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The Killings at Badger's Drift (Inspector Barnaby) Paperback – June 1, 2005


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The Killings at Badger's Drift (Inspector Barnaby) + Death of a Hollow Man: The 2nd Inspector Barnaby Mystery + Death in Disguise: Inspector Barnaby #3
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Felony & Mayhem; second edition (June 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933397047
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933397047
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.6 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,345 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The British author makes her debut here in an uncommonly appealing mystery, set in a tranquil village, Badger's Drift. Learned Chief Inspector Barnaby and callow Sergeant Troy go to work when importunate, elderly Miss Bellringer insists that her friend, Emily Simpson, did not die of a heart attack as her doctor claimed, but was murdered. An autopsy proves Miss Bellringer right; Emily had imbibed a Socratic mix of wine and hemlock. Spreading alarm throughout the community, an unseen murderer strikes again, leaving sly Mrs. Rainbird's bloody corpse to be found by her son, the local undertaker. As Barnaby and Troy investigate, they turn up evidence of another crime years earlier, and several suspects. Among them are the doctor's promiscuous wife, a young woman whose brother objects to her marriage to a rich widower and a Lady Chatterley-type gamekeeper. Diligent detecting brings the chief and his bumbling assistant to a sensational expose. Graham makes the characters humanly believable in her witty and tragic novel, a real winner.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This choice English confection introduces a memorable police duo, Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby and Sergeant Troy. Juxtaposition of the conservative, distinguished Barnaby with the spontaneous, handsome, modish Troy provides ample opportunity for dry humor and wry insight. As the two investigate the coniine (hemlock) poisoning death of 80-year-old spinster Emily Simpson, they encounter a bizarre mixture of eccentric village dwellers, starting with the little old cat-lady and gardener friend of the deceased. The murder, of course, causes a commotion in picturesque Badger's Drift, laden with quaint cottages and Georgian manor houses. A winner. REK
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Characters in the book are very well developed.
L McD
The book is well plotted, interesting and I am sure that I will be reading the rest of the series.
S Riaz
If you are a fan of British mysteries, this is a must read!
J. Nowak

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Carol Peterson Hennekens on April 21, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Cozies tend to have a limited cast and a modest local. In that sense, this first novel in the DCI Barnaby series certainly qualifies. Badger's Drift is a collection of buildings (village would be generous) at a T intersection. Virtually every resident is a suspect and they're a nicely mixed lot. Cozy heroes (and heroines) tend to have warm and fuzzy aspects - Barnaby has a wife he adores despite her utter inability to cook and loves to putz around in his garden.
What cozies don't contain, as a rule, are multiple murders, reformed and current prostitutes and illicit relationships that are, shall I say, more than adultry.
I really enjoyed the mixed tone of the book, even after I realized I'd seen the screen version on TV a few years ago. Graham does a nice job of taking many classical mystery elements and giving them a new spin. I'll admit that, knowing the ending, I was looking extra hard for the clues that would lead to the resolution. There weren't many but there were a few.
It's also worth noting that this book won a McCavity for best first novel and was selected by the Independent Mystery Booksellers as one of their top 100 mysteries of the 20th Century.
Bottom-line: A nice series for those who like British mysteries but want a little less rough stuff than Daziel & Pascoe or Frost.
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Hypoxy on March 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
This was the debut of the Inspector Barnaby & Troy series, and--with the possible exception of "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd"--I don't think a better mystery of this genre has ever been written and I could say the same of most-if-not-all of the subsequent additions to the series.

Wonderfully atmospheric, grittier than Christie but no less philosophically insightful, without Rendell's darkness or Martha Grimes' often-intrusive humor or Elizabeth George's excessive atttention to the private lives of some boring principals, I believe Caroline Graham's books are the most completely satisfying English mysteries I've ever read--and I've read more than a few.

Barnaby & Troy are a delightfully unlikely duo, and it's from their cultural clash that most of the delicious subtle humor comes. "Talisa Leanne's dictionary" cracks me up every time.

All I could wish is that Graham were more prolific. It's a long wait between books.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By S. Schwartz on March 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I am a great fan of British "cosies". I was excited to think I had found a new author since I've read Madames Christie and Sayers. Caroline Graham's plot are a lot different - more modern with modern problems and criminals. There is also more death, but she writes a terrific story. Read this series. This is the first in the series of DCI Barnaby. He's enough of a curmudgeon to make this interesting, but there are certainly a lot more killings in this book than in most "cosies". The plot is good and it keeps you guessing. I look forward to reading more. Barnaby gets started with one murder of an elderly teacher, but before the story is done there are other murders to contend with and the motive for the crimes, when it's discovered, will blow you away!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Nadine Harris on July 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
This series is for those who enjoy classic whodunits of the Agatha Christie variety, with just a bit of Ruth Rendell thrown in for quirk, and using a rather Rendellian police inspector as its protagonist. Rendell's Inspector Wexford series is the closest example of what this book offers the reader.

What Badger's Drift has which will not be found in Christie are really well-done complex characterizations that do grab your attention and create interest.

The book also seems to hew very close to the Christie line in how it proceeds, in that Inspector Barnaby and his rather malignant Sergeant Troy plod from witness to witness, endlessly reviewing the same events from different points of view.

What the book does NOT have, however (and Christie's books do) is any flow. to the plot. There is no sense of moving forward at all, as if all the characters just stopped cold and did nothing and all we read are constant narrations of past events. For me, this was very tedious.

However, the denouement is well-done and well-plotted, and the last section of the book picks up a great deal more pace and page-turning impetus. All in all, I thought I might continue on with the series in the near future. It was, after all, a first book, and hopefully Ms. Graham will pick up more plotting skill to add to her acid-etched characters.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Bastet on August 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
I first "met" the characters in this series by happening upon them in the Midsomer Murders mystery series on TV (I'm not much of a TV watcher, so I found them accidentally!). I was so impressed with the TV series that I decided to try the books. I'm very glad I did. While I found I liked the characters a bit more in the TV series (they are somewhat toned down for TV - Troy especially!), I throughly enjoyed this book and rank Caroline Graham right up there with Agatha Christie and the other top British mystery writers. The characterizations are great for even the more minor actors in the story, her wit and humor are wonderful and the vocabulary is fantastic (finally! an author who isn't afraid to use "big words"!). The plot for this novel kept me guessing right up to the end. A well-paced, well-plotted mystery. I was equally impressed with a subsequent foray into the series - Death of a Hollow Man. If you like the cozy British mystery genre, get these books!
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The Killings at Badger's Drift (Inspector Barnaby)
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