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Written In Blood (Chief Inspector Barnaby, #4)
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Written In Blood (Chief Inspector Barnaby #4)

3.99  ·  Rating Details  ·  646 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
It's clear to most members of Midsomer Worthy's Writers' Circle that asking bestselling author Max Jennings to talk to them is a little ambitious. Less clear are the reasons for secretary Gerald Hadleigh's fierce objections to seeing the man - a face from his past - again. Astonishingly, Jennings accepts the invitation but, before the night is out, Gerald is dead.

Paperback, 445 pages
Published 2007 by Headline Publishing Group (first published 1994)
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Sep 19, 2015 Jean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written In Blood from 1994, is the 4th novel about Chief Inspector Barnaby by the English mystery writer Caroline Graham, and is one of the best novels in the series of seven. It has an intriguing plot centring on a group of amateur writers. Although "Midsomer Murders" is now a popular TV drama, with a huge number of episodes and writers involved, the few original novels by Caroline Graham are far less cosy.

The themes are also darker than in an average "cosy" mystery. This particular novel look
Mirela Ivancevic
May 09, 2015 Mirela Ivancevic rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, mystery
Krimić koji se iznenađujuće malo bavi počinjenim zločinom , a većinom psihološkom analizom likova te opisima njihovih života. Prilično iznenađujući kraj .
Učitaj se!
Aug 06, 2015 Učitaj se! rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished, favorites
Ovo je pravi engleski krimić kojeg se ne bi postidjela ni kraljica krimića Agatha Christie, iako Barnaby karakterom nije toliko osebujan kao Poirot, već je više nalik gospođici Marple - pristupačan i jednostavan, oštrog uma i visoke inteligencije, smiren i cijenjen u društvu.

Otkrivanje detalja o ubojstvu Geralda Hadleigha i životima onih koji su ga poznavali držat će vam pažnju od prve do zadnje stranice, a povremeni duhoviti dijalozi i sarkastične primjedbe narednika Troya tu su da u pravom tr
Nov 22, 2014 Jenn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having recently finished the entire series of Midsomer Murders I was very interested in reading one of the novels by Caroline Graham. After reading the first chapter I did wonder which came first - the TV series or the books. This particular book was very much like the episode we watched. There were some obvious differences which wouldn't have been pertinent to the plot on TV. I did find myself picturing the tv characters as I read through this book but it didn't take anything away from it. I al ...more
Katherine Clark
Oct 16, 2015 Katherine Clark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. This is the second time I've read this book, and this time I remembered the part about the kitten. ;-) I loved this book. I stayed up all night to finish it, and it was worth it. Graham does an amazing job with character development. This time, she was writing about a writer's group, and though I would have loved to hear more, she did a fabulous job (and I found it quite encouraging, as I have now accomplished 7 straight days of writing after nearly 2 months of no writing.) What I also love ...more
Nov 02, 2014 Vanja rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Savršeni zločin
Znanje, 2014.

Ovo je bilo tipično britanski zapetljano, tajnovito i intrigantno.

Gerald, jedan od članova društva pisaca amatera, brutalno je ubijen u svom dom, i to u noći nakon susreta tog društva s poznatim autorom. Kako Barnaby i Troy rekonstruiraju događaje protekla dva dana, tako sumnja pada s jednog člana društva na drugog, stare tajne se otkrivaju, likovi postaju odlučni u promjeni svoga života... I ništa ti ne govori dovoljno da prstom definitivno uperiš na ubojicu, svi su
Dec 12, 2014 Tim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Picked this one up because I trusted the publisher and the jacket, which was a very good move, since it turned out to be one of the most witty and enjoyable mysteries I have read in quite some time. Graham is as much a writer of humorous, socially observant novels as she is an engineer of mysteries. In "Written in Blood", the majority of the reading pleasure derives from her clever sentences, vivid observations, quirky humor, and rich characterizations. As a pure mystery, I found it a little lac ...more
Richard Thomas
I enjoyed the book to a point but it seemed too padded a story to me - a substantial amount of text could have been cut without losing the essence of the book. It is well plotted and nicely written although I rather suspect the curse of the word processor in some of the descriptive writing where there is little economy of expression. I am admittedly spoilt by the TV series in each story is tautly plotted to fit into the 2 hour slot for each episode.
Katie Bee
Working my way through the Barnaby books that my local library has, after watching a good deal of the TV show.

