The British detective drama revolves around Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby's efforts to solve numerous murders that take place in the fictional English county of Midsomer. The current lead character is Detective Chief Inspector John Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon), who is the younger cousin of former lead character Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby (John Nettles). The Barnabys have worked with several different Sergeants throughout the run of the show, including Sergeant Gavin Troy (Daniel Casey), Detective Sergeant Dan Scott (John Hopkins), Detective Sergeant Ben Jones (Jason Hughes), Detective Sergeant Charlie Nelson (Gwilym Lee), and Detective Sergeant Jamie Winter (Nick Hendrix).

Midsomer's residents are mainly corrupt, selfish and eccentric individuals, many with a skeleton in the closet. During the course of an investigation, the Barnabys and their young Sergeants have to trawl through more sin and vice in the British countryside than could ever be produced in the tough inner cities in search of the killer. There is usually more than one murder in an episode (the average being three per story), but despite this, the programme retains a constant humour.

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