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Death Of A Hollow Man (Chief Inspector Barnaby, #2)
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Death Of A Hollow Man (Chief Inspector Barnaby #2)

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  1,012 Ratings  ·  91 Reviews
Actors do love their dramas, and the members of the Causton Amateur Dramatic Society are no exception. Passionate love scenes, jealous rages? they?re better than a paycheck (not that anyone one in this production of Amadeus is getting one). But even the most theatrically minded must admit that murdering the leading man in full view of the audience is a bit over the top. Lu ...more
Paperback, 306 pages
Published March 1st 2006 by Felony & Mayhem (first published 1989)
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Nancy Oakes
Feb 12, 2008 Nancy Oakes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction-uk
Oh, I should never watch the dramatization of a novel if I'm planning to read it, because I actually knew the identity of the killer before I started. I love the Inspector Barnaby murder mysteries dramatized on the Biography channel, and they have renewed my interest in Caroline Graham's books which have just been sitting here, unread, on my shelves for years.

So on to this book: who would like it? Anyone who's followed the series on television would enjoy it; anyone who likes British mysteries w
Aug 12, 2012 Judy rated it liked it
An important part of the cultural life of many small towns is community theater and the Causton Amateur Dramatic Society of Causton, England is no exception. On the opening night of their production of Amadeus, the leading man grabbed a "safe" razor from the prop tray during a scene toward the end of the play and drew it across his throat in a very dramatic manner in full view of the audience. Unfortunately, someone had removed the tape from the razor's edge and the actor bled to death on stage. ...more
Jun 18, 2014 Fanficfan44 rated it really liked it
I have been on a Midsomer Murders binge lately. Being laid up off and on with my ankle injury, I have watched the whole series on Acorn TV and loved it. I finally decided to start reading the books. This is the second in the book series.

An all round good mystery read, Death of a Hollow Man, was adapted very closely in the TV series. The characters of Barnaby, Joyce, Cully and Troy were all here. Cully didn’t have much space devoted to her but the reader still develops a sense of who she is as a
Katherine Clark
Sep 30, 2015 Katherine Clark rated it it was amazing
This is the second in the Tom Barnaby series, and the second (or third) time I've read it. The first in the series didn't hold up that well, so I was nervous when I began this one, but oh, it is so wonderful. Graham does an amazing job developing fully-fleshed characters, even including fully-fleshed animal characters. I cared about what happened to these people. The murder didn't occur until after page 150, and mythical no-no in mysteries, and that didn't matter to me. The stakes were the relat ...more
Daniel Weir
Apr 10, 2016 Daniel Weir rated it really liked it
What I found particularly good about this was, not the mystery of whodunit, but the characters and the problems they faced that had nothing to do with the murder.
Tempo de Ler
Aug 06, 2016 Tempo de Ler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
O enredo de 'Morte em Palco' não é extraordinariamente complexo mas o tom divertido e ligeiramente irónico com que é narrado, aliado à poderosa capacidade de descrição e caracterização da autora - Caroline Graham - fazem deste livro um policial extraordinário.

Graham demora o seu tempo a descrever-nos as personagens e os respectivos problemas pessoais, levando-nos pela mão enquanto nos apresenta as diversas delícias e venenos do teatro amador, mantendo-nos alerta a pistas ainda antes do crime ac
Neste segundo livro de Caroline Graham publicado na série Crime à Hora do Chá, o inspector Tom Barnaby vai-se deparar com um crime um tanto ou quanto peculiar.

Na estreia de uma peça de teatro amador, em Causten, uma pequena localidade britânica, um dos actores principais é assassinado. Mas o crime é quase perfeito. Na hora do protagonista fingir um suicídio com uma lâmina, que deveria ter sido protegida com fita adesiva, esta torna-se real e o actor acaba por morrer em palco. A assistir à peça e
Nancy Ellis
Feb 20, 2016 Nancy Ellis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love the TV series Midsomer Murders, so it was a pleasure to read one of books that inspired it. So many delightful characters and a story line that was most entertaining. Somehow there's always a murder wherever we find Inspector Barnaby or his wife Joyce!
Maria Thermann
Jun 08, 2015 Maria Thermann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outrageously funny at times, Caroline Graham's highly accomplished murder mystery is far, far better than the TV adaptation (ITV) of it. Rich in suspects, the novel is set in fictional Causton, a small provincial town not far from London. This is a complex tale of jealousy and madness.

Here the confined settings are an amateur theatre, a famous stage play and two provincial towns. One is Causton near London, the other exists in playwright Peter Shaffer's play and in reality: Salzburg in Austria.
Sid Nuncius
Dec 22, 2016 Sid Nuncius rated it it was amazing
I have enjoyed all of the books in this series very much – and far more than I expected to. I grew tired of the Midsomer Murders TV series a long time ago, but the books are actually very different in tone and character from what the series became. They are very good novels of character with crime as their plot drivers.