Competently done. I do feel a bit unsettled, though, with how little I like the characters... all of them seem to have an unpleasant twist to them. Perhaps this is realistically real-life, but I like reading mysteries for the escapism, and prefer to have at least one likeable character.

As far as how closely they're related to the TV show - judging from the two I've read so far, very clo
Aug 07, 2014 Fanficfan44 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written in the Blood by Caroline Graham is one of the books that the Midsomer Murders TV series is based on with the wonderful Inspector Barnaby as the sleuth. This was actually one of my favorite episodes of the TV show. A writers group’s invitation to a well known author to speak leads to murder and old secrets springing forth. The members of the writing group are an eclectic bunch from a woman writing her family history, to a college professor who does improvisational work and a kind of poetr ...more
Nov 12, 2015 Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another fine Barnaby novel. The plot worked a lot better than Barnaby #3--all of the pieces were there, but we couldn't put them together, just like Barnaby.

One of the characters says that writers don't commit murder, which turns out, of course, not to be true. The writers' group, though, is so real: real beginners not knowing how to go about things, and not knowing what to say to one another. They try to be helpful, but are in the dark themselves. Very touching and tangled.

One of the characters
Jul 27, 2015 Shawn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult
Not your average book club in this lovely little village. Oh no, these avid readers are authors as well, or seem to think of themselves as such. After inviting the well known, Max Jennings, to come speak to and with the group, the groups fearless leader is found murdered. Gerald had not wanted Jennings to come speak with the group and was very agitated during. But one thing had nothing to do with the other, right? In this village where everything is related to everyone in some way or another. Ho ...more
Feb 14, 2016 Kyrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
A man is killed shortly after hearing a famous author speak at the local writing club. Who did it and why take up the rest of the book. I thought I had the who and why figured out, but I was off a bit.

I like the insights into village characters. I like how both Barnaby and Troy grow through the series. There's a lot of subtle humor in Graham's books, and I spend a lot of time googling references that seem peculiarly British.

Didn't like some of the more graphic details, but I did like that most o
Nov 11, 2012 Damaskcat rated it it was amazing
The village of Midsomer Worthy has a writing circle. Like most such groups it occasionally invites authors to speak at a meeting and give its members advice on their writing. Secretary Gerald Hadleigh does not react well to the suggestion that he should write to bestselling author Max Jennings and invite him to attend one of their meetings.

But write he does and Max accepts the invitation. Gerald asks Rex, a fellow group member, to ensure that he does not leave Gerald on his own with Max but doe
Sep 01, 2009 Spuddie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
#4 Chief Inspector Barnaby British police series. A local writer's group invites a famous author, Max Jennings, to come speak to them at their monthly meeting, and lo and behold, he agrees. Turns out he knew the secretary of the group, Gerald Hadleigh, many years previous, although Gerald admits this to no one except his neighbor Rex--and confesses that he's somewhat afraid of Max. When Gerald turns up dead the morning after their meeting, head bludgeoned in with a candlestick, Jennings is the o ...more
Apr 09, 2014 Marsha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Last week I watched Midsomer Mysteries on PBS and halfway through, I remembered that I had a copy of the book by Caroline Graham somewhere on my book shelf. I found it and read it straight through, wanting to compare it to the TV show. Although I love the dramatizations, I liked the book even more.

