Midsomer Murders is a British crime and detective series about Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby, and in later seasons about his cousin Chief Inspector John Barnaby, played by Neil Dudgeon. The series is inspired by the book series about Chief Inspector Barnaby, written by Caroline Graham. Midsomer Murders is set in the picturesque villages of the fictional county of Midsomer. As a result of the setting the whole series has a very strong and authentic rural English feel to it, which has been explained as one of the reasons for its popularity. The regular moments of black comedy and the contrast of gruesome murders taking place against the backdrop of idyllic English villages have been cited as other major reasons for the success of Midsomer Murders.