Date of Publication: 1987, Felony and MayhemNo. of pages: 272
Synopsis (blurb from back cover):
Badger’s Drift is the 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.
This book is the first in the Inspector Barnaby mystery series, which is the basis for the popular TV show, Midsomer Murders (which happens to be my favorite show). I was so excited to read this book, but ultimately I was disappointed. It could simply be because I know the characters from TV so well, but I didn’t feel that these characters were very well-developed. In terms of the mystery factor, this book is full of suspense and the murders are just gory enough to be believable. The many suspects are enjoyably colorful, and I loved the portrayal of the sweet little village with its many secrets. But many of the details felt glossed over, and the dialog was very messy in some places (it’s hard to tell who is speaking). But despite these faults, I enjoyed the story for what it was, and I’m even willing to try the next book in the series.