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A Place Of Safety

(Chief Inspector Barnaby #6)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  1,503 ratings  ·  97 reviews
Charlie Leathers was not the most popular man in the charming English village of Ferne Basset, but few people seemed to hate him enough to murder him. Still, that was his fate one night, and it brings Inspector Barnaby to the scene to investigate. What Barnaby doesn't know is that before his death, Charlie witnessed what might have been the suicide--or murder--of a young w ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published January 15th 2001 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published 1999)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  1,503 ratings  ·  97 reviews

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Jul 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the sixth in the Chief Inspector Barnaby series. We begin with the downtrodden Ann Lawrence, married to ex-vicar Lawrence, who takes in all kinds of waifs and strays, but whose kindness is often misplaced. When Ann has an argument with the aggressive Carlotta, who blares out music day and night and who she suspects has stolen from the house, it leads to a train of events that results in blackmail and murder…

I really like this series. I enjoy the back and forth between Barnaby and his ser
Sheila Beaumont
Apr 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I always enjoy rereading Caroline Graham's Chief Inspector Barnaby mysteries, on which the wonderful TV show "Midsomer Murders" is based. These books might be called village cozies, but they have an edge and a dark humor, along with complex character portrayals, that make them more compelling than most cozy mysteries. As far as I know, this sixth book in the series has not been dramatized, but I've watched only the first four seasons so far. If you're a fan of "Midsomer Murders," don't miss out ...more
Elizabeth (Alaska)
The non-Police characters are not even close to your run of the mill type. Val Fainlight, children's author, and his sister Louise live in a glass house. When I first read this, I sort of expected it to be damaged and one or the other to be the victim. There is also the Old Rectory, a house Ann Lawrence has lived in since childhood as her father was the Vicar. The house was owned by her mother, though, so came to her and is owned by her outright. Her husband Lionel, the former Curate, has found ...more
Sep 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Caroline Graham has one of her characters describe Inspector Barnaby as, "a man unclouded by sentiment but not without kindness." I think her writing could be described the same way. We see the characters and get to know them. We may like them or not. We may have sympathy for them or want to see the perpetrators apprehended but either way the author does not beat us over the head with a certain point of view. We are left to form our own opinions. I particularly enjoyed this book because I hadn't ...more
Katherine Clark
Oct 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Oh, it is so sad. This is the penultimate book in the series. I love these books, the development of the characters...the mystery...but the best part has to be the relationships that people have with their animals. I also like the descriptions of kindness; even the worst criminals are capable of kindness, and there is something deft in being able to write a character so. If you haven't read this series, do so.
Nov 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook
Meh. I'd rather just watch the TV show. The mystery and "is that all there is?" resolution here was reminiscent of some of the lesser episodes in the series, and that only takes up 90 minutes.
Renita D'Silva
Mar 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Bryn (Plus Others)
Nov 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: modern-mystery
I enjoy Graham's novels for what they are, but I had been hoping for a little more character development in this one, and was .... well, not disappointed exactly, but it was much of a muchness. I find myself increasing uncomfortable with her treatment of gay characters; in books from the 1980s having openly gay people who are treated somewhat sympathetically was so much better than nothing, but times changed around Graham, so (view spoiler) ...more
The premise: Charlie Leathers is found murdered in the small, close knit village of Ferne Basset. While his murder does not upset many - he was not generally well liked - it is the catalyst that leads to the unraveling of well kept secrets leading to severe consequences. This is a supremely well written mystery with rich characters, unexpected turns, humour, and Chief Inspector Barnaby, who can give Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot a run for their money! This is one of Graham's earlier works, ...more
Not as good as her other mysteries. I really don’t like Troy. Someone is murdered, there is blackmail, and more. It was easy to know who did it and the character was so despicable. There were things about the character that really wasn’t necessary to write about. I had to skim some of it.
The TV series is so much better.
Margot Jennifer
Oct 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
LOVE the tv series. This book was good, but certainly not as gentle as the tv series. Some very shocking content in this book. Without it, the book would have been great.
Nadishka Aloysius
Apr 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Of the three Barnaby books I read this week, this is definitely the best!
There was a lot of character development but not too much so that the book dragged. I also enjoyed the Barnaby family anniversary at the end.
Sonja Tyson
Oct 30, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
It wasn't my favorite of her Barnaby mysteries, but it was still a good read. I thought she was a bit self-indulgent with several of the characters. Over-wrought insight into what they were thinking. I prefer a lighter touch.
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
Maybe a 2.5. This was my first Graham novel - the only one in the library's collection - and, as a fan of the TV series, I wanted to try the books. The series had warned of the differences between the books and the scripts. I didn't find them to be a problem and one, involving Cully, was an interesting surprise.

