Watch the Shows and Read the Books: Three Quirky Detective Series

22 Aug

Agatha Raisin, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, and Agatha Christie’s Criminal Games are three detective series which I had as much fun watching as I did reading.

Agatha Raisin
AgathaRaisin

I was curious to check out the Agatha Raisin series – since I am a fan of cozy mysteries – and I enjoyed several of M. C. Beaton’s novels, which the series is based on.  In the movie pilot The Quiche of Death, a London PR executive, Agatha Raisin, fulfills her lifelong dream of early retirement in a small village in the Cotswolds. When she enters the local quiche-baking competition in hopes of impressing her new neighbors she learns all is not as idyllic in the village as she expected. Raisin doesn’t so much solve crimes but rather comically stumbles into their solution. I recommend checking out the movie before the rest of the eight episode series since it sets up the relationship between the various characters.  You might also recognize star Ashley Jensen as the Scottish BFF/coworker, Christina, from Ugly Betty.  You can stream the first season on Hoopla which also offers audiobook versions of the novels.

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency
DirkGently
Douglas Adams is best known as the author of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series which I had written about in a previous post, but his equally quirky Dirk Gently series about a holistic detective is also worth checking out. Serving as a follow up to the books, two seasons of the Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency have recently been created.  What makes Dirk a holistic detective is that he solves mysteries by following the interconnectedness of all things, so rather than seeking clues, he waits for the clues to come to him.  In both seasons the episodes start with confusing storylines that don’t seem in anyway cohesive, but by the end all is revealed and the mystery is solved.  I enjoyed the quirky way everything was wrapped up.  This is a good choice for those who like not only humor with their mystery, but also a bit of fantasy too.

Agatha Christie’s Criminal Games
AC_CriminalGames
Agatha Christie’s Criminal Games is a series of French Movies available to stream with subtitles from Hoopla or on DVD.  It takes classic Christie story plots and transports them to 1950’s France and inserts new crime solvers.  If you are a Christie fan who is open to new interpretations of her work than they are a treat.  I watched the adaption of Sparkling Cyanide (also published as Remembered Death) in which a movie star seems to have committed suicide but Inspector Laurence suspects murder.  He is reluctantly assisted by up and coming reporter Alice Avril and his always loyal secretary Marlène. There is a bit more humor infused in the movies than the original books which I enjoyed.  I also found it a lot of fun to see new faces solving old crimes.

Written By:
Aimee Harris
Head of Reference

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