Some people love crossword puzzles. I enjoy solving murder mysteries. My mother used to watch Inspector Morse on Masterpiece Theater (when it was called that) and I used to watch with her. We’d both try to figure out whodunit. I got hooked on playing armchair detective and I’ve been watching murder mysteries ever since.
The first on my list of favorite murder mysteries is the British-made Midsomer Murders. It’s memorable for its good mysteries, odd village characters, imaginative methods of murder, and it’s quiet sense of humor.
The first episode aired in 1998 and it’s still running. The original detective was Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby, as played by John Nettles. Nettles had been a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company for many years. He invited many of his RSC friends to play parts in Midsomer Murders. Nettles made 81 episodes, so there’re plenty to enjoy. He retired at the end of season 13 and was replaced by Neil Dudgeon who plays Chief Inspector John Barnaby, Tom’s cousin.
Start from the beginning and watch them in order. That way the surrounding family stories will make sense. Episode #1 is called The Killings at Badger’s Drift. It will give you a good sense of what the series is like.
The stories take place in the idyllic villages of fictional Midsomer County. The villagers we meet are interesting characters with odd habits, checkered pasts and not always honest intentions. The stories are not overly scary or gory like some police procedurals. There is good storytelling, wit and humor. Each episode is unique. GIve it a go and see what you think.
Did you watch Midsomer Murders? What did you like about it? Share your faves with us.