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Written in Blood Paperback – 4 Oct 2007


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Written in Blood + Death in Disguise + Faithful unto Death (Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby Novels)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Headline (4 Oct. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755342186
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755342181
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 3.1 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 302,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'The classic English detective story brought right up to date' Sunday Telegraph 'Plenty of horror spiked by humour, all twirling in a staggering danse macabre' The Sunday Times 'Very funny, with a brilliant cast of eccentrics' Yorkshire Post 'Enlivened by a very sardonic wit and turn of phrase, the narrative drive never falters... a most impresssive performance' Birmingham Post --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Dark secrets from the past lead to violence in the engrossing fourth mystery in the Inspector Barnaby series


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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By dedore@supanet.com on 30 May 2001
Format: Paperback
My first Caroline Graham, but not my last. A beautifully crafted murder mystery, blending peaceful village life with the unpleasantness of modern living. At its centre is the writing group of Midsomer Worthy, and when one of the group is brutally killed, the guest speaker is the main suspect. Gradually the police untie the knots, dig out the secrets, stir up everyone's lives, and unmask the murderer. Sounds like a thousand other crime stories, so why was I gripped from first page to last by this fascinating book ? Partly because it is so skilfully written, with witty, flowing dialogue and characters wonderfully brought to life. Partly because of the great pair of policemen, the good-hearted but grumpy Barnaby, and Troy, the insecure sergeant, and the crackly relationship between them. Partly because of what makes this good book into a great one - the colourful minor characters, all so interesting that one never minded leaving the main story for a while to enter their lives. Like patient,artistic Sue, who finally rebels against her appalling wimp of a husband. That's Brian, so awful that he is wonderful - the seduction scene where he gets his come-uppance is hilarious. And elderly Rex, who is devastated when he finds that he isn't as brave as he thought he was. Great fun to read, terrible to come to the end. I can and will meet Barnaby and Troy again, but what happens to all the others ? I can only hope that Caroline Graham works this magic in all her books.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Blue in Washington TOP 500 REVIEWERTOP 1000 REVIEWER on 26 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback
What's better than a mystery that unravels slowly and saves a major punch (as well as its resolution) for the last few pages? "Written in Blood" by Caroline Graham is certainly one of those books. The reader just doesn't see the ending coming as it does after being presented with a grand assortment of possibilities for some 350 pages. Along the way, author Graham gives us some of the best-drawn characters imaginable. This is a murder mystery to be sure, but there is also wonderful humor and irony crammed into its pages. It is full of good-hearted souls, tragic figures, crass bullies, eccentrics and classic English police inspectors. The author leans heavily toward retribution for the bad and rebirth for the good. The formula works very well in this well-constructed novel.

"Written in Blood" tells the story of the murder of one of the members of a village writing group. The victim is someone who has been intensely private since arriving in the neighborhood and has remained an intriguing enigma to his neighbors and group acquaintences. It is the unwinding of his personal history that more or less drives the novel forward. The author is in no hurry here and takes good time along the way to resolving the murder to spinout the stories the other members of the group and their families and neighbors. This sometimes takes an almost Dickensian tone. A description of one of the minor characters was a favorite of mine: "Mr. Jocelyne, a short man with a markedly pouty chest and tiny hands and feet, came towards them. (Inspector) Barnaby was reminded of a pigeon. Everything about the solicitor was grey--his pin-striped arms and legs, the soft, sparsely distributed curls of hair upon his head and the more wiry tufts spring from his ears. Even his nails had a blue-grey tinge.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cathy on 5 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback
The clues are clear enough for astute readers, but I missed them - as does Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby. In the final pages, recalling his record of interviews, he reveals a discrepancy. Still I didn't get it, until the final thrilling death. Caroline Graham is an extremely skilled author who obviously thinks long and hard about great ways to entertain her readers. Even without intriguing murder, this story would be chuckle-chuckle good. But, of course, we all love it when puzzling slaughter intrudes on a tranquil English village.
While the author well merits her five stars in this whodunit, the publisher, Headline Book Publishing, gets a raspberry for sloppy editing. The paperback I bought (1995 edition) had a terrible booboo at the end, just as the salient detail of the whole mystery was being revealed. A paragraph break where there should not have been one, plus a misplaced quotation mark, caused me to blink, ponder, read the thing three times and curse the timing of this simple but unforgivable error. Oh well, the baffling ways of big publishers defy all ken!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 Nov. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The village of Midsomer Worthy has a writing circle. Like most such groups it occasionally invites authors to speak at a meeting and give its members advice on their writing. Secretary Gerald Hadleigh does not react well to the suggestion that he should write to bestselling author Max Jennings and invite him to attend one of their meetings.

But write he does and Max accepts the invitation. Gerald asks Rex, a fellow group member, to ensure that he does not leave Gerald on his own with Max but doesn't explain why. When Gerald is found battered to death following the meeting and Max has apparently disappeared it seems like an open and shut case for Barnaby and Troy.

Barnaby is reminded forcibly of his own advice to subordinates to always keep an open mind about a case and he ensures that all the group members are questioned and asked to account for their movements though motives seem to be lacking as Gerald is such a mild and inoffensive person. Many secrets and obsessions will be brought to light before the murderer is revealed.

I enjoyed this well written and very detailed crime novel. The characters are all too believable and clues and red herrings are scattered throughout the story. The reader is given insights into the lives of all the writing group members and I felt sympathy for all of them. I thought the relationships between the characters were well done too especially those between Honoria and her sister in law, Amy and Sue and her unpleasant husband Brian. Laura's unrequited love is treated sympathetically too. Village life and its claustrophobic aspects are really brought to life.

I like Barnaby and Troy as characters and I especially liked how they were seen through the eyes of the people they are investigating.
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