Wednesday, September 21, 2011


And now for something completely different...

It's season premier week on TV. And although I like to think of myself as being a moderate viewer, you'll find me watching the old favourites and trying some of the new series on for size all week long. Most of them are in the mystery/crime category. Harry's Law, Body of Proof, Castle. Surprise...or not?

Last night at my book club meeting, I realized that three of us are mystery junkies. Even the TV shows we talked about were all mysteries. However, only one of the numerous titles mentioned, was Canadian. Flashpoint. How sad.

Is it because our private investigators are a tame bunch, not being allowed to carry a weapon? Hard to compete against the action and violence packed American series. But remember Benny Cooperman? Way back when, Howard Engel's endearing private eye from Grantham, ON -- the guy who always packed a chopped egg sandwich instead of a gun -- made the leap from the printed page to the TV movie screen. We watched him and we loved him. And, we still read him although his adventures are few and far between these days.

Gail Bowen's amateur sleuth, Joanne Kilbourn, also appeared in several made-for-TV movies. And while Wendy Crewson wasn't exactly how I'd pictured Joanna, they were action-packed shows that most certainly drew more readers to the printed series. Those of us who love the books were thrilled.

Currently, there's the Murdoch Mysteries airing on several TV channels, based on the popular series by Maureen Jennings, set in turn-of-the-century Toronto. There's been a devout fan base for the books and the TV series from day one.

But what about all these other great mystery/crime series being written in Canada? When will they make their way to the small screen? Several have been optioned. Mary Jane Maffini's Camilla McPhee series, being one of those. It's fun to hear that because you can then start playing the game of, 'who should star as Camilla?' Who would you choose?

And what about Inspector Green or Meg Harris or Inspector Stride or John Cardinal or Arthur Beauchamp or Charlie Salter or Belle name just a few?

It promises to be a riveting TV season -- some nights, anyway -- but I still think the best mysteries are on my bookshelf. What about you?

Linda Wiken/Erika Chase
A Killer Read coming April, 2012
from Berkley Prime Crime

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