might be murdering people in cold blood. The juxtaposition is nicely explored, but the performances feel jaded. Set in Wychwood village in England, the miniseries shows us how a Nigerian man sets foot in the village and tries to get to the bottom of all the strange ‘accidents’ happening around town. There is a special reason for him to be doing so, and he finds himself going too far down the Wychwood rabbit hole, where a wealthy man named Gordon is trying to set up a whole new town in his name.
Why Did Luke Fitzwilliam Arrive In Wychwood?
Nigeria was still under the rule of the British Empire, and Luke, instead of taking part in the freedom struggle, moved to England to work for an Englishman. He was later ridiculed for taking up the job by his cousins, who were fighting for Nigerian independence. Something happened, so he had to make a plan to visit Wychwood village. He met a certain Lady Pinkerton, who told him about a scenario where a murderer was on the loose. She told Fitzwilliam about two men who had died in her village—Tommy Pierce and Harry Cartier—and that there was possibly going to be a third murder if she didn’t contact Scotland Yard about them. Fitzwilliam was intrigued and followed her, helping her place bets on Derby Day, a day where people gambled on horse races. She had won a lottery but did not survive to see the winnings. She had been run over, and Fitzwilliam decided to visit Wychwood to give the winnings to the rightful owners and perhaps figure out if there was truly a murderer at large or if Pierce and Cartier’s deaths were tragic accidents.
What Did Fitzwilliam Learn In Wychwood?
There was certainly something odd about the ‘accidents’. The village was full of eclectic characters, and Fitzwilliam was a greenhorn who didn’t know whom to trust. He did find a friend in Bridgette Conway, Lord Gordon Whitfield’s wife-to-be. Fitzwilliam made it look like he was a cultural anthropologist, studying English culture and interested in ‘strange accidents’ and ‘superstitious deaths’ for the moment, trying to contrast it with Nigerian culture. Through Conway, Fitzwilliam got into the inner circle of the wealthiest fellow in Wychwood, Lord Whitfield. Whitfield was an interesting fellow, as he gave off the vibe of being a total snob but did not seem like a man who could kill someone, even though he had a motive to do so. Tommy Pierce was mocking Whitfield, doing impressions of him on the balcony, and was said to have fallen to his doom. Harry Carter was said to have drowned after getting too drunk. There came a third death when one of Whitfield’s maids, Amy, gulped oxalic acid, ‘by mistake’ according to Dr. Thomas. Thomas was coming up as a strong suspect in Fitzwilliam’s eyes. There was no link between the deaths except that all the people lived in Ashe Bottom, a little place near the train tracks. Fitzwilliam visited Ashe Bottom and found out that Gordon was the son of a boot maker, but due to the graciousness of the original owner of his house, Ashe Manor, the Waynfletes, he had now become a greedy capitalist trying to make his own town while neglecting Ashe Bottom.
How Did Luke Obiako Fitzwilliam Solve The Case?
So Thomas had the ‘linctus,’ an agent that could cause drowsiness. Perhaps Cartier and Pierce died because they were injected with linctus and lost balance. Fitzwilliam was getting a bit distracted by his attraction to Bridgette, who was clearly unwilling to marry Gordon. She was only doing so because she was out of options. There was no future for an independent woman in 1953 England, and she was herself of the opinion that she was a hopeless romantic who needed reality to slap her back to the ground. A superficial engagement to Gordon was better than getting left to her own resources in the world. Fitzwilliam did get his meeting with Thomas, and it seemed like he was killing off people who were ‘poor’ or of ‘inferior race’. Soon, Reverend Humbleby died, followed by Whitfield’s chauffeur, Rivers. Rivers had openly expressed his dissatisfaction that no investigation was taking place and was soon found dead. Did it mean that Gordon was getting people killed who were questioning him? Thomas, who was the main suspect, died later, and Bridgette and Fitzwilliam found proof that Thomas was embezzling Gordon. Now the prime suspect was Gordon.
Fitzwilliam confronted Gordon Whitfield, and he acted like the deaths were all God’s doing. God was on his side and was punishing those who had harbored ill will against him. He sounded insane, and Fitzwilliam got all his maids, including Amy’s mother, to hear Gordon’s insane theories about providence. Police were called, and Scotland Yard was contacted to check the plate of the vehicle that ran over Pinkerton. It turned out to be Gordon’s Rolls Royce’s plate number, and a letter arrived, and something told Fitzwilliam that Miss Waynflete was the murderer.
Why Did Honoria Waynflete Commit All The Murders?
Pinkerton had told Fitzwilliam that the killer was a respectable ‘person’ who had a point to make. Fitzwilliam was focussing on men as potential killers, when it could have well been a woman. Waynflete’s parents were the original owners of Ashe Manor, and they were impressed by Gordon’s loyalty, when he had snitched on their daughter Honoria Waynflete when she had run off to Cambridge for higher studies. She never forgot about that betrayal. She was off to becoming an independent and knowledgeable woman, whose journey was cut short by Gordon, who ended up inheriting the wealth. Honoria was left with nothing and had to live in Ashe Bottom. She was the one who pushed Pinkerton and told Scotland Yard the lie that it was a Rolls Royce that ran her over. The point she was making was that middle-aged or old women were invisible. Even her plate number wasn’t taken forward to match the cars. She wanted Gordon to lose everything, which is why she killed anyone who had even the slightest bit of trouble with him. The people from Ashe Bottom were envious of him, while Reverend Humbleby had criticized his spending in the new town. Honoria’s plan was to make Gordon come to see Bridgette, and that’s why she had written a letter to him in her handwriting, but it was her misfortune that it was read by Fitzwilliam instead, who recognized the letter was not written by Bridgette.
There was a point where Fitzwilliam even doubted Bridgette, saying that perhaps she was being a fake alibi for Gordon, but she was a pure soul. She almost got killed by Honoria, but Fitzwilliam arrived just in time. After the near-death experience, Bridgette knew that she couldn’t marry Gordon. She had to give freedom a chance. She wanted to be a detective and had done a fabulous job with Fitzwilliam. Fitzwilliam gave the money Pinkerton had won to Pierce’s mother as Pinkerton would have wanted the money to go to someone who could benefit from it. When Luke Obiako Fitzwilliam had solved the case, he figured that working for an Englishman was probably not his fate, and he should go back to Nigeria for the freedom struggle and honor his middle name and his destiny.