Sunday, November 23, 2014

Need a mystery series to watch this fall and winter as the current shows go on hiatus?

Midsomer Murders is a British detective series that started in 1997 that I only found out about in the past year through my mystery book club. It is available on Netflix. It is apparently still in production and airs on ITV.

I have watched the first 2 seasons on Netflix. This is my go to show when I want something to watch.

The main character is DCI Tom Barnaby in the village of Causton. His partner in these earlier shows is Gavin Troy. DCI Barnaby is middle aged, very practical, very calm, very experienced and very likeable. He is married to Joyce and they have one daughter, Cully, an aspiring actress. Joyce is active in the community and a very supportive wife and mother.
Sgt. Troy is younger and also very likeable. He seems interested in Cully at this point in the series.
I say likeable because at this point in the series, there is nothing that I see to not like the main characters. You would love to be friends and neighbors with them.

The scenery is great - showing villages in England with the old buildings and wonderful greenery. The stories are great, gradually working through the murder like an Agatha Christie story.

While I watch several of the current day mysteries and detective series, I find this earlier series refreshing. Yes there is usually "a body". But it is not as graphic, gory, violent and fast paced as todays t.v. shows. Each episode is at least 90 minutes, sometimes a bit more. The story unravels gradually and systematically. It isn't slammed in your face like the 45 minute t.v. shows of today.

Each episode usually includes Barnaby's family to some extent, so you see the relationships and his day to day life, which is usually pretty good. 

And maybe that is what I like about it; everything gets tied up neatly at the end and everyone goes about their normal life.

In this earlier series, DCI Barnaby is played by John Nettles. Gavin Troy is played by Daniel Casey. Jane Widmark is Joyce and Laura Howard is Cully.

I can understand why this has been running since 1997.

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