This story is disturbing in places and I skipped scenes that were a little raw for my taste. The villain is villainous indeed and there were few likable characters among the suspects. It'
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, fiction
Another good read in the Barnaby series. There was an element that I found distasteful, but Graham has never shied away from distasteful elements. I did not pick up enough clues to figure out who did what. In retrospect, the clues were there. Next I will watch the TV version of "A Place of Safety". It's always been interesting to see how the story line and the characters have been altered for TV. Only one more in this series to be read. Graham stopped writing about CI Barnaby after #7.
May 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Another highly enjoyable mystery in the Chief Inspector Barnaby series--enjoyable especially for the characters and witty writing. I have to admit that although the plot is perfectly engrossing, I instantly forgot it a day after I finished. I also thought the last chapter, about the Inspector's wedding anniversary, was not really necessary--but I'm willing to indulge this author in gratitude for the hours of reading pleasure she has given me.
Sep 02, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, unfinished
I usually love Caroline Graham's Barnaby mysteries, but I could not find the energy to engage with this one.
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I am on my second viewing of the Midsommer Murders on Netflix, which in addition to being good fun, also have actors that I have seen on the screen and other TV shows, such as Austen's Emma and Persuasion, Hyacinth Bucket series, etc. It is not always easy to figure out where I saw X, but always fun to track the actor down.

However, I think this is my first Barnaby mystery that I have read; our library has about 4 or 5 of them I think and I was surprised to find that Sgt. Troy is married with a l
Vic Lauterbach
May 22, 2018 rated it liked it
This slow-developing mystery has some qualities of a classic, Golden-Age mystery. At times prolix, it evokes Margery Allingham, Michael Innes and even Josephine Tey, but doesn't quite live up to them. Although well-written, this story set in the UK of 1999 creates the odd effect of its modern elements seeming oddly artificial and out of place. Three chapters of character introduction move at the glacial pace that gives cozy mysteries a bad name. Once Barnaby and Troy appear, the pace picks up, a ...more
Dec 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
A PLACE OF SAFETY turns out to be very unsafe. A PLACE OF SAFETY is Book 6 of Caroline Graham’s Inspector Barnaby mystery series.
The title is an excellent mystery with interesting, quirky characters; lovely locations and many twists and turns for Inspector Barnaby and his Sargent, Gavin Troy.
Ms. Graham’s mystery series is the basis and inspiration for the British television series, Midsomer Murders, now in its 21st season.
A small village is “deep in chaos as long-kept secrets begin to unravel”.
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Place of Safety by Caroline Graham is book 6 in the series that became Midsomer Murders on TV. I love the characters, Barnaby, Joyce, Sgt. Troy and others, and the sense of place in the small villages. In this outing, the feelings of menace and tension were particularly well done, as well as the closed in, claustrophobic effect of Mrs. Lawrence’s life in the vicarage. The mystery was interesting with lots of clues to sift through, I guessed what was going on, however I may have already seen an ...more
Jul 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: caroline-graham
I think this may be the best I have read of this series. Both Barnaby and Troy are portrayed as nicer people than in the past, being much more tolerant to others, but still critical of them. The characters in the particular village are varied, an ex vicar and his wife, an author of children's books and his sister, dog-lovers, and so-called reformed criminals. This is a story of murder and blackmail, as well as relationships between the various characters. There are violent scenes of homosexualit ...more
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being a huge fan of the Midsomer Murders TV series, I decided to check out the books as well. I chose A Place of Safety as my first read (even though it's not Caroline Graham's first Barnaby novel) because I can't remember watching such an episode. Subsequently I read that this particular novel had not been filmed. Just as well - I had a great time reading it and it was totally unfamiliar! While it is true that the murderer was easy to guess, I still found the novel thrilling. It featured some v ...more
Feb 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Starting with sympathetic characters made me appreciate this installment of the Barnaby mysteries. Characterization and convoluted plots are outstanding characteristics of these stories, but the detail and complexity are also a detriment for my very casual reading. And...I also suffer from the proverbial problem of watching the TV / movie first. My eye/mind memory doesn't match the printed story.
Sep 27, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have been a bit of a fan of the Midsomer Murders series on television, so when a stumbled upon A Place of Safety I thought is might be fun to read about Barnaby & co as well. It turned out to be a pleasant enough read. The plot is pretty good, the characters are recognizable and entertaining and the setting is quintessential rural England. Unfortunately also a little predictable and could have done without the last ~20 pages. ...more
Sue Law
May 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-crime
An enjoyable entry in the Barnaby series (AKA the Midsomer series). Well paced with well drawn characters.
A young girl disappears after apparently falling in a river and a nasty old man sees a chance of blackmail. Then the old man is found murdered. The locals aren't talking and the police are struggling to find a motive.
David Hallstrom
The Detective Barnaby series can be hit or miss. A Place of Safety, the sixth book in the series, is rather just there. A decent crime story, although the it is pretty easy to identify the murderer early in the book. A couple of good twists in the story, but nothing overwhelming. Just a well-written character study.
Annette Arena
Apr 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The nature of love and the loss of love

Caroline Graham is a joy to read. Her use of language evokes beauty, fear,ups and downs of relationships, humor,and love and are relatable not preachy or judgemental. All the while, there,s a mystery to be solved by Troy and Barnaby..

Karen Zalewski
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you love the PBS series Midsummer Murders. You'll love this book. Detective Inspector Barnaby on the hunt. The great thing about the book is you know what Barnaby and Sergeant Troy are thinking. Unfortunately this Troy is not the sweet companion Barnaby has on TV.
Sep 24, 2019 rated it did not like it
I was enjoying this book, picturing the characters from the tv show based on the books by Caroline Graham. Then the cursing started. I am so disappointed but I don't read books containing this kind of language (f-word).
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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


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)
  • Written In Blood (Chief Inspector Barnaby, #4)
  • Faithful Unto Death (Chief Inspector Barnaby, #5)
  • A Ghost In The Machine (Chief Inspector Barnaby, #7)

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