Title: The Killings at Badger's Drift
Author: Caroline Graham
Protagonist: Chief Inspector Barnaby and Sergeant Troy
Setting: Badger's Drift, a village in the south of England, late 1980s
First Line: She had been walking in the woods just before teatime when she saw them.
Octogenarian Miss Lucy Bellringer insists that her friend, Miss Emily Simpson, was murdered. Until Chief Inspector Barnaby and Sergeant Troy show up in the picture postcard little village, Miss Bellringer couldn't find anyone to pay attention to her. Inspector Barnaby does. He listens to what she has to say, whilst Sergeant Troy tries not to be caught rolling his eyes, and realizes that Miss Bellringer's observations have truth and sense in them. Ordering an autopsy, it's discovered that Miss Simpson was murdered by drinking hemlock-laden wine, and Barnaby soon finds himself with more suspects in that tiny village than a dog has fleas.
I first came to this series via the excellent BBC-TV series "Midsomer Murders" starring John Nettles. Fortunately I left enough time between watching the episode and reading the book for my memory to do an almost total clean erase. As enjoyable and faithful to the book as the television episode was (typical BBC production), I much prefer the book--not that that should surprise anyone! The background of Barnaby in particular gave him such depth and nuance that, as I read the series, he should rapidly climb to the top of my list of favorite UK coppers. The path Barnaby has taken throughout his career, his wife and daughter, his love of gardening, his dry wit--all of these things combine to make him a very special character. In amongst all the seriousness were slipped small laugh-out-loud moments that provided a welcome change in tone and kept me from concentrating on the identity of the murderer.
All in all, an excellent start to a new-to-me series. I'm looking forward to many more investigations with Chief Inspector Barnaby.
A very enjoyable mystery with Inspector Barnaby and Sergeant Troy. First book of the series. Great ending.
#1 Inspector Barnaby British police procedural. The village of Badger's Drift certainly seems to have its share of folks with things to hide. When an 80-year-old former schoolteacher dies of apparently natural causes, her equally aged friend contacts the police and insists that foul play was involved. When DCI Barnaby and his Sgt. Troy investigate, they find she's right, and more bodies quickly follow. Is anyone in Badger's Drift what they seem to be? Excellent 'village mystery' and one I didn't get completely til the end, though I did pick up on parts of it. I really enjoyed this as I haven't enjoyed a book in awhile, and I'm pleased that I didn't put off starting this series any longer. Very satisfying!
Very good. Nice little twist at the end.
While walking in the woods, retired school teacher Emily Simpson sees something she was not meant to see. She is dead the same evening. Her good friend Lucy does not believe she died of natural causes and asks Inspector Barnaby to investigate. People are getting nervous and when the local neighborhood snoop (who does a little blackmailing on the side) is also killed, the situation comes to a head.
Very well written - an interesting, intricate plot and engaging characters.
one of the books that the TV series of movies Midsomer Murders is based on. MUCH more detailed!
I read this book after watching the Midsomer Murders episode and still very much enjoyed the read. I am typically a leisurely reader and the pages of this mystery flew by. Great characters and I look forward to reading more of the series.
good debut-well-done mystery.
The TV series episode followed the plot of the book closely. I enjoyed reading this book and hope to read all Caroline Graham's Barnaby books. I tried to change the posting to indicate that I received an old copy in the exchange that does have more wear on the cover and yellowing of the edges of the pages but I don't believe this notation was included. Normally I wouldn't send this copy out but I believe this book is harder to find and the wearing of the book did not stop me from enjoying this story.
The first of the Inspector Barnaby books, Ms. Graham is off to a good start. Her wicked sense of humor is in good form as her eccentric characters leave hints of what lies underneath but only hints. Sgt. Troy's prejudices and desperate attempts to impress Barnaby are particularly enjoyable. No wonder they developed a television series based on these books!