Ah, sweet mystery!
Sweet, and not so sweet, mysteries often land in top place on bestseller lists. My reading preferences lie elsewhere, but I watch a lot of them on television. Not so much the home-grown variety, rather British mystery dramas.
We like nothing more than settling into our favorite couch-potato positions with dinner and one of these programs. Far from mindless yet not too intellectually challenging, they're a cool way to get the frisson of foreign travel without having to pack.
Here are 6 reasons why I like British TV mysteries:
What to Look For and Where to Look
BBC America used to carry a lot of British mysteries, but now you tend to have to catch them on TV where you can, or, even better, watch several episodes in a row on DVDs. Netflix stocks many of them, or you can also order them from Acorn Media, a Washington, D.C.-based company with a focus on, as they say, "the best of British television."
A new DVD set just out this spring from Acorn is Identity, with Keeley Hawes and Aidan Gillen, which may ignite a few paranoid fears about having your identity stolen. Two disks, six episodes, with layers of plot and detailed and realistic scenarios. I'm glad I got to see these before the American remake ABC is developing, because I find such remakes disappointing more often than not.
If you've never caught George Gently, Series 3 is just coming out now on DVD. Set in the mid-60s, it stars Martin Shaw teamed with a quirky young sergeant, with plots and murders that relate to this unsettling period of social change.
You may also enjoy Single-Handed. This unusual series takes place in the west of Ireland, and the darkness of the plots mesh nicely with the brooding setting and the seriousness of Sergeant Jack Driscoll, the local garda who faces down longstanding corruption (including that of his own father who preceded him in that position).
Check out Acorn Media's blog.
Copyright (2011) by Susan K. Perry.