Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Crime Show Confessions

Confession #1:

I have a weakness for a good mystery. I enjoy reading them, and I enjoy watching them. But even though I like them, I could never write one. After all, if you're writing a book it's always good to know how it's going to turn out. Since I can never figure out "whodunnit" before the end of the book/show I won't be dabbling in this genre any time soon.

Confession #2:

I just borrowed the first two seasons of Vera from the library. Vera is based on a series of books by Ann Cleeves. I've read the Shetland books by Ann Cleeves, but haven't picked up any of these, so can't say how the TV series compares to the books. However, I can say that I'm enjoying them. But here's my problem. The main character, Vera Stanhope, is played by actress Brenda Blethyn. She was the mother in the 2005 Keira Knightley version of Pride and Prejudice, which happens to be one of my knitting/comfort movies. I have watched it well over fifty times. This makes it hard for me to rid myself of the feeling that when Vera is having trouble solving a crime she is going to take to her bed with a case of nerves.

Confession #3:

Season 2 of Ripper Street has been downloaded on my computer for several weeks and I have yet to watch a single episode. The reason? I'm a chicken. It's still dark when I take Fergus out to walk right before he goes to bed and I have an overactive imagination. It's bad enough worrying about encountering a cougar. I don't want to add a serial killer to my list of fears.

Confession #4:

I just finished watching Season 2 of Bletchley Circle on Netflix. There is a scene where someone has been murdered and they are on the floor in a pool of blood. (I don't consider this to be a spoiler. Given the nature of the show you can pretty much deduce there is going to be at least one person who dies.) It was only as this scene came to a close that I realized the whole time I had been fixated on the man's Fair Isle vest. Never mind that the poor guy had just been violently murdered in his own home, all I was interested in was the pattern on his vest.

It isn't just this one character who has caught my knitterly attention either. The whole show is a gold mine of vintage knitwear. The women's sweaters are lovely. There's something about this early 1950s style that appeals to me. These pictures aren't the greatest, but hopefully they are clear enough to give you an idea of what I'm talking about.








Confession #5:

This isn't the first time I have been inappropriately interested in knitwear. More than once I have found myself staring intently at a complete stranger's hat, and on a couple of occasions I have actually followed a person to get a closer look. From my perspective I'm just admiring the design and/or structure of what's plunked on top of their head. From their perspective I realize I fall somewhere on the spectrum between weirdo and stalker.

Confession #6:

I am at a loss for understanding why Sherlock only has three episodes in a season. Maybe it's for the best though. As much as I love this show, sometimes it makes me feel rather stupid. The scenes with Sherlock rapidly zipping through events in his head as he tries to figure something out stand in stark contrast to my head, which often can't remember what I was planning to make for dinner that evening, or what I walked into the room to get.

Confession #7:

I can't stand the actual crime scenes with all the blood and gore, so I turn my eyes away when those are on. Unless, of course, the victim is wearing a nice sweater or vest. The same applies for all morgue scenes.

What are your thoughts on crime dramas? Have you seen any good ones that I haven't mentioned in this post? If so, please share them in the comment section.

This has nothing to do with the rest of this post, but I thought I should include at least one cheerful picture. These are the socks I finished for the February instalment of my Self-Imposed Sock of the Month club. The yarn is from Trailing Clouds (she is the person who dyes that wonderful Mind the Gap self-striping yarn). This colourway is called Primary-Secondary.


76 comments:

  1. Hey Kristie,

    This post has made me laugh. I love the film Atonement, but spend most of my time admiring the set design and the costumes. Thank goodness I read the book. And I have a story that involves the film Seven, fleeing from the cinema and not returning to my flat in Muswell Hill for about sis months....

    Leanne xx

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    1. Okay, you have got to blog about your experience watching Seven! You seriously didn't go back to your flat for six months?!

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    2. OMG, Seven...horrifying! I had a similar experience trying to watch Reservoir Dogs, except I was in a dormitory late at night and got lost in the maze of corridors trying to get away from the boys' room where I'd been watching it.