Graham has more quirky characters, more twists and more backstory than a screen adaptation can include although the screenplay captures the essence of the book very well.
Cosy mysteries are a favorite
Rog Harrison
Jan 22, 2014 Rog Harrison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unfortunately "Death in disguise" was not in the library but "Written in blood" was. This was a compelling story and I really had no idea how it was going to end. Some of the characters from "Death of a hollow man" appear briefly which I thought was a nice touch. Some of the characters are very unpleasant and I did feel sorry for the people who felt they had to put up with them. Barnaby finally solves the mystery though he can't prevent another death and all the loose ends are tied up neatly. A ...more
Nov 05, 2007 Cynthia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: agatha christie and jane austen fans
yes, there's a murder to tie it all together but this is really a portrait of small town life, with wonderful descriptions of a bunch of people/families and their own private little struggles and triumphs — like a really good Miss Marple.
I have been enjoying the bbc series made from these books, and just watched the tv version of this story. The tv version is quite different, tho still good. But the book is very complex and interesting. She also gives little writing tips (this mystery is about
Aug 21, 2014 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the fourth in the Inspector Barnaby series and I really enjoyed it. The characterizations are very dense and meaty and I feel I can picture the character and know all about them. Having said that, my one complaint is with the ending. If we believe the perpetrator of the murder, the murdered person, it seemed to me, acted out of character before being murdered and that caused the perpetrator to commit the murder. But, that is only the perpetrator's retelling of the incident so you never r ...more
Dec 26, 2014 Janet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
I watch Midsomer Murders on PBS regularly. But reading a book with Chief Inspector Barnaby as the main character was so much better. Maybe the stories don't translate that well to TV or maybe it's the actors that I find unappealing. Anyway, I loved Graham's writing.
Jill Hutchinson
Oct 27, 2012 Jill Hutchinson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I love the DCI Barnaby series as we follow him and his opinionated bag man Troy through the unraveling of mysteries and murders in small town England. In this tale, a local amateur writers club invites a famous author to address their group and are pleasantly surprised when he accepts. But not so one of the members who appears nervous and frightened by the presence of this author. When the member is found bashed to death in his home and the author has disappeared, the chase is on. The story is f ...more
This is the 4th book in the Inspector Barnaby series but only my second book to read because I had trouble getting the first couple of books from the library. I love Caroline Graham's characters, very scenic British villages in Midsomer County and her story plots. I'm not always familiar with a particular English reference, and it takes me awhile to get the hang of the author's wordy script, but I do love these stories. I first got hooked on the mysteries when watching the TV stories on DVD.
Jul 18, 2014 Barbara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
A cleverly written mystery (if you ignore the thumping great coincidence that is at the heart of the plot) with well drawn characters. Unfortunately, I found the vast majority of the characters not very likeable and had trouble working up interest in their fate.
May 09, 2012 Lesley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great book in the Barnaby series. The mystery had many different dimensions and was very interesting, but is for sure a hard read that requires one to pay a great deal of attention in order to follow along. The only reason i did not give this book 5 stars is because i think the end of the story could have used bettet detail and explaination to the big finale/action at the end. The restof the work is very descriptive so i expected more from the end. I was also very glad that I had seen th ...more
Jan 30, 2015 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Caroline Graham's books are always dryly humorous, well written, and well-plotted. The series Midsomer Murders is based on Graham's books.
Jan 11, 2016 Megan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-reads
One of my favorite episodes, and now book. Very twisted, slightly weird but not too much. Plus Kilmowski.
Justine Olawsky
Dec 04, 2014 Justine Olawsky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably my favorite of the Barnaby series. Good-o!
Apr 14, 2016 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best in the series
May 25, 2013 Sally rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this one on audiobook and unfortunately the CDs kept sticking and spinning so I missed bits of it. (It was a library copy, and my Walkman is low-range.) I enjoyed the story, and the reader was excellent. I have seen the television version and I think it was considerably changed with a key character left out and two murders rather than one. I recommend this to any lover of British procedurals.
Jun 28, 2013 Greg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, british
I love the Midsomer Murders TV series featuring Chief Inspector Barnaby. The British TV show is based on some of Caroline Graham's characters and books. The Barnaby of the TV series has some differences from the Barnaby of the book series, and I ended up liking the TV Barnaby better. Otherwise, this was your typical British mystery which I liked, but was just a little too slow for me.
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Caroline Graham is an English playwright, screenwriter and novelist. She attended the Open University, and received a degree in writing for the theatre from the University of Birmingham.

* Chief Inspector Barnaby

More about Caroline Graham...

Other Books in the Series

Chief Inspector Barnaby (7 books)
  • The Killings at Badger's Drift (Chief Inspector Barnaby #1)
  • Death Of A Hollow Man (Chief Inspector Barnaby, #2)
  • Death In Disguise (Chief Inspector Barnaby, #3)
  • Faithful Unto Death (Chief Inspector Barnaby, #5)
  • A Place Of Safety (Chief Inspector Barnaby, #6)
  • A Ghost In The Machine (Chief Inspector Barnaby, #7)

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