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The Killings at Badger's Drift (Chief Inspector Barnaby #1)
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Group reads > September 2018 -The Killings at Badger's Drift

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Susan | 10518 comments Mod
Published in 1987 this is the first novel in the Chief Inspector Barnaby series and won the Macavity Award for Best First Mystery Novel. It was adapted for television in 1997 and became the first in the popular Midsomer Murders series.

The village of Badger's Drift is the essence of tranquillity. But when resident and well-loved spinster Miss Simpson takes a stroll in the nearby woods, she stumbles across something she was never meant to see, and there's only one way to keep her quiet.

Miss Simpson's death is not suspicious, say the villagers. But Miss Lucy Bellringer refuses to rest: her friend has been murdered. She is sure of it.

She calls on Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby to investigate, and it isn't long until the previously unseen seamy side of Badger's Drift is brought to light.

But as old rivalries, past loves and new scandals surface, the next murder is not far away.

Please refrain from posting spoilers in this thread, thank you.


Susan | 10518 comments Mod
Worth mentioning this is still 99p on Amazon UK on kindle, at the moment.


Susan | 10518 comments Mod
I must admit that I have never seen Midsomer Murders, but I enjoyed the introduction to this by the actor who starred in it.

I also loved the fact that this was dedicated to Christianna Brand Christianna Brand


Jessica | 377 comments I must have seen this Midsomer Murders episode at least four times, but this is the first time I'm reading one of the books. So far, I am really enjoying it! It's very well written and suprisingly humorous.


Susan | 10518 comments Mod
I will be interested to hear what the differences are, Jessica.


Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 9418 comments Mod
I was pleased to see the dedication to Christianna Brand too, Susan!

I realised halfway through that I'd also seen this episode of Midsomer Murders, Jessica.

I quite enjoyed the book (I have a gripe with the plot which I will keep for the spoiler thread!) and loved the village atmosphere. But I must admit I didn't think it was quite as good as the TV series (which I'm still catching up on, after only belatedly cottoning on to it in the last few years!) Less humour than I had hoped for, though I do enjoy Barnaby's very dry comments ...


message 7: by Mark Pghfan (new)

Mark Pghfan | 366 comments Not really a spoiler, but I noticed that in the book it appears that Troy is married! Not in the TV series, though.

I too, watched Midsomer many, many times, including this episode. And I found the book also very well written and an easy read.


Susan | 10518 comments Mod
Apparently, Troy in the book is different from the Troy in the series?


Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 9418 comments Mod
Susan wrote: "Apparently, Troy in the book is different from the Troy in the series?"

Yes, I get the impression he is much nicer in the series, and he and Barnaby get on better in the TV version - although Barnaby in the series is a bit of a nightmare boss, always demanding that his subordinates stay late and giving them the worst jobs to do!


message 10: by Judy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 9418 comments Mod
I thought the stuff about Joyce's cookery got boring very quickly - I kept wanting to pop into the book and suggest they bought a few ready meals from Marks and Spencer. Then Cully did just that, lol.


Elizabeth (Alaska) I quite liked this. Apparently we'd seen the episode in the TV series, because when I told my husband the premise he piped up immediately and said he knew who did it. Fortunately, my memory had logged other things and I could read this fresh.


Susan | 10518 comments Mod
I can rarely remember who the murderer is in a book.

I would agree that Joyce's inability to cook was boring. Why apologise for not making fresh soup, when a can would probably taste better? It reminded me of the old sit-com, "Butterflies." Apparently, women's not cooking well was considered humorous in the 1970's/1980's?


message 13: by Judy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 9418 comments Mod
Oh yes, I remember Butterflies - I used to enjoy that, but the cookery element had slipped my mind!


Susan | 10518 comments Mod
I just checked and Butterflies ran from 1978 to 1983, so a bit earlier, but similar period.


Sandy | 3010 comments Mod
I haven't watched the TV series (expect for a few snatches here and there) so had little preconceptions and was pleasantly surprised. I liked the cooking joke at first but it gets old quickly and it is a problem that is so easily solved especially as she knows her limitations and inability to learn.


Sandy | 3010 comments Mod
If it weren't for the comments about Troy and the TV series earlier in this thread I would have expect him to be out of the force soon.