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    3. I had never heard of Seven until Leanne mentioned it, but I am quite sure after reading what you both have said about it I will NEVER watch it! :-)

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    4. Six months! Wow. Seven is just really yucky, I watched it with my eyes closed I think. I was particularly disturbed by a film called Barton Fink. I am still not keen on staying in hotels with empty corridors.

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    5. You watched with your eyes closed? I was going to Google to see what it is about, but maybe I won't even do that. Yikes!

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    6. It was the man next to me in the cinema that pushed me over the edge. He squeezed my hand (by mistake I'm sure) at a particularly tense part of the film. I shot up from my seat and ran around the cinema looking for the exit. I ended up in the carpark having a panic attack (!) and Marc getting cross with me. He went back to Norway the next day, and I couldn't stay in the flat on my own (there was a window in my front door and I had to pass it to get to the loo. I convinced myself that I would be accosted through that window). I moved into Nikki and Steve's. They were newly married so were obviosly thrilled xx

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    7. That would have freaked me out too! I wonder if that man ever realized what he had done? My husband was reading my latest blog post yesterday and looked up to say "What's wrong with Seven? It was a great movie." I informed him there was no way I was ever going to watch it.

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  2. I tried to watch a show called Bones, but the "remains" were just too gross. I watch The Walking Dead (zombies, some of which are pretty gross), so that says something about Bones. I'm glad I DVR Sherlock. Sometimes I'll re-watch parts to make sure I'm actually getting it.

    Confession...I like Perry Mason. A lot. Not the movies, the old B&W tv epsiodes. I remember watching reruns of the show at my grandparent's house and now I'm watching them again. The local cable company carries a channel that shows nothing but old tv programs and PM is one of them. Perry is smart and I really like the way he treats people. He makes a good role model.

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    1. Perry Mason was, in many ways, a show before its time. I remember my grandpa liking the show too. I can almost smell the pipe tobacco just thinking about it!

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  3. I'm glad I'm not the only one that takes more interest in the knitwear. Loved Sherlock but I really wish they wouldn't keep spinning the scene around, makes me feel quite sick

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    1. Your British shows have such great knitwear in them! I agree about Sherlock. It sort of made you feel dizzy, didn't it? :-)

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  4. I'm not a great fan of Crime books or dramas on the tv but I did enjoy the series called Broadchurch last year - a real old fashioned whodunit and kept you on the edge of your seat wondering what the end result would be. I'm not a blood and gore person either. I do like Agatha Christie novels and loved Poirot.
    Patricia x

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    1. I loved Broadchurch! I had the shows on my iPad and finished watching the series when I was flying over to the UK last September. They are now filming a North American version of Broadchurch, and it's being done just a few blocks from where Karsten, Diana and Lucy live. I like Agatha Christie too, but I wasn't too keen on the latest Miss Marple ones.

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    2. Broadchurch was fabulous. David Tennant is a hero in this house.

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  5. We have such similar tastes. I adore crime fiction, true crime and crime-drama shows. I loved Atonement, the movie and the book. I just watched the first series of The Bletchley Circle a few weeks ago and LOVED it. OMG, I was enthralled. I can't wait until the second series comes on Netflix, I'll be all over it immediately. Do you have Netflix? Maybe there are other places to watch it too but there's a UK crime-drama series on there called Accused and it's AWESOME.

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    1. I watched the second season of Bletchley on Netflix, but our Netflix in Canada carries different shows than yours in the States. Isn't it a great series? I have to say though, I almost couldn't watch that least episode of season one. In fact, it got so intense I turned it off and didn't finish the show until the next day! Our Netlfix doesn't have Accused, but our library might. Thanks for the suggestion!

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    2. I just checked tonight and we only have season one of Bletchley right now. I was disappointed. I was upset by the episode that had the woman in the basement screaming before she was found dead. And then the almost-rape on the train when the guy thought she was just looking for a "good time" or something. Accused is wonderful! I was sorry to finish it.