In Death of a Hollow Man, Barnaby is dragged along to an amateur dramatic performance and ends up investigating a dramatic death. However, at least the first third of the book is
Piepie Beuttel
Much like a Midsomer Murders episode takes time to watch, this almost-300-page mystery took me quite some time to read... about 3 or 4 days, and I don't know exactly why.

The author took her time setting the stage, introducing characters and their stories ... I thought I was going to mix up the characters, but I ended up not stressing over it.

Once the murder occurred, the book became more interesting and the pacing picked up. Barnaby is a well thought out, strong, and clever character, with his
Bryn (Plus Others)
Nov 09, 2016 Bryn (Plus Others) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This was a really satisfying well-done village mystery in the cosy English tradition, except Graham updates the genre for 1989 in a clear-sighted way. I really enjoyed the characters and their individual story arcs, and I appreciated that her gay male couple were depicted as real, rounded people -- even when she draws on stereotypes she's trying to do it in a grounded way. Barnaby is intelligent and delightful and I love his relationships to everyone and how centred he is in himself. I just wish ...more
Dec 21, 2016 Vikki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
I didn't enjoy this as much as the first book. It took way too long for the murder to take place and although there was a focus on the characters I just couldn't connect to any of them and struggled to remember who was who. However, unlike the first book I didn't manage to figure out who the killer was or why they had done it so I enjoyed the reveal.
Jan 13, 2017 Coco rated it it was amazing
I love reading Caroline Grahams books.. If you like Agatha Christie you might like Caroline Graham even more.
Bryan Higgs
I had just read the first in this series, and really enjoyed it (see my review at, so I went on to the next in the series -- this book.

What a contrast! The first book was written in a literate style, admittedly with many words I had to look up (and I consider that I have a pretty good vocabulary), and some literary references (including one from a 17th century playwright). I don't mind being challenged in this way, and I found that looking up the unfamil
Feb 08, 2015 Rage rated it it was ok
much of "death of a hollow man" is the minute detailing of characters' deeply flawed personalities and complete detachment from reality. the murder doesn't occur for a good hundred or so pages, and the characters are all so entirely unlikeable that it doesn't seem particularly important to find who did it or why. for me, it felt like graham was trying to be too clever or cute, so characters are always wriggling and dandling and having butterball hands and flossy curls etc etc. incredibly patheti ...more
Elizabeth Elwood
Having been a regular viewer of Midsomer Murders over the years, it’s surprising that I had not read the Caroline Graham books that inspired the popular BBC series. However, I finally rectified the omission when I picked up Death of a Hollow Man, which is the second book in the Inspector Barnaby series. It was also one of the stories that I had failed to see in the TV series, so I was approaching it with completely fresh eyes.

What a delight the book proved to be, stylishly written and dripping w
Sep 06, 2016 Tera rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mysteries, british mysteries,
I am a big Midsomer Murders fan, so when I realized my library had only one book from the source content series, of course I had to read it.
At first I was thrown by the method of delivery of the mystery. It probably doesn't help that I had already seen the episode based off the book, so I may have been a little discriminate. It took me awhile to realize that the book is set up like a stage play. The author has written screenplays and the novel's premise is a murder that happens on the set of the
Sofia Teixeira
Estreei-me com Caroline Graham no primeiro volume desta colecção - Morte na Aldeia - e foi com entusiasmo que peguei em mais uma das suas histórias. Com um desenvolver de história um pouco mais lento do que aquele que esperava, Morte em Palco mostrou-se uma leitura fácil, cheia de peripécias e com muitas interrogações.

O cenário leva-nos para um palco de teatro em que os seus protagonistas são personagens muito curiosos. Cada actor tem as suas manias e todos buscam os seus momentos de ribalta, un
Kiki Belle
Sep 27, 2015 Kiki Belle rated it really liked it
I've seen the television show they made of it, so I already knew who the murderer was, but I don't think it was very obvious. However I can't comment on whether or not you could see it coming. Like the show, I didn't particularly like Sergeant Troy--who seems a bigger ass in the book and is married to a woman he cheats on, an aspect that was removed from the show if I remember correctly. And in the show, he changes, but that's not important because he's really not a main character anyway.

The mur
Nov 04, 2012 Damaskcat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The local amateur dramatic group is rehearsing for Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus and Joyce Barnaby, wife of Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby, has a small part in the production along with being wardrobe mistress. Her husband is helping with painting the scenery. But relations between the actors are not all they might be and Harold Winstanley, the director, is putting people’s backs up and is as usual very full of himself. Tensions rise as the first night approaches leading to a headline performan ...more
Jan 13, 2014 Wanda rated it liked it
Having watched the series, grown fond of the lead characters, their relationships and interactions with one another, and their contrast to the dysfunctional, disturbed and sometimes horrific villagers, I was looking forward to Graham's books.

