Television Mysteries

We’re running out of mysteries to watch. Can you believe it?


We’re particularly fond of British and Australian mysteries. We’ve seen them all. Name one. We’ve seen it. The old ones, the new ones, the Canadian ones (Murdoch Mysteries is a favorite), and we still seek out more. 


Hallmark Channel has a wide selection of Canadian and American mysteries. Ovation shows good ones on weekday mornings. Subscriptions to Britbox and Acorn can increase the number of available shows but at a cost. We have Netflix, Amazon, Disney +, Direct TV, and YouTube. 


I’ve been watching PBS Masterpiece with its adaptions of classic and contemporary books since it first aired in 1971. My dad and I would hunker down, him in his recliner, me usually on the floor. He’d make the greasiest, butter popcorn with a healthy dose of salt and quite a few burnt kernels. We’d settle back to watch Upstairs Downstairs, Les Miserables, and more. I have fond memories of these shared moments. 


When Masterpiece Mystery began in 1980, I became an even bigger fan. Mysteries are my forte. I left home for college in the fall of 1981 and made my college roomies and friends watch my Sunday evening shows. My spouse never watched these shows until I introduced him and he’s hooked now too.


My husband knows not to skip over the opening credits because the Edward Gorey sequence is part of the charm of the show. We usually record these episodes and watch them at our leisure later. Endeavor has certainly started off their season with a bang! 


We love Death in Paradise. But lately, I am thinking it has the theme of white savior and that bothers me. In this series, a white British detective is assigned to a Caribbean island where he is the lead for a group of people of color who are natives and they solve crimes and murders. The main detective has changed over the years but stays Caucasian. Ah, but Dwayne Myers

played by Danny John-Jules is a cutie and I miss him since he left the series. It’s not the same. But maybe I had a wee bit of crush on him. We watch it as our last fun show if we’ve been viewing a heavy drama or mystery beforehand, it helps lighten the mood before turning in.


As I said, we’ve seen them all. We also use closed captioning in our viewing. Partly because the accent, especially the Scottish one, can be a bit difficult to interpret and partly because I like multi-tasking. If you watch Shetland, you must use the captioning as the female detective has a heavy brogue.  We watch the cheesy ones (High Seas), the dubbed ones (Bordertown), the “what is she thinking?” ones (Marcella), the classics (Poirot, Miss Marple), and the cute ones (Father Brown).


And in all these shows, as I sit and take in the detective work, the character arcs, the communication and dialogue, I think that I too, could write one of these but set in the southern United States. We aren’t that different from the Brits around here. We have different dialects, we keep secrets, families have been in the same town for generations, and we have vast forests in which to hide dead bodies. One day, I keep telling myself, one day I’ll actually allow a character I love to be killed or be the killer. We shall see. 

Stay tuned until next time … same Bat time, same Bat channel.

Robin Hillyer-Miles works for the YWCA Greater Charleston with the mission to eliminate racism and empower women. She writes magic realism, contemporary romance, and is striving to write a really good mystery. She lives near Charleston, is a South Carolina native, and enjoys spending time with her husband, an almost 18-year-old senior in high school son, and their three dogs.

She’s published with a short story in an anthology with her Lowcountry Romance Writers of America chapter. It’s soon to be taken down so she MUST self-pub her short story as it really is a fun, sweet read (per her friends and family).

Find her on Facebook at

3 replies
  1. Gay Yellen
    Gay Yellen says:

    We're in the same boat with TV mysteries! Can't believe we've watched so many this summer. they've been the best distraction from real life these days. Well, them, and books, of course! Thanks for the post.

  2. Beachmummy
    Beachmummy says:

    I was thinking the same about Death in Paradise. We have been binge watching them this summer. I would love to them at least switch to a female lead. Hopefully they will take hints from the new world when they go back to shooting new episodes.


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