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A Place Of Safety (Chief Inspector Barnaby #6)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  946 Ratings  ·  64 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
ebook, 253 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Minotaur Books (first published 1999)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Sheila Beaumont
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
Katherine Clark
Oct 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Margot Jennifer
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.
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.
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Karen Gibson
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great mystery writer
Mar 09, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#6 in the Chief Inspector Barnaby series, which was adapted for TV as the "Midsomer Murder" series. (I still haven't seen any of them!) Barnaby and Sgt. Troy are off to the village of Ferne Bassett, where a local gardener/handyman's body has been found dead, his dog having been discovered earlier in the day, severely beaten and barely alive. While no one in the village liked Charlie Leathers--including his wife--it's uncertain who would dislike him enough to murder him.

As we meet each of the pl
Nov 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A girl falls into a river and appears to drown. An unpleasant man is out walking his dog at night and is discovered next morning dead and his dog seriously injured. Someone is being blackmailed and others are engaged in activities which may or may not result in harm to them or others. Tom Barnaby and his wife, Joyce, are about to celebrate their silver wedding anniversary – can they actually manage to have a celebratory meal with their daughter and son-in-law without crime getting in the way?

An Odd1
Aug 02, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Basis of BBC-TV Midsomer Murders, pattern unfolds similarly, following Inspector Barnaby's family life, here silver wedding anniversary celebrated with his daughter Cully and her actor husband. Relationship chains have optimistic endings - men, family, animals, yield and usurp power. Vacation feel from Brit slang and expressions like "dot carry one" for limping/ lame, and "Anglepoise" for a swivel arm task lamp (banned by a BBC head who thought small lights bred dark subversive thoughts - is tha ...more
Aug 14, 2009 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: policier
Au Vieux Presbytère, Lionel Lawrence , ex; aux idées larges mais fumeuses, accueille régulièrement de jeunes délinquants, que sa femme Ann tolère par soumission et apathie.

Mais, un jour, Carlotta, la pensionnaire du moment, disparaît dans la rivière après une grave dispute avec son hôtesse.

Témoin de hasard, le vieux Charlie saute sur l'occasion pour faire chanter Ann qui, désemparée, consent à le payera Mais on retrouve bientôt le cadavre du corbeau dans un bois.

La disparition de Carlotta, la
Oct 11, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery
I think it is possible for a novel to be too British. I found myself stumbling over words where I could not figure out what the author was talking about. Most of those words were for food, but occasionally other things as well.