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    3. I think season 2 of Bletchley is due to be on PBS in the US sometime soon, so check their schedule. Our Canadian Netflix doesn't have Accused, nor does our library. Darn.

      Yes, there were several scenes in Bletchley that were upsetting. The worst for me was in the very last episode of season one, where I had to turn it off and finish watching the next night.

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  6. I love a good mystery, too. My favourite way of immersing myself into a mystery is listening to an audio version. I am quite fussy with my mysteries, I particularly enjoy British crime fiction. One of my favourite authors is Christopher Fowler who writes a series with two very old and very eccentric detectives that lead the peculiar crime unit in London. Now that you pointed out the many knitted garments in film, I will probably get distracted, too.... Your striped socks are gorgeous, I am going to add some self striping yarn to my Birthday wish list. I like the double rib on your sock, it looks really good and I might steal the idea for one of my monthly sock patterns. Cx

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    1. I like listening to the audio versions too. Right now I'm listening to JK Rowling's newest book The Cuckoo's Calling (written under the pen name Robert Galbraith). I've been meaning to try the Christopher Fowler series. If you follow that link for Trailing Clouds she sells some beautiful yarn, and she is from the UK. Not that I'm trying to enable you or anything. :-)

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  7. Another mystery fan, one who loves British mysteries the best (written/television). Not quite crime, but I also love a good spy thriller. As for Seven (shudder) ... even hearing Kevin Spacey speak gives me flashbacks. Thank you everyone here, too, for the Netflix/book recommendations. Keep them coming!

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    1. Oh and LOVE the socks. Perfect for this cold, gray March. I'm off to see if I can get some of the Mind the Gap colorway ... I seem to recall she wasn't dyeing it anymore.

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    2. Yay, just nabbed a skein. Thanks!

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    3. I think everyone but me watched Seven. It sounds like you all need to form some sort of post-Seven self-help healing group. :-)

      I'm so glad you got a skein of the Mind the Gap yarn. Have fun knitting with it!

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  8. The Foyle's War series is wonderful for combining crime (nothing too gory as I recall) and vintage (WW II) costuming. I agree about the seasons of Sherlock being too short, and the dialogue is so snappy that I'm going to have to watch them all again because I'm sure I missed things the first time around. I know that there were times when I "got" the joke or double entendre in a time-delayed fashion and meanwhile the characters had gone on to the next bit. I do admire those lovely socks! -- Ruth

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    1. Oh yes, I forgot to add Foyle's War to my list. It is a terrific series! Do you know if there is another season coming out soon?

      I think I need to rewatch Sherlock again too. There was a lot going on!

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    2. It seemed to me that the latest season (post-war) pretty much ended the stories of all the characters - but we can always hope! I must confess that when I watch BritTV, I'm not only watching for knitwear but Aga-spotting as well.

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  9. The last episode of a police crime drama 'Line of Duty' is on tonight Beeb2 in the UK. I thoroughly recommend it if you can find it sometime. Keeley Hawes as great as ever, real suspense fest. Have you watched The Bridge first and second series? Fabulous, up there with The Killing for me. I'm also a huge Inspector Morse, Lewis and Endeavour fan. Have to confess that my son's middle name is Lewis after being hooked on Morse! So many I love, I could go on and on......

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion for Line of Duty. I will have to see if I can find it somewhere. Our library is usually good about getting British DVDs in, so I will try there first. And sometimes Costco brings them in too. I've not heard of The Bridge, so will also check that one out. I love Inspector Morse, and also Lewis! Thanks for all these titles!

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  10. Oh and I do love the 'Vera' series, but then I've not read the books. Having watched the 'Shetland' series and then read Ann Cleeves books afterwards I was mighty confused, quite different. Anyway, sorry I'll stop now and let someone else have a go :)))

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    1. Yes, her Shetland books and the TV series were very different than each other, weren't they? I loved the scenery in the Shetland program enough to make up for any missing story lines or inaccuracies (like Up Hellly Aa being at the wrong time of the year). But the books were much better overall.

