Acorn Media presents a beautifully realized boxed set that brings to life all the ghastliness and arch humor of Caroline Graham 's intriguing mystery series. Set 1 includes four episodes: Death's Shadow , Strangler's Wood , Blood Will Out , and Beyond the Grave Each is set in a different village in the quaint but surprisingly lethal Midsomer County, complete with sharp portraits of the love and loathing that small-town life can breed. John Nettles plays Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby with a wry wit, a satisfyingly keen-but-not-supernatural intelligence, and a deep understanding of human nature. Daniel Casey as the much younger Sergeant Troy has a somewhat tougher job, painting his younger policeman's character in shorter bits over the course of the series, but he becomes a most welcome face. The series is beautifully acted and produced and the solutions are satisfying--not a clinker in the bunch. The DVDs include selected cast filmographies, a biography of author Caroline Graham, and a map of Midsomer County. --Ali Davis
Novelist Caroline Graham has an uncanny knack for leavening her macabre mysteries with British drollery. Four of her finest are set in the seemingly benign villages of Midsomer County. But bucolic charms can mask a multitude of sins, as Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby (played by John Nettles) and his brash assistant, Sergeant Troy, discover. DVD special features include a Midsomer map, a biography of Graham, and cast filmographies. 6 hours 40 min. on 4 DVDs.