'Simply the best detective writer since Agatha Christie' The Sunday Times
Discover the novels that inspired the hit ITV series Midsomer Murders, seen and loved by millions.
The fourth novel in the Midsomer Murders series by award-winning writer Caroline Graham, Written in Blood, stars Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby. Features an exclusive foreword by John Nettles, ITV's DCI Tom Barnaby. If you love Agatha Christie, Ann Granger and James Runcie's The Grantchester Mysteries, you won't be able to get enough of the Midsomer Murders mysteries.
Despite the fierce, and seemingly personal, objections of secretary Gerald Hadleigh, members of the Midsomer Worthy Writers' Circle press ahead and invite bestselling author Max Jennings to talk to their group. Besides, it's not as though he'll say yes. . . So when Jennings turns up to their meeting, they are completely over-awed by his presence.
But before the evening is over, Gerald has been brutally murdered.
Summoned to investigate, Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby discovers that Gerald's life was as much of a mystery to his neighbours as his violent death. The key to the killing must surely be their illustrious guest speaker, a face from Gerald's past. But Jennings is nowhere to be found. . .
Praise for Caroline Graham's novels:
'A mystery of which Agatha Christie would have been proud. . . A beautifully written crime novel' The Times
'Tension builds, bitchery flares, resentment seethes . . . lots of atmosphere, colourful characters and fair clues' Mail on Sunday
'Lots of excellent character sketches . . . and the dialogue is lively and convincing' Independent
'The mystery is intriguing, the wit shafts through like sunlight . . . do not miss this book' Family Circle
Many elements in Graham's Chief Inspector Barnaby mysteries harken back to Christie: a small English village setting, a cast of odd characters, a sagacious inspector with his loyal sergeant. In this fourth entry, following Death in Disguise, the Midsomer Worthy Writers' Circle invites author Max Jennings to speak to them. Circle member Gerald Hadleigh is opposed to the choice but refuses to explain. He asks fellow member Rex St. John to stay with him throughout Jennings's visit. But after the event, the elderly St. John is tricked into departing, leaving Hadleigh alone with Jennings. The next morning, Hadleigh is found bludgeoned to death and Jennings is gone. The members of the Writers' Circle respond variously. St. John falls into a deep depression; Laura Hutton, whose love of the victim was unrequited, pitches into a days-long crying and drinking jag; Honoria Lyddiard evinces little reaction; her sister-in-law, Amy, and Sue Clapton are suitably shocked. Sue's husband, Brian, seems almost ``gleeful.'' The skill with which Graham evokes these characters and explores their individual, often damaged, emotional histories rings of Rendell and P.D. James. The few too many coincidences in the plot will be forgiven for the crisp pace and satisfying twist at the end.