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  11. I really liked The Bletchley Circle, and I can't wait for it to come back again - I know what you mean about the clothes, it all seemed so just right. I like Vera as well, I found the first episode difficult to get my head round I seem to remember, but after that I was hooked! Did you know - sorry, shameless promotion here! - that the house that I work at Basildon Park, was used in the P&P film that you mention - it is used as Netherfield - just saying!! xx

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    1. Don't apologize! That's so interesting that you work at the house they used for Netherfield in P&P! I might be just a bit jealous. :-)

      I think it took the first episode of Vera to get past waiting for her to have an attack of nerves.

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  12. I regularly take screen captures of the sweaters on Murder She Wrote on Netflix!!

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    1. That's a great idea! I need to learn how to do screen shots. Although I probably didn't want one of the dead guy no matter how nice the vest was. :-)

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  13. BBC new Sherlock - best series ever and has my son addicted like crazy. Love that era of knitted sweaters as well, maybe because I'm short and the sweaters are flattering on me.

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    1. I didn't watch any of the Sherlock series until a few months ago, but was immediatley hooked too. It's a terrific, but I have to give my vote for best series ever to Call the Midwife. Obviously Bushboy wouldn't agree. :-)

      That's an interesting comment about the sweaters from that era looking good on people of diminished height. Maybe that's why they appeal to me too!

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    2. Sherlock too. Alfie loves a bit of Sherlock.

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  14. So much to say... Thank you for your comments on my throw!
    I read the Shetland series - she knows a lot about bird-watching. But I wasn't convinced by her police procedures. The tv version is very different. We have been enjoying "Salamander" - a belgian series with a mix of French and Flemish. Of course, you can't knit and read sub-titles, or I can't. Loved "The Bletchley Circle" because of the prominence given to clever women. In "Salamander" all the women are secretaries. I'm amazed by what you can get from your library. Loved those socks too.

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    1. Your cabled throw is amazing!

      Salamander sounds very good, but like you I read and knit, and can't do both when there are subtitles. I've read the Shetland series of books too (I was quite mad at who she killed off at the end of the second to last one!), and really liked them. That's interesting that you aren't sure how accurate her police procedures are. I think part of the reason I like her Shetland series is simply the location. That's the way I felt about the TV version - someone could have been reading the manual for operating the refrigerator instead of the script and I still would have liked it with all that great scenery in the background! :-)

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  15. Seems that stitching and knitting go hand-in-hand with enjoying a good crime detective - I'm hooked on them too! I sometimes watch the Joan Hickson Marples just as a soothing background (I haven't liked the newer ones either). I have two teenage daughters, so we buy the Sherlocks on DVD and watch each episode about a million times - still don't always know what's happening, but we do enjoy a good lust...

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    1. You might be right about the stitching and knitting going hand-in-hand with liking detective stories. I wonder why that is? Your comment about you and your daughters enjoying a good lust cracked me up. :-)

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  16. Not a mystery series, but definitely knitwear that had everyone in the theatre (well, me and my 4 friends) suddenly stop following the The King's Speech and stare at the sweater worn by Jennifer Ehle, as Myrtle Logue.

    Apparently it's an actual vintage sweater, and was also worn by that erzatz Miss Marple, Geraldine MacEwan. http://mathomhouse.typepad.com/bluestocking/2011/03/recycled-costume-alert.html (okay, so THAT's a mystery series.)

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    1. Now I am going to have to rematch The King's Speech and look for that sweater! Not a hardship, as I love that movie. :-)

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  17. I love all your confessions! And those socks. As for crime dramas, I stick with "cozy mysteries" like Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot, Father Brown, and Hamish Macbeth (he has a Westie!), but I do like some of the other British TV shows like Inspector Morse and now Inspector Lewis.

