(Originally posted on August 17, 2009, in the original Random Dewey blog)
Blue Murder – Set 1 (2004). Six episodes. Starring Caroline Quentin, Ian Kelsey, David Schofield.
Caroline Quentin plays a newly promoted Detective Chief Inspector in Manchester (UK). She’s also a mother of three (soon, four) and is newly separated from her husband, Pete. In many ways, this is your typical police procedural: someone gets killed, police investigate, killer is found. What this is not — and a welcome relief it is, much as I used to like them — is the story of a bitter/lonely/dysfunctional detective. DCI Janine Lewis is capable, confident, and overworked, yet successfully juggles work, kids, and husband. I’m not great at figuring out whodunnits. That said, the way this series shows the finding of the clues and putting together of facts to solve the puzzle makes a lot of sense to me. The detectives don’t depend on random flashes on insight to find the murderer. Instead, the detectives solve cases through hard work and persistence. Two other things that I really liked about this series: nobody makes a big deal about her being a woman in charge; and the episode involving an imam isn’t turned into a big “teachable moment” about Islam. In short: Highly recommended.