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A Ghost in the Machine


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The superb seventh mystery in the series that inspired TV's Midsomer Murders grips tightly with its blend of violence and intrigue

About the Author

Dubbed by the Sunday Times as, 'Simply the best detective writer since Agatha Christie' and by the Yorkshire Post as 'the most underrated British crime writer', Caroline Graham is the author of seven Inspector Barnaby novels.


With its focus on a dozen or so richly diverting characters, British author Graham's well-plotted ninth novel featuring Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby (The Killings at Badger's Drift, etc.) has more in common with Dickens than with Conan Doyle. After old Carey Lawson's natural death, her nephew Mallory Lawson, whose idealism has trapped him in a teaching job he can't tolerate; his wife, Kate, who nurses a dream of publishing good books; and their willful, spoiled daughter Polly share in a legacy that will transform their lives. Carey's amiable, competent financial consultant and executor, Dennis Brinkley, collects huge and ancient weapons of war. The indecisive, diffident manner of the late woman's companion, Benny Frayle, hides a steely core of determination. Other striking characters include a medium who's a frustrated actress and her strange, abused daughter; a fortune hunter whose rich wife turns out to be no bargain; and a childless woman who finds an unusual answer for her longings. The first unnatural death occurs well into the book and doesn't become a murder investigation till halfway through. Those impatient with the initial lack of action will be well rewarded when the redoubtable Barnaby finally starts to sort things out. (Aug. 18) FYI: This series inspired the Midsommer Murders series starring Inspector Barnaby on A&E Television. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Fans of the A&E series starring Inspector Barnaby will welcome this most attractive village cozy. Barnaby is called to Forbes Abbot when the body of a man with a strange hobby is found squished beneath a medieval torture machine. Graham lives in England. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

A mystery of which Agatha Christie would have been proud. . . A beautifully written crime novel * The Times *
Tension builds, bitchery flares, resentment seethes . . . lots of atmosphere, colourful characters and fair clues * Mail on Sunday *
Everyone gets what they deserve in this high-class mystery * Sunday Telegraph *
A witty, well-plotted, absolute joy of a book * Yorkshire Post *
A treat . . . haunting stuff * Woman's Realm *
Wickedly acid, yet sympathetic * Publishers Weekly *
Swift, tense and highly alarming * TLS *
Lots of excellent character sketches . . . and the dialogue is lively and convincing * Independent *
One to savour -- Val McDermid
Hard to praise highly enough * The Sunday Times *
Her books are not just great whodunits but great novels in their own right -- Julie Burchill
Enlivened by a very sardonic wit and turn of phrase, the narrative drive never falters * Birmingham Post *
Read her and you'll be astonished . . . very sexy, very hip and very funny * Scotsman *
The mystery is intriguing, the wit shafts through like sunlight . . . do not miss this book * Family Circle *

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