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Solving Murders in Many Languages: TV Mysteries from Around the World

1 May

If you didn’t already know – for all you non frequent readers – I love a good mystery series. I’ve noticed there aren’t quite as many being made in the United States as we had in the past when CSI dominated ratings. So I’ve been delighted to check out all the variety of mysteries from around the world that are available to stream from Hoopla. If you are a Hoboken Resident with a library card click on the links and find your new favorite mystery series.

The Undertaker (Der Bestatter)

Undertaker

all images in this post from hoopladigital.com

The Undertaker is a mystery show from Switzerland that centers around a former detective who left the police force to take over the family’s funeral parlor after his father passed away.  He still has contacts with his old coworkers, but my favorite supporting characters are his cynical mom and Fabio, the gothy misfit he hires after Fabio gave up learning to be a beautician.  There are occasional moments of humor that lighten the darkly serious mood.

Murders at BarLume
BarLume

The older gentlemen who meet up at BarLume can’t keep their noses out of other people’s business.  These quirky characters manage to drag former mathematician and now bar owner Massimo Viviani in on their capers. If you enjoy mysteries, quirky characters, and beautiful Tuscan views, then you will want to check out Murders at BarLume.

Baantjer Mysteries
Baantjer

If your taste runs more towards procedural cop shows, then check out Baantjer Mysteries, a long running Dutch series starring Piet Romer as Jurriaan DeKok who, along with his fellow police detectives, solve crimes in Amsterdam.  The mysteries are based on the novels of A.C. Baantjer.

No Offence
No Offence

This British mystery series pokes fun at some serious issues and its puny title refers to both offence as a crime and the offensiveness of some of the characters.  The first season features a serial killer story line that the mostly female detectives are trying to solve along with other crimes in each episodes.  If you enjoy dark dramedies then No Offence may be your cup of tea.  The series is also available on DVD from Hoboken and other BCCLS libraries.

Also check out my previous posts about the Canadian Murdoch Mysteries and Australian Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and the Russian series The Sniffer.  All three of these series are also available to stream from Hoopla.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Reference

A Kinder Kind of Detective: Newcomer by Keigo Higashino

20 Mar

Newcomer
Detective Kyoichiro Kaga is a newcomer as an investigator in the Nihonbashi precinct in Tokyo. Instead of the usual trope of the tortured or flawed or divorced or somehow broken detective, Kaga is mostly…..kind. He doesn’t seem to have any of the personal problems that give other detectives a distinctive personality. He goes about his business, trying to piece together a crime solution, ruffling as few feathers as possible.

At times he buys small gifts for the people he interviews. Not just to gain their trust, although you can see that it helps, but because he is nice.

In Newcomer, he is investigating the strangulation of Mineko Mitsui.

Mitsui is, similar to Kaga, an individual who doesn’t seem to have any enemies. She is divorced and estranged from her son, and also a newcomer to the precinct where Kaga works.

In procedural fashion, Kaga visits stores in the surrounding area to talk with a variety of characters. There is a helpful list of the venues and people, with their roles set out, at the beginning of the book.

No spoilers here. The denouement is no real shocker, but more of a why-done-it.

I enjoyed the foreign setting and found it to be a quick and easy read.

My only quibble with the book was the translator. He seemed to use a lot of idioms as figures of speech. More than you would ever expect in a single book. Other than that, a quick and satisfying read that you might enjoy.

There are several other titles by this author available through the BCCLS system in English, Chinese, and Korean translations as well as in Japanese (this is the second novel translated in English to feature Detective Kaga), as well as a DVD movie, The Secret, based on one of his novels, Himitsu.  The first in the series available in English Malice is also available from the Hoboken Public Library.  Several audiobook versions of his work are available to stream from Hoopla.

Written by:
Victoria Turk
Reference Librarian

 

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