English villages are full of ‘bitterness, anger, hatred and suspicion’ says Midsomer writer

The creator of Midsomer Murders claims that English villages are perfect settings for crime dramas because they are places of “hatred, suspicion and anger”.

Screenwriter Anthony Horowitz, who also worked on Sherlock Holmes books and Foyle’s War, said that village residents are curtain-twitchers who are always “hiding something”.

The 61-year-old told crowds at the Cheltenham Literature Festival: “Sherlock Holmes says a line about English villages - that nowhere is more evil than an English village. I live in Norfolk so I should know.


Writer: Anthony Horowitz said English villages are full of anger and bitterness (Rex)

“They are special places where hatred and mistrust and suspicion and anger and bitterness have a natural place to grow.”

He added: “In an English village it can all fester slowly.

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“I love the fact that in a village everybody is hiding something and people are far more curious about what is going on behind their net curtains.”

Midsomer Murders is centred on a detective’s efforts to solve crimes committed in the picturesque - and fictional - county of Midsomer.


Rural: Midsomer Murders is set in a fictional English village (Rex)

Describing his love of the books on which the series was based, he said: “I love the way [it was] ordinary people - old ladies on tricycles and the vicar and all these stereotypes – [and you] discovered the most appalling things about them.

“Every one of them was up to some kind of sexual, drugs, violence, perversions.

“That was the pleasure of those books. Pulling away the net curtains and going in.”

Midsomer Murders has aired 18 series since 1997, with over 100 episodes so far produced.

Top pic: Rex