Description /Buy link takes you to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn money from qualifying purchases.
Caroline Graham is a British author that is best known for writing the novels that became the ‘Midsomer Murders’ TV series. Born in 1931 in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, Graham’s resume includes stints at Nuneaton High School for Girls and the Open University. She also attended the University of Birmingham.
Order of Chief Inspector Barnaby Series
|1||The Killings at Badger's Drift||1987||Description / Buy|
|2||Death of a Hollow Man||1989||Description / Buy|
|3||Death in Disguise||1992||Description / Buy|
|4||Written in Blood||1995||Description / Buy|
|5||Faithful Unto Death||1996||Description / Buy|
|6||A Place of Safety||1999||Description / Buy|
|7||A Ghost in the Machine||2004||Description / Buy|
Order of Caroline Graham Standalone Novels
She was 60 at the time. Graham graduated with a Master’s in Theater Studies. The author lived an interesting life. She was six when she lost her mother. She became a wefter in Courtaulds Mill after leaving school at 14. Her father had remarried a year earlier.
In 1953, she joined the Royal Navy. But life in the Women’s Royal Navy wasn’t for her. She left after two years, a decision that led to her encounter and eventually marriage to Graham Cameron, her airforce Penpal.
Her husband’s work took the couple to France. The author used the opportunity to attend ballet school. She also went to drama school in London when the couple moved to Lincoln in England. Their marriage did not last. Once their relationship ended, Graham made London her home.
She had a son with David, her new partner. The author started writing full-time in 1971. She had an English teacher in high school that recognized her talent for writing and encouraged her to pursue it.
Graham initially contributed her talents to radio and television. But then she turned her attention to literary fiction, publishing ‘Fire Dance’, her first novel, in 1982. Though, many people know her primarily because of ‘The Killings at Badger’s Drift’, the 1987 novel that introduced Detective Barnaby and his partner, Sergeant Troy.
The author developed a reputation for writing ‘Quintessential English Village Murder Mysteries’. She has been praised for applying the tropes of the Golden Age of the mystery genre to the modern age.
Her stories are set in villages that are not quite as peaceful and sleepy as they appear. Her settings are filled with suspicious characters that are perpetrating everything from extra-marital affairs to blackmail.
She tells the sort of intricately plotted stories that one would normally find in an Agatha Christie novel. Though, her books feature a decent amount of humor. Attentive readers can see the traces of Graham’s past as a stage manager and actress in the novels she writes, especially in the depth of her characterization and the sharpness of her dialog.
She has also written stories set within the theatrical arena, where her detectives have to navigate the intricacies surrounding the work of an amateur drama group. Graham’s characters are not particularly complex.
But this is part of the reason why they appeal to a wide variety of readers. Barnaby, Graham’s most popular creation, is a calm fellow with a paternalistic personality, an open mind, a wife he loves, and a partner whose crassness rubs him the wrong way.
Caroline Graham Awards
Graham’s first novel in the ‘Inspector Barnaby’ series received the Macavity Award (1989). It also received Anthony and Agatha Award nominations.
Caroline Graham Books Into Movies
The ‘Chief Inspector Barnaby’ novels became a British Crime Drama called ‘Midsomer Murders’ that premiered in 1997. The show follows the exploits of a senior police detective that has to work with his partner to solve various murder cases in small country villages.
Best Caroline Graham Books
The author’s first ‘Inspector Barnaby’ book secured a spot on the list of the top one hundred crime novels of all time (Crime Writer’s Association). Graham’s best novels include:
The Killings At Badger’s Drift: Badger’s Drift was just another pleasant English village, or so it seemed from the outside. The facade was shattered when one of the residents, a kindly spinster, died. His best friend made such a fuss that Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby was forced to investigate.
Accompanied by his eager deputy, it did not take Barnaby long to uncover the many ugly scandals the village was so determined to hide.
Death Of A Hollow Man: Barnaby had to find the killer among the members of the Causton Amateur Dramatic Society. Actors had a reputation for courting drama. Jealous rages were commonplace in the theater. However, no one expected the dramatic society’s leading man to die in front of his audience. But finding the culprit would take all the cunning Barnaby could muster. He had too many suspects.
When Does The Next Caroline Graham book come out?
Caroline Graham doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is The Envy of the Stranger and was released on July, 9th 2009.