1. The Killings at Badger's Drift (1987)
2. Death of a Hollow Man (1989)
3. Death in Disguise (1992)
4. Written in Blood (1994)
5. Faithful Unto Death (1996)
6. A Place of Safety (1999)
7. A Ghost in the Machine (2004)
The central character is Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby played throughout the TV series which began in 1997 by John Nettles. Other characters such as his wife Joyce, his daughter Cully, the forensic pathologist George have all been played by the same actors, while Barnaby has had 3 DSs. See the following from Wikipedia.
- John Nettles - Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby
- Daniel Casey - Detective Sergeant Gavin Troy (1997 to 2003, 2008)
- John Hopkins - Detective Sergeant Dan Scott (2003 to 2005)
- Jason Hughes - Detective Sergeant Ben Jones (from 2005)
- Jane Wymark - Joyce Barnaby
- Laura Howard - Cully Barnaby (1997 to 1999; from 2002)
- Barry Jackson - Dr George Bullard (1997 to 1998; from 2000)
My database contains only one record of a book that I have read in the last 3 or so years and that is for THE GHOST IN THE MACHINE. And it seems from my rating of 3.5 that I wasn't all that impressed.
I think the bit in italics probably came from the blurb of the book (which used to be what I did in my database before I became more confident about writing my own abstracts)
In the village of Forbes Abbot, Dennis Brinkley is the subject of much local gossip as he collects replicas of old war-weapons and torture devices of varying sizes. Paradoxically, one of the collector's war machines crushes him to death. The villagers believe that a freak accident occurred, but his best friend Benny thinks someone is getting away with a homicide. The locals believe that Benny's contention is substantiated when psychic Ava Garrett insists she will ask Dennis to identify his killer at a séance she is hosting. However, before she can call on Dennis, an unknown assailant kills the psychic. Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby and Detective Sergeant Gavin Troy investigate the two homicides.
This took too long to get to the bit where Barnaby and Troy were involved (nearly half the book) and there were too many side plots. Barnaby is getting ready for retirement in 6 months, is Graham too? As usual with Graham, the last chapter gives you a future view, and this gave the impression of having been written in a hurry. I think the editor should have got ruthless with the first half of the book and made her work harder in the second half.
Anyway, review aside, my advice is never to visit the area of Midsomer during a festival! Because that is when murders occur. The probability of being caught up somehow in a murder as victim, witness, or even perpetrator is incredibly high. Besides all they seem to do in Midsomer villages is have festivals. It must be a positive mecca for tourism although sometimes the attendees seem to be very sparse. Just recently I watched one where there was a Literary Festival (Sins of Commission), and it was not really something you or I, dear reader, would have attended. A few rag taggle stalls, the occasional speaker, some fireworks, and of course a murder!
The other thing I have enjoyed about this series is the panoply of actors, some very new to the game, but others well known, very recognisable, who make appearances. The listing at Wikipedia gives lots of lovely detail. The first screen writer was Anthony Horowitz, then Caroline Graham had a dabble herself, and then there have been a variety of them.
There is a Midsomer News page run by a fan too.