Posts Tagged ‘Turned into TV show’

Midsomer Murders TV Show versus Inspector Barnaby Mystery Series

April 9th, 2012    Posted in 52 Books in one year challenge, Book adaptation, Crime, Fiction, Kelly, Mystery, TV v. Book

Public broadcasting currently shows Midsummer Murders, the long-running British detective show. Based on the books by Caroline Graham, the series is set in the fictional, and rather deadly, county of Midsomer.


The second episode of Midsomer Murders (and the first I saw) was based on the novel Written in Blood. It features DCI Barnaby and quirky cast of potential suspects.


The Midsomer Worthy’s Writer’s Circle invites a yearly speaker, and they usually can’t get anyone famous or successful to attend. So when best-selling author Max Jennings agrees to speak, they’re mostly excited. The circle’s secretary, Gerald Hadleigh, is furious, as he never wanted to invite Jennings in the first place.


When Hadleigh is found dead the morning after Jennings speaks to the writers, Barnaby is called in to investigate. Almost everyone in the group has something to to hide, whether embarrassing or sinister. He has to sift through everyone’s secrets and the past to find the murderer.


The TV version ups the ante a bit, adding in an additional murder. Most of the major subplots are brought to the small screen, although the book goes into most of them in more depth.  The show is satisfying, using two one-hour episodes to dig into the lives of the potential suspects.  Not surprisingly, the novel goes deeper into the lives of the characters, and the subplot with Sue is especially rewarding in the book.


Both the books and TV show are fun, perfect for fans of mysteries set in the English countryside. Barnaby is a likable character both on-screen and in the books. His family is important in both mediums, although his wife and daughter are less entwined in the mysteries in the novels. His sergeant, Troy, is nicer on-screen, which works well for the viewing public.


In addition to Written in Blood, I read several other novels in the Inspector Barnaby series: The Killings At Badger’s Drift, Faithful Until Death, A Place of Safety, and A Ghost in the Machine. All are solidly written and would make good reads for fans of cozy mysteries.


Title: Written in Blood

Author: Caroline Graham

Source: Public Library

Read: March 2012


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Mini-Reviews: Monk novel and more FreakAngels

May 22nd, 2011    Posted in 52 Books in one year challenge, Book adaptation, Fantasy, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Kelly, Mystery, TV v. Book

TV Tie-In: Monk series

A literary agent complained on Twitter about seeing someone read a Monk TV tie-in novel. The complaint wasn’t that someone was reading, but that the publishing industry could be more creative when choosing novels to publish. This made me wonder about the series, and I checked one of the novels out from my local library.

Mr. Monk on the Road is the eleventh (11th!) book in the series about the TV detective. These novels are based on the TV series, as opposed to the show being derived from the books. The 11th novel takes place after the end of the show, and so Adrian is dealing with life after solving his wife’s murder.

My big question when picking up this novel was does the novel satisfying on its own, or does it rely on the TV series? The novel is told in first person from Natalie’s point of view, and having seen the TV show helped me understand her description of Monk’s mannerisms and other quirky attributes. Natalie and Monk essentially kidnap Monk’s agoraphobic brother Ambrose and take him on a road trip in motor home. (Since Ambrose has only left the house twice in thirty years, a motor home will allow him to see things without having to go outside.)

Of course, they stumble upon murders, and Adrian unveils a serial killer. I knew how the murderers were when they were introduced. The ending is a bit rushed as the murder storyline is resolved, and some of the coincidences are a little much. But overall the novel is fun and I can see how uber-fans of the show will enjoy these books.

FreakAngels: Volumes Three and Four

Since FreakAngels Volume Three ended on a cliffhanger, I had to pick up the fourth installment as well. I’m going to say much about these graphic novels, other than I loved them and really enjoy the series.  They’re fast, fun reads set in an interesting world. The writer and illustrator are still world-building, but the stakes for the FreakAngels are getting higher as they take on responsibility for building a new world in Whitechapel.

Title: FreakAngels Volume Three
Author: Warren Ellis and Paul Duffield
Source: Public Library
Read: May 2011

Title: FreakAngels Volume Four
Author: Warren Ellis and Paul Duffield
Source: Public Library
Read: May 2011

Title: Mr. Monk on the Road
Author: Lee Goldberg
Source: Public Library
Read: May 2011

Read by: Kelly

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