A royal visit to a family owned munitions factory spells a red letter day for Oxford's finest.
Unfortunately, the red letters in question spell M.U.R.D.E.R.
The prospect of a visit to Oxford by HRH Princess Margaret, who is to unveil the British Imperial Electric Company's latest weapon of mass destruction the ‘Standfast' Mk II missile at a Cowley factory, has put a spring in the step of Chief Superintendent Bright.
Endeavour, still languishing on General Duties, is excluded from the event. But no sooner has the ceremony drawn to a close than he finds himself deeply embroiled in the affairs of the factory and its owners, the darkly dysfunctional Broom family. For an unpopular worker, Percy Malleson, has been found murdered in a secluded area of the shop
floor. One of his Malleson's colleagues, Lenny Frost, falls suspect, there is bad blood between them resulting from industrial accident. Bright, under pressure from above, is eager for the case to be resolved as quickly and quietly as possible. But Endeavour, brought into the intoxicating orbit of Alice Vexin, who carries a torch for him from their student days, remains unconvinced this is such an open and shut case. Endeavour's dogged pursuit of justice
offends both Bright and the factory's top brass; as he exhumes secrets that many would rather have remained long buried.