Meryl Johnson is the manager of the Ellerby Building Society. One day she gets two uninvited guests. They want to keep her and her son Toby as hostages for a couple of days and then make her pick up all the money of the society for them. Luckily she manages to get a warning off to PC Ventress without the villains noticing it, and the police put her cottage under surveillance. There have been a number of salmonella related deaths in Aidensfield. The only common denominator seems to be the homemade chicken pie of the Aidensfield Arms. When Toby Johnson gets ill PPC Nicholson, who is on surveillance duty, reports the good Dr. Summerbee leaving, but not arriving (because he was taking a nap). Speaking of Dr. Summerbee, she gets a secretary to help her at the surgery, Jenny Latimer.