Perspective: My Mystifying Obsession With British Mysteries

Sep 18, 2019

In my middle years, I confess to developing a vice.

You’re probably thinking that I bought myself an expensive sports car or have started collecting vintage Barbie dolls. In fact, I have become quite fond of British mysteries.

As I’ve watched various series through the years -- Midsomer Murders, Vera, etc. -- it didn’t take me long to figure out the formula. There’s the aging, often frumpy lead detective accompanied by a very good looking, young and often-rotating sidekick.  When it’s set in a village, that little shire has a body count higher than Cabot Cove’s. Even when a series takes place in a city, it still seems rather provincial.

Then there’s the modus operandi—rarely is it a run-of-the-mill death. The most memorable, in my opinion? Death by cheese wheel. And the culprit? Almost never the initial suspect -- and generally, it is someone who is “too good to be true.”

As you might imagine, I have become rather adept at figuring out these mysteries. So why do I continue watching them? In a world where “bad guys” seem to get away with it -- even get elected -- these mysteries are comfort food. Justice is almost never delayed in these series—give it a couple of hours, and the villain pays for his or her crime. If only the real world worked this efficiently….I suggest we bring Detective Foyle out of retirement immediately.

I’m Lori Drummond-Cherniwchan and that’s my Perspective.