Thursday, July 10, 2014

Death of a Hollow Man by Caroline Graham

Death of a Hollow Man by Caroline Graham is a great fix for any lover of the Midsomer Murders series.
I am a huge fan of the Midsomer Murders television series. I've watched the episode more than once, and I have a deep affection for Tom Barnaby, and now for his cousin John Barnaby. The surprising thing is that I really haven't read the books. I say it that way because I tried to read Death at Badger's Creek, and I just had difficulty getting into it. Because I have been re-watching the series as I exercise every day, i decided to give the books another try. This time, I started with Death of a Hollow Man. This is the second book in the series, and it's also the second episode in the series. The book revolves a production of Amadeus put on by the Causton Amateur Dramatic Society. Of course, Joyce Barnaby is part of the group, and Tom Barnaby gets dragged into helping with scenery. There's only one murder in the book (and TV episode). Esslyn Carmichael, playing Salieri, really does cut his throat with the prop razor. It was supposed to be taped up so Esslyn could safely drag it across his throat, but someone removed the tape. it could have been anyone: his unfaithful wife, her lover, his ex-wife, or any of the others that he bullied or put down on a regular basis. Since Tom Barnaby was in the audience for the show, he jumps right into solving the mystery. I won't give any more details on the plot, but I will say that it closely follows most of the plot points in the TV episode.

I found myself really enjoying the book. Graham did a very nice job with the personalities in the story. I felt that I was really getting a picture in my mind of each of them. The solution to the mystery was not very obvious. The only reason I knew whodunit was because I had watched the episode. I'm not sure if all the clues were there. As I mentioned, I knew who the murderer was so I was looking for the clues to identify the person.

One thing that absolutely shocked me was Gavin Troy. In the book, he's a married redhead! What the heck! That is not Daniel Casey (the actor) by a long shot! However, the personality was similar. I think that Troy in the TV series is more likable than the one in the book. However, it didn't ruin my enjoyment of the book. I had such a fun time reading it that I requested some of the others from the library. Caroline Graham did not write many books, and the ones she did seem to have been turned into episodes on the series. If you love Midsomer Murders, you should definitely give the books a try.

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