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    1. I selfishly knit those socks for myself, and I think they are going to become my new favourites. But I'm not letting myself wear them until next fall/sock season, so for now they are tucked away in one of my wool trunks.

      I like the old Miss Marple shows, and I liked Hamish Macbeth, although it was so different than the books it was hard to believe it could use the same title. I haven't watched Father Brown, so will have to give that a try. Thanks for those suggestions!

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  18. So with you on the Bletchley knitwear! And that in nearly every British-produced movie or tv series set in the early to mid-20th century. Not a mystery, but another good source of knitting (if not as good as Bletchley) is a series set post-WWI: To Serve Them All Their Days, about a shell-shocked veteran who becomes a teacher in a boys' school. A bit soap-operatic, but interesting. Similarly soap-operatic but interesting, also set post-WWI in a girls' school this time: South Riding, featuring Anna Maxwell Martin again in great period knitwear.
    -- stashdragon

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    1. Thanks for these great suggestions! I just put a hold on To Serve Them All His Days at the library, and also A Touch of Frost. They don't have South Riding, so I'll have to look for that from a different source. Now I need to figure out how to do screen shots, so I can capture the knitwear when it comes up in all these shows. :-)

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    2. We watched South Riding via direct stream from Netflix US, so look to see if Netflix has made it available in Canada.
      -- stashdragon

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    3. I just checked and we don't have it on Canadian Netflix. I'll keep an eye out though. We sometimes get shows several months after you do in the US. Thanks for the tip!

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  19. I LOVE LOVE LOVE detective shows & books! I thought "Vera" was great. I was a huge fan of how they switched the dynamic and had the woman be the older, more experienced, hardened and incapable of keeping her personal life together one. I also appreciate a show that lets the sidekick cop actually solve some stuff every once in a while instead of just being stupid so the boss can look down at them and sneer out the real solution to the mystery, and I felt like "Vera" did that a lot.

    I'm making my way through "Inspector Morse" now, or at least as much of it as Netflix has up. It's WONDERFUL, but odd to watch after I've already seen most of "Lewis" -- watching the character de-age is kinda weird! "A Touch of Frost" is probably my all-time favorite. Though you can't beat "Midsomer Murders" for sheer absurdity.

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    1. Yes, that switching things around and having the lead detective be an older woman is one of the things that makes the Vera series so interesting. Inspector Morse is in a class of its own. I need to go back and watch all of them again. That would be odd to have started with Lewis and then watched Morse. I just put A Touch of First on hold at the library. It's nice to see a second recommendation for it. I've watched several Midsomer Murders, and will get back to more once I run through my library DVDs and Ripper Street (if I ever get up the courage to watch that one!).

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    2. I've never seen "Ripper Street" -- I'll have to look that one up.

      "A Touch of Frost" is just so so so so so great. Frost himself is one of the best-written characters on TV, in my opinion, and it's a wonderful performance. I haven't read the books the show was based on because I read some synopses and it seemed like they changed the character quite a bit. I wasn't really interested in the book version. But I could watch that show over and over forever.

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    3. I have it on hold at the library!

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  20. I am not a lover of crime dramas. I just don't want all that murder stuff in my head. I am however a knit wear stalker, and I am afraid i have startled several people with my stalking tendencies when looking at the pattern, or stitch of what they are wearing.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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    1. The problem with being a knitwear stalker is I think we don't realize it we are doing it. At least not until we get funny looks from the people around us. The funny looks don't stop when we try explaining that we were following their hat/scarf/mittens either. Ha!

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  21. I have watched all those dramas and think they're great. Ripper St, is a bit blood thirsty so best watched after dinner. Vera is brilliant and Brenda Blethyn plays her so well. Another one to look out for, if you don't already get it is Luther. Now, he will have you sitting on the edge of your seat but it's very very good.
    Agree, 3 episodes of Sherlock just isn't enough!