As a result, of that and the fact that I didn't much like the two continuing primary characters, I'm only giving this book 3 stars. One of the things that bothered me was that most of Chief Inspector Barnaby's staff are afraid to open up their mouths. In a couple of cases
Toby Rogers
Sep 23, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
After enjoying The killings at Badgers Drift and Written in blood, especially the latter, I was looking forward to reading this, but it did not get live up to expectations. The opening 50-100 pages or so were good but then after that I found it quite dull. It never gripped me or drew me in and I didn't find any of the characters very interesting, they were a bit too whimsical.
I personally think Caroline Graham used too much description and it often seemed to take a while to get to the point. It
Sarah Echo
Jun 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was a little disappointed with some aspects of this book, namely the way the mystery was solved. I don’t want to give too much away, but the perpetrator of the crimes involved felt way too obvious. On the other hand, there was a very satisfying ending with a wodnerful twist, something that, in my opinion, is essential for a good mystery. Another thing I liked about this book was the characters. I found myself wishing I had a neighbor like Evadne Pleat, with her eccentric outfits and many dogs. ...more
Sep 27, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A couple of summers ago I got hooked on an English tv mystery series loosely based on the character of Chief Inspector Barnaby created by Carolyn Graham. I decided to read a couple of her books because I enjoyed the bbc series so much. There are several novels with inspector Barnaby as the lead character, the plots are somewhat predictable but fun to read, particularly if you like the mystery genre...which I do. I thought that the T.V. script writers did a good of a job with refining and fleshin ...more
Ronald Wilcox
Aug 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love the Midsomer Murders TV series. This book is the sixth in the series on which the TV show was based. Barnaby and Troy are called out to investigate two events - a report of a woman falling into the river and not re-appearing and the report of a dog that was beaten whose owner was found dead nearby the next day. Then a woman from the same village is found in a neighboring village with her head bashed, in a coma. Barnaby sets his sights on who he thinks the murderer is but is very frustrate ...more
Jill Hutchinson
Another in the series of Barnaby/Troy murder mysteries. A murder in a small English village leads to the uncovering of some pretty nasty secrets and the majority of the main character are going to regret keeping those little secrets. Barnaby is his usual grumpy self and you wonder how Troy ever got past being a constable on the beat but together they make a good team. None of the suspect garner much sympathy,and there is a small twist in the last few pages.You will love the incidental character ...more
Apr 25, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy watching the Midsomer Murder PBS series, so I decided to read some of the books which inspired the series. I am always amazed at how true to the heart of the books PBS does their work. It is thrilling. I don't know which I like better, the books or the series. This book does not remind me of an episode, so it was entirely new. A death, or was it a death, in a village. As Barnaby and Troy try to find out who did it, we discover love described in many ways; between friends, between ...more
Dec 02, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This may be the first time that I have ever said or thought that the television version (or movie) was better than the book. The character of Barnaby is not likable at all - he's quite full of himself, even more so than the TV show. The character of Troy is a caricature of a lower middle class person who doesn't know much. The writing is uneven and in some places doesn't make much sense. One example is that in several cases I was not sure who was speaking/thinking. All in all, a bit disappointin ...more
An interesting story that turned out to be more complicated than one first assumes, which I really liked.
You get to know the various characters well, each one is also different from the other (I find that characters must have separate identities and some authors aren't able to write more than one or two types).
The different perspectives that are often altered are not hard to keep up with, and the writing itself is well done.
I really liked this book, and I'd like to take a look at the other Midso
Aug 05, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got interested in this author after watching a few British movies called "Midsommer Murders" based on Caroline Graham's books. The books followed the same story line of Chief Inspector Barnaby & Sargeant Troy who get called upon to solve murders in a small town. Barnaby is grumpier than the series portrays. But eccentric characters and racy murders are at the heart of the story. I enjoyed her writing and will read more of her books.
Unlovely man takes his dog for a walk and neither returns. He's been garrotted and his dog almost killed, but by whom and why?

Ex-parson's wife has a fight with one of her husband's troubled charity cases, the young girl falls into the river--is she dead? The wife can't admit what she's done, or neglected to do.

A famous author is obsessed with the wrong person, which will ultimately lead to more death.

Enjoyable but not earth shattering entertainment.

Apr 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first time I have read any of Caroline Graham's work. I really enjoyed it. I was in Budapest, Hungary on vacation at the time that I read the book. Caroline is English and I was intrigued by the fact that I was reading a foreign author in a foreign country. Caroline is a clever mystery author. Although I had my suspicions about "who done it?", I liked the twists and turns the plot took and was surprised by the ending.
Feb 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-england
Did Carlotta run away from the quiet village of Ferne Basset? Or did Ann, the quiet wife of the benevolent former vicar who took her in push her into the river? Or did she commit suicide? Whatever happened to her, the man who wanted to blackmail Ann is definitely dead. As Inspector Barnaby and the ever-complaining Troy investigate, they find more tension in Ann's home than her best friend could suspect.
Rog Harrison
I think this is the second time I have read this. It's an odd book as it's pretty obvious who the criminal is quite early on though to be fair there are a couple of interesting twists. Also the author spends a lot of time on Chief Inspector Barnaby. As usual there are some really nasty people but somehow I was not quite as satisfied as I have been with other books in this series.
A good mystery with a rather witty writing style. The culprit was a bit too obvious, though. And I was sorry to see that the person didn't really get what they had coming. Even after they were revealed, they still managed to destroy innocent lives and an innocent person will pay in the end, simply out of blind spite.
Sep 21, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cozy mystery lovers
I'm a sucker for Caroline Graham, so my review's will most likely always be positive. She's wonderful at describing people and environments; and the story is always so well-done. They knew who did it pretty early on, so the story was primarily about finding evidence to prove it and discover how. I flew threw, reading it in about 3 days, and I'd recommend it to any mystery lover.
G Hodges
What really worked for me was the authors ability to take the police and their families and let us see the mundane aspects of their lives. We get to see the personalities of the victims and perpetrators. The interactions are fleshed out.

I wasn't especially fond of the story line, but I did enjoy reading the book.
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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)
  • 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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