After finishing all the episodes so far of Downton Abbey, I remained enamored of Britain and looked for another series to immerse in.
Enter Midsomer Murders. Perfect. I’d loved it on TV during the ’90s, the few episodes I caught of it, and enjoyed settling down to follow the sleuthing activities of Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby (played by John Nettles) and his various DI (detective inspectors) around Midsomer County.
The area in which the action takes place is a fictional county of 66 villages with quaint names like Midsomer Mallow and Eleverton-cum-Latterley. Based on the real county of Somerset and the town of Midsomer Norton, the absurdly high number of murders that occur in what seems a sleepy country location adds a sense of surrealness to the series and gives DCI Barnaby a chance to show off his skills while teaching his DIs a thing or three.
A cottage garden from season 3. Look at the vines and the lovely white wood trim on that cottage.
I loved the first four seasons, with settings ranging from lovely emerald villages to cozy cottage or imposing castle interiors and warm glowing pubs. The characters were always eating or drinking. The detectives seemed to have the perfect job of going around town interviewing people in their parlors and being offered countless cups of coffee and tea and plates of home-baked scones and biscuits.
The gardens are lovely, with lush wildflowers carefully tended. The furnishings are antiques. Everyone is polite. DCI Barnaby loves his wife Joyce and daughter Cully to bits. Now where can I find a man like that? He seems too good to be true – intelligent, resourceful, responsible, and an upright family man.
Barnaby walks with his aunt under the rose arbor at her nursing home (s3).
Well, this is fiction, after all. Sink into this world of rose arbors and crumbling church towers and meandering bike rides through picturesque woods and, at the end, always – puzzles solved.
A young Orlando Bloom plays a burglar who meets a grisly end in this 1999 episode (season 3, epi 3).
Image of John Nettles and Daniel Casey (who plays the first DI, Gavin Troy), here. Screenshots by me with an iPhone 4S, Instagram effects.