The credits which roll at the end of Midsomer Murders’ episodes have featured many famous names – John Nettles, Neil Dudgeon, Faith Brown and Orlando Bloom among them.But one less-famous name always features in the ever-changing list of credits; that of Caroline Graham – the author who created Inspector Barnaby and wrote the Midsomer Murders books.
Do you, like me, ever wonder what Caroline is doing now? Well, thanks to an excellent interview in the Oxford Times, you need wonder no more.While Tom Barnaby has departed Midsomer, the series is still going strong and so too, at almost 80, is its creator.
Caroline told the Times all about her early life; including how she failed her 11-plus, fell into shift work at textiles factories and “ran away” to sea to join the Wrens. Little in her early life suggested she would be a best-selling writer but two inspirational figures in her life would shape her destiny.
The first of these was “a wonderful” English teacher who encouraged her to write at the age of 13. The second was a person she encountered in her late 30s when she went to a talk at her local library. The speaker was Christianna Brand (who wrote the book on which the film Nanny McPhee was based), a crime writer dressed flamboyantly in a fur coat and flourishing a cigarette holder.
Caroline, inspired by the talk, wrote and sent a story to Christianna and the encouragement she received resulted in her becoming a published writer.The Midsomer Murders’ author is giving a talk of her own on 17th June at the Witney Book Festival in Langdale Hall, just west of the South Oxfordshire border.
I wonder if she’ll inspire any Midsomer Murders fans in the audience to pick up a pen and embark on a life of crime writing!