Show name: Death in Paradise
Release date: 2011
Genre: Murder mystery
Starring: Ben Miller, Sara Martins, Don Warrington
Created: Robert Thorogood
Studio: BBC/France 2
Winter is still upon us, and what better way to banish the cold and ice than by watching a murder mystery set on a Caribbean island?
Richard is a detective from London and, following the murder of St Marie’s detective, he is sent over to investigate.
To say that he is unwilling is a glorious understatement: his luggage goes missing en route but he insists upon remaining in his crumpled suit despite the intense heat.
After the murder is solved, he’s ordered to stay on even though he loathes the island. He’s grumpy and resistant to the island’s charm.
However, as the series progressed, I came to appreciate Richard’s tenacity in solving the crimes that occur in St Marie, his probity and ethical approach to his work. I liked him, too.
My personal favourite episodes of Death in Paradise are those which draw upon island culture for their inspiration.
In the seventh episode of season one, 'Music of Murder', the leader is shot dead and is found on stage inside a coffin during a performance.
But I also loved the episode where a bride is killed in a room to which she did not have the key.
Unlike many of our favourite murder mysteries, Death in Paradise is not based upon a pre-existing book series.
However, it picks up on so many of the time-honoured rules of the murder mystery novel that it often feels as if it were.
The small group of suspects, all known to each other before the crime, sets the scene.
The crime is never random but always grounded in the existing tensions within that group, and is often explained by factors going back a number of years.
The drama ends with the killer’s identity being revealed in front of a tight-knit audience of police and suspects.
Death in Paradise was filmed in Guadeloupe, and the light gave an amazing quality to the scenes.
It’s incredibly beautiful and, like many a TV show before it, is designed to support the local tourist industry by encouraging viewers to visit.
Remember Hamish MacBeth and Poldark and the shot in the arm they gave tourism in the Highlands and the West Country? We’re dying to arrange a holiday there after enjoying the series so much.
The murders are broadly divided between those which involve visitors, holidaymakers or foreign residents living their long term, and those which involve the local community.
There is quite a feel of tourists coming to enjoy themselves, bringing their troubles with them only to have them boil over far from home. But there are also cases where the citizens of St Marie act out their own particular resentments.
Death in Paradise has proven to be an enduringly popular TV series. Season 11 is currently showing in the UK.
The show has already been renewed for season 12.
Thank you for reading my review of Death in Paradise. I'll be back on Wednesday. In the meantime, please share your thoughts in the comments section.
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If you’ve enjoyed this review, you might be interested reading in my review of Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie.
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If you fancy something different, you might like to take a chance on my review of The Mist.