Elizabeth (Alaska) I quite liked the bit about Joyce and her cooking. It provides some comic relief. Barnaby loves her in spite of this lack and manages to find his own solution.


message 18: by Oedipuss (new)

Oedipuss Wrecks (walksnot) | 3 comments Thanks to everyone here for having me. This is my first time reading along with the group. I'm roughly half done with the novel and greatly enjoying it.

The set-up in particular was marvelous. One really gets a feel for these characters in a short space of time.


Sandy | 3010 comments Mod
Oedipuss wrote: "Thanks to everyone here for having me. This is my first time reading along with the group. I'm roughly half done with the novel and greatly enjoying it.

The set-up in particular was marvelous. One..."


Welcome!

I agree about the set up. I certainly felt the depth of the friendship between the two ladies. The flower search was both realistic and unique (as I just said on the spoiler thread when you get there).


message 20: by Judy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 9418 comments Mod
I agree about the depth of friendship. It was also nice to have a book where older “spinsters” were treated sympathetically as we have had one or two books recently where that wasn’t the case.


Susan | 10518 comments Mod
That is a good point, Judy. A much more positive view of female friendship than that shown by Marsh, I agree!


Jessica | 377 comments I initially really liked the cooking troubles, I even highlighted these sentences for future use when asked to describe my own kitchen talents: "There was between her and any ingredient a sort of malign chemistry. They were born antagonists".

But the trope gets repeated a bit too often. I think it would be a fun inside joke to repeat between books but between chapters is too often.


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 897 comments I've just begun and I adore the opening scene. What a portrait of mixed motives!


Frances (francesab) | 415 comments I also really enjoyed the opening, and that the victim is in fact universally well-regarded. I was rather expecting her to be an unpleasant busybody-it's such a common cliche in mysteries. I was also pleased by the very positive portrayal of these 2 elderly women (and that they were given individual characters).

I liked the cooking joke as well-rather nice to have a beloved wife who isn't a superb cook for a change!


Elizabeth (Alaska) Frances wrote: "I liked the cooking joke as well-rather nice to have a beloved wife who isn't a superb cook for a change! "

And after all those years of married life, Barnaby isn't complaining, it isn't a source of tension and conflict, he continues to love and revere her. He loves her dearly despite this glaring fault.


Susan | 10518 comments Mod
I agree that it was nice to have an elderly lady who was not snooping and nosy. You felt great sympathy for her and her shock.


message 27: by Mark Pghfan (new)

Mark Pghfan | 366 comments Do you think Barnaby would have pursued this at all, if not for Miss B?


message 28: by Sandy (last edited Sep 05, 2018 04:38AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sandy | 3010 comments Mod
Mark Pghfan wrote: "Do you think Barnaby would have pursued this at all, if not for Miss B?"

I don't think it would have been considered anything other than a natural death without her friend's determination.

I've forgotten if it was anything specific that made her suspicious. I think the poison did not show up in the kitchen until later.


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 897 comments It was more a vague sense that Emily's last day involved some actions that were not in character--not immediately reporting her discovery of the orchid, the single wineglass when she never drank alone, etc.


message 30: by Ruth (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ruth | 317 comments Sandy wrote: "Oedipuss wrote: "Thanks to everyone here for having me. This is my first time reading along with the group. I'm roughly half done with the novel and greatly enjoying it.

The set-up in particular w..."


This is one of my favourite things about Caroline Graham's books - she is just so good at quickly drawing you in with sympathetic characters who you really start to care about.


Susan | 10518 comments Mod
It wouldn't have been investigated if Troy had had his way :)


message 32: by Mark Pghfan (new)

Mark Pghfan | 366 comments Given Emily's importance in getting things going, I'm surprised she doesn't show up again in later stories. (Or maybe just in the books, as I'm familiar with the TV versions but not the books.)


Susan | 10518 comments Mod
I am looking forward to reading the next one, I must say. I was going to add this series to our long list of Buddy Read series if anyone is interested? If not, it will be a personal series to follow.


Jessica | 377 comments It would be nice to read all the books, but I'm a but too packed with books till the end of the year so I won't join in at this time.


Frances (francesab) | 415 comments I’m interested.


Susan | 10518 comments Mod
It would be next year now, anyway, as our list is very long and we have added a few new series in our Buddy Reads, so that newer members can start from the beginning (as we have a few, like the Campions, in which we are now a few books into the series now).

