inspector barnaby investigating the midsomer murders

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What now? I‘m going to have my cake and eat it.

from: Tom Barnaby in „Fit for Murder“ (last episode)

Investigating in GB‘s Deadliest County

There are two Barnabys. They are related, are cousins. Both work as DCI for the police i. e. the murder squad. The first is married with a housewife and an adult daughter, the second is married to a teacher and rather soon they get a baby girl. The second Barnaby also cares for a cute dog. The first retires finally while the second overtakes his job in Midsomer, the deadliest county of GB.

Although there are crime novels starting the series with DCI Barnaby, the hype is due to the endless Tv series based on the novels resp. the ideas of the novels. Therefore two Barnabys are primarily necessary for continuity. I’ll only refer to Barnaby because except of the personal environment it’s the same stage where the cases occur and where and how the cases are solved.

Midsomer is known to any avid crime thriller fan as the deadliest county of GB. (I had to repeat this once more.) On the one hand Midsomer is a really lovely landscape with picturesque small villages, lots of cottages, small shops, lovely farmland, lots of manor houses – a dream for any retired couple or tourists. However, rather soon corpses pile up.

Barnaby and his aspiring assistant cruise Midsomer county in a nice big car talking to anybody who might be involved in the mess. All the time Barnaby is cool, polite and reserved. However, when he suddenly has a clue about the solution he’ll get very active, mostly in order to prevent more killings. His assistent is always close on his heels.

During the decades there are some assistants, as a rule in rank of a detective sergeant and unmarried. After some time they get promoted, leave Midsomer county and make room for a successor. During the first Barnaby era they are always more or less flirting with his daughter. It’s always guaranteed that Barnaby is smarter than his assistent – although he is also always fond of his assistents. (Until now the assistants are male – no women so far.)

Another important role is left to the pathologist who also acts as some sort of CSI expert. Well, we are in the countryside. Starting with a senior man … now there is a senior woman … and in between there was a smart young woman.

Sometimes even family members of Barnaby get involved in cases, unintentionally, and always they are innocent. Otherwise at home Barnaby is in the centre of attention and gets cared for and pampered by his wife – nowadays Barnaby has to admit that there are modern times and that wives have their own jobs and lives.

Concerning the murder cases there are all possible ways of how to kill a person … (I don’t start listing at this point!) The act may be straightforward as well as extraordinary sophisticated. Tools for murder are manifold. Some people think that they are clever when using strange tools and methods … Of course Barnaby unscrambles any mess.

Why do people kill?
It’s the same as always: family affairs, inheritance problems, jealousy, revenge, avarice, fraud, criminal affairs … and many collateral damages. In a rich and lively county like Midsomer we’ll find all types of people and any intention imaginable.

The series is a mix of cosiness, exciting murders, ancient family secrets, revenge plots, business transactions … garnished with some family touches because of Barnaby’s private life – and the private lives of his assistants. Maybe the success of the series … is the chance for anybody to relax after a stressful business day.

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a faint cold fear thrills through my veins ... william shakespeare