There are lots of people out there who are big fans of Midsomer Murders, the long-running British television program based on this series. I'm not one of them. Not that there's anything wrong with it; it's just that I've never been attracted to murder-in-the-village television dramas.
Had I been a Midsomer Murders fan, I'm pretty sure that I would have enjoyed this book much more, as I would have had an investment in the characters. However, for me the characterisation is what lets the novel down. Again, there's nothing particularly wrong with it, it's just that I felt the characters could have been a lot more interesting. Instead, they came across as either stock characters or stereotypes.
That said, Graham writes elegant prose and the novel is tightly plotted with plenty of wit and some subtle humour. While I don't think it's as good a police procedural as those written by, for example, P.D. James*, Ruth Rendell, Reginald Hill or Peter Robinson, it's competently written and an easy and enjoyable read. Readers should know that while the village setting is suggestive of a "cozy", the novel is much more of a straight police procedural, complete with a couple of gruesome scenes.
This was a buddy read with my friend Jemidar and a group read with the English Mysteries Club.
*In her Adam Dalgliesh heyday, before the execrable Death Comes to Pemberley.