Fifteen letters written by Agatha Christie, England’s grand dame of crime writing, have just gone on display at Wallingford museum - if Barnaby needs to find out about his new beat in Midsomer Murders, he should give them read.

The letters give a fascinating insight into Agatha’s Christie’s close connection with Wallingford (see picture) the South Oxfordshire town where she lived and worked from 1934 until her death in 1976.

Her interest in the community was not a casual one: 13 of the letters mention the Sinoudun Players, the local theatre group which she was president of for the last 25 years of her life.

The Sinodun Players still put on productions and many of their members have appeared regularly in Midsomer Murders (Wallingford doubles as Causton, DCI Barnaby’s fictional home in the series).

John Warburton, chairman of trustees for the Sinodun Players, told the Oxford Mail: “I remember her coming to productions in the Masonic Hall, wearing her fur coat, and she would be given flowers, a box of chocolates and a programme”.

There has been quite a lot of Agatha Christie news this month. Reports that ITV is considering ending the series of Hercule Poirot mysteries was soon followed by happier news that Gosford Park writer Julian Fellowes is working on a film adaption of Agatha’s ‘Crooked House’ whodunnit.

And then there was the announcement that the British Museum is to exhibit some 3,000-year-old ancient carved ivories excavated by Agatha’s husband, Sir Max Mallowan in Iraq - Agatha apparently helped clean and preserve the objects.

For places to visit in South Oxfordshire, make Wallingord your starting point: The Wallingford Museum exhibiton is called ‘Christie to Causton: Murder and Mayhem in Wallingford’ and will include evidence of “real life murders from Wallingford’s darker past. So that’s where Midsomer Murders takes its inspiration from!