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MIDSOMER MURDERS Set 13 (2009)


Producer: Brian True-May

Directors: Peter Smith, Renny Rye

Writers: Peter J. Hammond, David Hoskins, Steve Trafford, Michael Aitkens.
Inspired by the novels of Caroline Graham

Starring: John Nettles, Jason Hughes, Jane Wymark, Laura Howard, Barry Jackson...

Guest stars include: Phil Davis, John Castle, Richard Johnson, Lisa Eichhorn, Rachel Davies, David Horovitch, Harriet Thorpe, Flora Montgomery, Suzi Quatro...

Studio: Acorn Media
Rating: Not rated
Run time: 400 minutes (4 discs)

Genre: Mystery/crime

Available on DVD

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

This is a long-running British mystery series (12 years?) based on characters from the novels of Caroline Graham. Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby and Detective Sergeant Ben Jones investigate murders in the English villages of Midsomer.

There are four episodes in this set. Although it's being called "Set 13," it is really from the 10th series, as shown in Britain. (Yes, it is a bit confusing. The series is not being released as a complete "season" or year's worth of programs. Instead, four are released and then later another three or four from the same year are released, and each are called a set.)

"Dance with the Dead" -- A young man is found dead in a vintage automobile. It appears to be suicide by ashyxiation, but where is his girlfriend who was also in the car?

"The Animal Within" -- A woman arrives to meet her estranged uncle only to find him missing and that every thinks she died in a plane crash some three years ago.

"King's Crystal" -- When an artisan glassworks suddenly closes and the pension fund goes missing, Barnaby must untangled the mess -- and deaths -- left behind.

"The Axeman Cometh"-- A Midsomer music festival reminds Barnaby of days long ago when he was in a blues band but he must concentrate on finding a killer who is targeting the remaining members of the reuniting band, "Hired Gun."

Again, these are not the strongest or best episodes in the overall series but I don't expect each episode to be great. Sadly, one must content one's self with the joy of spending time with DCI Barnaby and the rest of the regular characters including Joyce, Barnaby's wife, Cully, his daughter, and Dr. Bullard, the coroner. Oh, and let's not forget DS Jones who has picked up a bit of an attitude and seems to be becoming more like former DS Troy -- in a fun way. DS Jones has some very clever dialogue, especially in "The Axeman Cometh," which is practically all that makes that particular episode watchable, in my opinion. Still, I will continue to purchase the new sets as they become available. I do so enjoy a visit to Midsomers.

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