Is it too hot to do something relaxing outside during the day (like the nearly 100-degree heat here in Texas)? Why not relax inside with a lighthearted campy mystery series this weekend!
None of these series are American, but instead British and Canadian. More brains than brawn. Yes, there is murder. Perhaps a little danger. The detectives may be more intelligent than should be expected and use unconventional ways to catch their murderer. Yet you may be surprised with an Agatha Christie ending when you discover that the butler did it!
Death in Paradise
Season one begins with Detective Inspector Richard Poole, a Londoner reassigned to the British territory of St. Marie. This place does not fit this odd detective with an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Those working for the St. Marie police aren’t sure what to make of him, but he solves the most complex murders. Future seasons bring in other detectives, each one eccentric and bringing their own baggage. Besides murder, storylines tell more about the islanders who work for the St. Marie police. The location is beautiful, and you can take a vacation each time you watch an episode. Season 10 was released this year. Seasons 1-10 are available on BritBox
Shakespeare & Hathaway
Luella Shakespeare and Frank Hathaway are a mix-matched pair who meet after Luella hires Frank to investigate her unfaithful fiancé. After the wedding, the new husband is murdered, and Luella becomes the prime suspect. Determined to clear herself, she joins Frank and his assistant Sebastian to solve the case. The first episode is a must-see that sets up this partnership – each one with their own sardonic ways of doing things. Seasons 1-3 on BritBox.
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries
Set in Toronto, Canada, in the 1890s, William Murdoch is a straight-laced, rule-following detective with a scientific genius. He uses his radical inventions and forensic techniques of the time to solve crimes. There is a love interest with the lovely coroner, Doctor Julia Ogden, whose modern, feminist ways bring balance to Detective Murdoch. Another amusing part of the series is the inclusion of historical characters like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Buffalo Bill Cody, and Thomas Edison. Season 15 will be released this fall. Seasons 1-14 are available on Acorn TV.
Three seasons follow Frankie Drake, a young, daring veteran of WW1 who uses her spy agent skills as a private detective of her own agency in Toronto, Canada. With her own hidden gin still to supply her during Prohibition, she teams up with friend Trudy to solve mysteries. Other partners in crime include Mary Shaw, the local morality officer, and Flo Chakowitz, who works in the coroner’s office. With the combination of these women and their resources, they skillfully solve crime faster than the local police. Season 4 was released this year. Watch Season 1 on Amazon Prime, seasons 2-4 on PBS Masterpiece.
BONUS: Modern Miss Fisher’s Mysteries
If you like Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, you can travel forward to the swinging 1960s in Melbourne for the adventures of Miss Fisher’s niece, Peregrine Fisher. When her famous aunt goes missing over the highlands of New Guinea, the gorgeous and reckless Peregrine inherits a windfall. An interior decorator, she also does amateur sleuthing like her Aunt Phryne. She is determined to help solve crime with the handsome young detective James Steed who becomes seduced by her brilliance. The long-awaited second season debuted this summer. Seasons 1 & 2 on Acorn TV.