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The Killings at Badger's Drift (Chief Inspector Barnaby Series #1)

The Killings at Badger's Drift (Chief Inspector Barnaby Series #1)

3.8 11
by Caroline Graham

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Badger's Drift is an ideal English village, complete with vicar, bumbling local doctor, and kindly spinster with a nice line in homemade cookies. But when the spinster dies suddenly, her best friend kicks up an unseemly fuss, loud enough to attract the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby. And when Barnaby and his eager-beaver deputy start poking


Badger's Drift is an ideal English village, complete with vicar, bumbling local doctor, and kindly spinster with a nice line in homemade cookies. But when the spinster dies suddenly, her best friend kicks up an unseemly fuss, loud enough to attract the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby. And when Barnaby and his eager-beaver deputy start poking around, they uncover a swamp of ugly scandals and long-suppressed resentments seething below the picture-postcard prettiness. In the grand tradition of the quietly intelligent copper, Barnaby has both an irresistibly dry sense of humor and a keen insight into what makes people tick.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The British author makes her debut here in an uncommonly appealing mystery, set in a tranquil village, Badger's Drift. Learned Chief Inspector Barnaby and callow Sergeant Troy go to work when importunate, elderly Miss Bellringer insists that her friend, Emily Simpson, did not die of a heart attack as her doctor claimed, but was murdered. An autopsy proves Miss Bellringer right; Emily had imbibed a Socratic mix of wine and hemlock. Spreading alarm throughout the community, an unseen murderer strikes again, leaving sly Mrs. Rainbird's bloody corpse to be found by her son, the local undertaker. As Barnaby and Troy investigate, they turn up evidence of another crime years earlier, and several suspects. Among them are the doctor's promiscuous wife, a young woman whose brother objects to her marriage to a rich widower and a Lady Chatterley-type gamekeeper. Diligent detecting brings the chief and his bumbling assistant to a sensational expose. Graham makes the characters humanly believable in her witty and tragic novel, a real winner. (January 21)
Library Journal
This choice English confection introduces a memorable police duo, Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby and Sergeant Troy. Juxtaposition of the conservative, distinguished Barnaby with the spontaneous, handsome, modish Troy provides ample opportunity for dry humor and wry insight. As the two investigate the coniine (hemlock) poisoning death of 80-year-old spinster Emily Simpson, they encounter a bizarre mixture of eccentric village dwellers, starting with the little old cat-lady and gardener friend of the deceased. The murder, of course, causes a commotion in picturesque Badger's Drift, laden with quaint cottages and Georgian manor houses. A winner. REK

Product Details

Gale Group
Publication date:
Chief Inspector Barnaby Series , #1

Meet the Author

CAROLINE GRAHAM was born in Warwickshire, England. Her first Inspector Barnaby novel, The Killings at Badger's Drift, was selected as one of the Top 100 Crime Novels of All Time by the Crime Writers' Association.

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The Killings at Badger's Drift: Chief Inspector Barnaby Series, Book 1 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Gracierosie More than 1 year ago
I bought this book for a friend for Christmas and she lent it to me. I've watched the first 13 sets of Midsomer Murders, so I was delighted to finally read one of the books. Even though I'd already seen this movie, the book still held my interest thoroughly. I loved reading about characters whom I'd already met on screen. This book is well-written, has several red herrings, interesting characters, a good mystery, and I want to read the rest in this series, even though I've seen the movies. Tom Barnaby is a low-key detective in a picturesque English village. Several murders take place and Chief Inspector Barnaby and his assistant, DC Troy, gather evidence with the help of the village folk and tie it altother with a surprising and rather jolting ending. I absolutely recommend it.
MareCT More than 1 year ago
Crisp, clear writing and a well plotted story make this a delightful and unforgettable first book in a series. The characters are very believable, the setting easily visualized, and the the prose delicious enough to savor every word. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to sink their teeth into a substantial mystery.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book, but I feel I'd rather see it as a t.v. program. There were so many characters, it was hard keeping them straight. I love the Midsommer Murders with Inspector Barnaby.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing book which captures the serenity of a tranquil English village with perfection. It has the undercurrent of murder, and is a thought-provoking and witty read which blends into the deception, deceit and hate that proves everything is not as it seems. A beautiful and talented novel, which I hold highly among some of the best crime fiction ever written. Barnaby is brilliant!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have contradictory feelings about this book. On one hand it’s a great mystery with plenty of twists and unexpected reveals. The cast of characters is large, diverse, and well- developed. Inspector Barnaby is interesting, fleshed-out, and extremely competent. He immediately became one of my favorite fictional detectives. My favorite moment in the book is actually in the last chapter when he’s sitting with Miss Bellringer, telling her about Emily Simpson’s death. On the other hand we have Sergeant Troy – he’s a/n (fill in expletive of choice here). The guy is sexist, ageist, xenophobic and homophobic. I could not honestly recall one positive thing about his character. Unfortunately, we are forced to spend brief periods of time in his head – all of them without exception were extremely uncomfortable. So why did I give this book such a high rating? Caroline Graham does an amazing job in my eyes of showing that he is not a nice guy. She doesn’t try to excuse it or make an argument that he’s not that awful – he really is. He gets called out at least three times in the book and each time that happened I gave a little cheer. So for writing a wonderful mystery and a truly awful character who gets called out for the things he says I gave this book 4 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book starts out so good especially for those of us who love to read about English villages. But it ends up so dark. This writer needs to post somewhere that she is really focused on homosexuals and their lifestyle. I thought I was buying a mystery. Too bad, such a waste of talent.
Delphimo More than 1 year ago
The PBS series of Midsommer Murders piques my interest in Caroline Graham's mysteries, so I had to read at least one book. The novels contain a loony cast of suspects and victims, and this first novel provided many hours of entertainment. An old woman walks in the woods to find a special flower, and encounters an amorous couple that should not be in situ. Thus begins the first murder in an attempt to squelch the tale. As Barnaby, the detective, and his assistant, Troy, collect clues, more murders follow. Graham brings alive the English village and all the quirky characters residing in the area. The novel and the PBS series maintain a few differences that endear each venue to the reader and might impel this reader to seek additional differences by reading more of the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book and can hardly wait to read the rest of the series. The plot has just enough twists and turns and possible suspects to keep you guessing--and reading on. A great choice for the beach or perhaps a long plane ride.
reader48 More than 1 year ago
Read reviews that said it was wonderful and award winning. Was not really impressed, although it was a god read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago