A Place of Safety
is a crime novel
by Caroline Graham
, the sixth in her popular Chief Inspector Barnaby
series, which has been adapted into the successful ITV drama Midsomer Murders
Ferne Basset vicar
's wife Ann Lawrence accuses Carlotta, a young homeless girl her husband has taken in, of stealing her precious heirloom earrings. Their argument escalates and the pair end up fighting on the area's picturesque bridge, when Carlotta falls off into the river below.
After her body doesn't re-surface, witness Charlie Leather's begins blackmailing Ann for money, until he winds up garrotted and his pet dog, Candy, left savagely beaten. However, still another blackmail demand arrives and this time Ann won't pay. Meanwhile, Chief Inspector Barnaby peels away at the wholesome veneer of Ferne Basset in his hunt for a dangerous and sadistic killer...