Good to hear you are interested, Frances. If anyone else cares to read on, please let me know.


message 37: by Judy (last edited Sep 08, 2018 12:12AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 9418 comments Mod
I struggled with it a bit in places but would try the second one, as often series get better as they go on and I did enjoy some parts.


Susan | 10518 comments Mod
The next one is Death of a Hollow Man: A Midsomer Murders Mystery 2 Death of a Hollow Man A Midsomer Murders Mystery 2 by Caroline Graham which is set in an amateur dramatic society - again, a setting we are all familiar with!

Death of a Hollow Man is the second instalment in the Midsomer Murders series, featuring Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby with an audience of 10.34 million. Featuring an exclusive foreword by John Nettles, ITV's DCI Tom Barnaby. Perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, Ann Granger and James Runcie's The Grantchester Mysteries.

Backstage nerves are fraying, and revenge is on its way. As Causton Amateur Dramatic Society prepares for the opening night of Amadeus, in the wings Esslyn Carmichael suspects his wife is having an affair with the leading man. And where better to settle scores than the stage?

Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby expects an evening of entertainment, attending only to show support for his wife. But when someone turns Esslyn's final grand gesture into a gruesome coup de theatre, Barnaby's investigation suddenly begins.


LovesMysteries  | 233 comments It's a shame Caroline Graham hasn't continued with her Inspector Barnaby series. It's been 14 years since the last entry in the series which was "A Ghost In The Machine". I've looked at Graham's back-list of books and she hasn't written as many as I would have liked. I wonder if she officially retired from the writing business.


Sandy | 3010 comments Mod
I'm interested in continuing ... what's one more series? And next year still seems far away.


Susan | 10518 comments Mod
Sandy wrote: "I'm interested in continuing ... what's one more series? And next year still seems far away."

Hurrah! That's the spirit, Sandy :)

She is quite elderly now (87 I think), so perhaps she is retired now, LovesMysteries.


Susan | 10518 comments Mod
I haven't put this with P D James - I think we will keep one GA mystery and perhaps a slightly more modern one, as Buddy Reads. I am hoping someone will want to read the next Donald Henderson as I adored Mr. Bowling Buys a Newspaper so much, but I will save thoughts for later this month!


Elizabeth (Alaska) I'm interested in continuing this series. That's what I say today. However, I freely admit that I don't know what will interest me 10 or more months from now.


Susan | 10518 comments Mod
Fair enough, Elizabeth. There are loads of great choices coming up anyway and plenty to interest (we hope).


Elizabeth (Alaska) After joining this group and a couple of others recently, I added a sheet to my regular reading spreadsheet of group reads. I'll add the next one to it where it's more likely to be remembered.


message 46: by Jill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jill (dogbotsmum) | 2179 comments Susan wrote: "I haven't put this with P D James - I think we will keep one GA mystery and perhaps a slightly more modern one, as Buddy Reads. I am hoping someone will want to read the next Donald Henderson as I ..."

I didn't like Mr. Bowling Buys a Newspaper much so don't think I'd bother with another


Sandy | 3010 comments Mod
Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "After joining this group and a couple of others recently, I added a sheet to my regular reading spreadsheet of group reads. I'll add the next one to it where it's more likely to be remembered."

I now have lists on Goodreads by month, so I can see what I should be reading, and another list for 2019.


Elizabeth (Alaska) Sandy wrote: "Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "After joining this group and a couple of others recently, I added a sheet to my regular reading spreadsheet of group reads. I'll add the next one to it where it's more li..."

I don't do it on GR. I have my challenge spreadsheet that shows tasks and all the extra points a book can get going back to 2010. I also have my 20th Century Women's challenge on a tab there as well as a 19th Century all authors personal challenge.


Susan | 10518 comments Mod
Jill wrote: "Susan wrote: "I haven't put this with P D James - I think we will keep one GA mystery and perhaps a slightly more modern one, as Buddy Reads. I am hoping someone will want to read the next Donald H..."

That's a shame, Jill. I thought it was very Patrick Hamilton, very dark and enticing!


message 50: by Mark Pghfan (new)

Mark Pghfan | 366 comments I enjoyed Badger's Drift and have another one in the series on my bookshelf, for a later date. But there are so many on my to-read list, who knows whether I'll ever make headway to get to it. I'm glad I read this one, spurred on my the choices this group makes for its discussions!


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