After all, the criminals are brought to justice, and we learn more about the stable, sane Barnaby family, feeling glad we have spent time with them, at the end of each episode. We can see growth in Troy, from sometimes naive, sometimes dense, and sometimes
Compared to the previous book in the series, this was a slow one. The body doesn't show up until the half-way mark. Due to the complicated relationships between the characters and the fact that Inspector Barnaby was familiar with most of the suspects, having worked on previous sets for the CADS, a certain amount of set-up was necessary for the story. It would have felt forced and unnatural to shoehorn all that information and backstory in after the murder. However, just because I understand why ...more
Andreia Silva
Um palco, uma peça de teatro e um grupo de encenação com personagens caricatas e um tanto ou quanto esquisitas, juntos, com a promessa de haver um crime pelo meio. Podemos resumir a premissa de "Morte em Palco" assim e podemos pensar estarmos perante uma obra de afiar a curiosidade.

Não sei o que acontece convosco mas quando leio um policial, gosto que haja sangue-e-tripas e gosto que a autora não em enrole. Eu sei que vai haver um crime, por isso não gosto que passem quarenta por cento das págin
Sheila Beaumont
Like all the other books in Caroline Graham's series, Death of a Hollow Man is a very enjoyable read. It's a combination village cozy and police procedural, with a fun satirical edge and great characterization.

I read all of these books several years ago, and since I started watching the "Midsomer Murders" TV dramatizations, I've been reading each book before I watch the corresponding TV episode. Yes, that means I already know whodunit, but it's so much fun to see how closely the episode follows
Mary Kay  Kare
Jan 23, 2016 Mary Kay Kare rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-british
First of all, this is in no way an objective review. It's exactly the kind of book I adore and find very seldom these days. It delighted my heart more than you can imagine.

Our cast of characters is literally that, the members of an community theatre group as they prepare to present the play Amadeus. We spend time with each and get to know their lives and interactions. In a very leisurely, delightful way, full of insight, wisdom, & the author's obvious affection for them. The murder doesn't
Justine Olawsky
Jul 30, 2014 Justine Olawsky rated it really liked it
Another murder mystery by Caroline Graham, this time one with her sleuth, Inspector Barnaby. Very well done -- nicely-drawn characters, real atmosphere, and a snappy plot. As pleasing a distraction as you are likely to find, if you find pleasant distraction in British who-dun-its (which I obviously do).

The community theatre group of Causton is gearing up for another theatrical extravaganza under the imperious thumb of impresario and director Harold Winstanley. This time, they are putting on Ama
Review below is in Dutch because I have read it in that language.

Ik ben een grote fan van de televisieserie Midsomer Murders op televisie en daarom wou ik ontzettend graag dit boek lezen.
Ik vond het vlot geschreven en eigenlijk vind ik het wel jammer dat ik geen Engelstalige versie heb gevonden.

Een deel van de spanning was er wel af omdat ik al wist van de aflevering wie de moordenaar was. Toch was het interessant omdat je meer te weten komt over de hoofdpersonages.

Zo weet ik dat Joyce Barnaby e
Dec 13, 2015 Vanja rated it really liked it
Smrt praznog čovjeka
Znanje, 2015.

Još jedan zanimljiv krimić Caroline Graham o zločinu u Midsomeru. Budući da se (samo)ubojstvo dogodilo na sceni pred prepunim kazalištem, u čijim je redovima sjedio i sam inspektor Branaby, dok mu je žena bila na pozornici, Barnaby je ovaj put u velikoj prednosti jer poznaje sve osumnjičene. I on je doista kao lik nenadmašan - fin, miran i uglađen ali iz njega se točno može osjetiti kako zna u kojem smjeru dokazi upućuju a u kojem ne.
Nakon tipično podužeg uvoda
Rog Harrison
Aug 10, 2016 Rog Harrison rated it really liked it
This is the second time I have read this. This is different from the first book as it is really the story of the people involved in an amateur dramatic society and the murder does not take place until well into the book. Barnaby is slightly involved as his wife is part of the group and both he and his sergeant, Troy, are in the audience when the crime occurs on stage at the theatre. Barnaby and Troy begin their investigation but the story of the characters involved continues with the author drop ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Merge suggestion 4 23 Feb 28, 2012 04:48PM  
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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 In Disguise (Chief Inspector Barnaby, #3)
  • Written In Blood (Chief Inspector Barnaby, #4)
  • 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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