Death of a Hollow Man (A Chief Inspector Barnaby Mystery # 2)

Death of a Hollow Man: A Chief Inspector Barnaby Mystery - Caroline Graham

LL and I have just recently discovered the joys of Midsomer Murders on Netflix and though we've been binging on them, we're not even 1/2 way through the series. But I was intrigued when I realized the early episodes were based on books. Unfortunately, my library didn't have the first one - the one I really wanted to try - but they did have the second. It was certainly one of the most memorable episodes.


The CADS (Causton Amateur Dramatic Society) is putting on Amadeus, an ambitious project made worse by the undercurrents surrounding various members. Joyce, Barnaby's wife, if a long time member and all the people are known to him. When opening night sees their enraged Saliari slice his own throat with a de-safetied razor and die, everyone from the man playing his drama character's opponent, his faithless new wife or vengeful ex-wife, to the pompous and controlling director seems to dislike him if not have a reason for wanting him dead.


The basic plot the episode had is the same, though some side characters were removed and a whole side plot done away with. Thankfully, the show does away with Esslyn trying to talk after the horrible deed. In fact, despite the visual aspect versus words, I found the book's scene harder to get through. Then there was the big reveal.

The whole reason Harold killed him was not even investigated or mentioned at all in the text before the solution was revealed. The book happily jerked us from place to place but the few times Barnaby and Troy came even close to touching that aspect of the case, they immediately went off somewhere else. As if someone suddenly whispered in their ears "pay no attention to the possibility of clues being around here". It caused the book to end on a very disappointing note for me.

(show spoiler)


Then there was Sergent Troy. While there are aspects of him I greatly dislike and he's not my favorite, in the book he's far worse. He is married and yet an obvious womanizer, etc. I truthfully could barely stand him.


While I'm glad I read this, I think I'll stick with MIdsomer Murders; both the MCs and the mysteries tend to work better for me.