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion for Luther. I'll check that one out, although I'm not sure about the "sitting on the edge of your seat" bit. I'm a total coward! :-)

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  22. I think we would get along well as I'm a knitwear stalker and a crime show fan. I used to love all the old murder mysteries like Agatha Christie and Miss Marple, Dexter, Foyles War and I quite like Law & Order....I'll stop there before I sound too much like a TV addict :-) On a brighter note, your sunshiny socks are perfection! Mel x

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    1. Dexter is another one I haven't seen, so I will add that to my growing list. Maybe all the crime shows we watch help train us for our knitwear stalking. :-)

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  23. The comments about Inspector Morse reminded me belatedly of the prequel series "Endeavour" which we quite enjoyed. Although that was a fashion era best forgotten, I think! -- R.

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    1. I really liked Endeavour. I agree with you about that fashion era. Quite dreadful!

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  24. I second the recommendation for Luther. I love that show. All three seasons are now out on Canadian Netflix and they aren't very long. Some of the crimes, though, are severely creepy! Don't watch it right before bed.

    There was also I show I watched on Netflix that took place in the 1920's in Australia with a woman detective. I can't for the life of me remember the name right now…. It is completely on the opposite spectrum of crime shows from Luther, though.

    I haven't watched the second season of Bletchly Circle yet. Must get to that soon. :)

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    1. I'm not sure I'm brave enough to watch Luther! If you think of the Australia show please let me know. You are going to love the second season of Bletchley!

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    2. The Australian mystery series is Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries; its light to the point of absurdity but beats anything available on commercial tv

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    3. Thanks! I just put a hold on this at our library.

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  25. Not a mystery, but the baby knits in Call the Midwife had me hitting pause.

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    1. Oh yes - the baby knits in Call the Midwife are wonderful! I have to say that as much as I love Call the Midwife I haven't been impressed with their confusion over knitting and crocheting though. Hopefully they get their terms straightened out in this next season!

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  26. I am completely addicted to crime dramas! My favorites are Inspector Lewis and Midsomer Murders. Sadly, I've watched every one of those and I've been searching for something else. And I can't forget to mention my love for anything Agatha Christie, but I've watched all of those too. :-(

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    1. Inspector Lewis is terrific. Have you watched all the old Morse shows? They are even better! I am partway through Midsomer Murders, so have that to look forward to once I get through some of these other suggestions.

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  27. I was just the same with that Fair Isle pullover in The Bletchley Circle ... we'd recorded the show to watch later and I annoyed Ted by holding up proceedings for a good few minutes by pausing the action to have a look!

    Quite a few of the shows you and others have listed here we watch. And we enjoy the foreign language detective drama that is screened by BBC2 on Saturday nights.

    Have you seen the UK version of Wallender with Kenneth Branagh, I think you'd enjoy that. And Lewis, and Endeavour ... both spin offs from Morse, the one being a continuation after Morse's death and the other a look back to his youth.

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    1. I can just picture you pausing the show to get a good look at that pullover! I've seen Lewis and Endeavour. Loved them both, especially Lewis. A friend just suggested Wallander, so I am in the middle of it and really liking it. I hope there are more than the three seasons Netflix is offering.

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  28. My friend and I watched a particularly terrifying episode of Luther, and I can barely bring myself to take the recycling down to the garage after dark now.

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    1. Thanks for this warning. I have permanently scratched Luther off my "to watch" list. You aren't the first person to mention how scary it is!

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  29. A great post and comments, Kristie. I'm another lover of crime fiction and dramas and adored the knitwear in the Bletchley circle. I enjoyed the Vera TV adaptions very much, but can't say the same for the Shetland ones as I'd read the books first and there were just too many changes.

    I've come to this so late that almost everything I'd recommend has been mentioned already. DH and I enjoy Death in Paradise, which is a good old-fashioned BBC mystery series set in the Caribbean. By contrast we're also totally addicted to The Mentalist. :-)

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