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Weekly issues every Saturday morning and other special articles throughout the week — there's something for everyone. If you love mysteries — explore Mysteryrat’s Maze — and check out our sister site on Blogger for bonus articles.


TV

by Kathleen Costa


Paul Revere wouldn’t have been so worried had the British crossing to our shores been an army of detective dramas. He would have foregone his ride through the countryside, put on a pot of black-market tea and sat and enjoyed the invasion. He would have noticed a diversity in the era, setting and style of the lead detective and supporting team, but would have recognized that the programs shared the English twang, unique locations and intriguing characters. Paul would have become a convert!

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by Deborah Harter Williams


As we consider Father’s Day, it is obvious the role that fathers have played in a staple of television comedy: Father Knows Best, The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, Parenthood, Modern Family. But they are also integral to many a plot twist and emotional conflict driving drama as well, particularly in the crime and spy genre.

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Houdini & Doyle: TV Review

IN THE June 11 ISSUE

FROM THE 2016 Articles,
andFantasy & Fangs,
andKathleen Costa,
andMysteryrat's Maze,
andTV
SECTIONS

by Kathleen Costa


In 1920, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini met sharing an interest in spiritualism. Doyle led the movement participating in many séances. Houdini was a professed skeptic, yet hid his true feelings about spiritualism and the afterlife. Their friendship continued for a few years, but a public feud about medium cases led to an ultimate breakup. FOX brings to television, with some literary license, a 10-episode first season exploring this relationship as the two men set out to investigate the paranormal: one wishes to validate as truth, the other wishes to debunk as fakery.

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by Kathleen Costa


Sherlock Holmes. He has been portrayed by many capable and varied actors: classic Basil Rathbone, iconic Jeremy Brent, steampunk-style Robert Downey Jr., and contemporary Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch. However, a case can be made for another incarnation worthy of discussion. In 1981, HBO presented the 2-hour play Sherlock Holmes and the Strange Case of Alice Faulkner starring in the detective role…Frank Langella.

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by Deborah Harter Williams


Who could be more perfect than Sharon Gless and Tyne Daly to play the iconic leads forever etched in our minds as Cagney & Lacey, which aired for seven seasons on CBS from March 1982 to May 1988.

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by Kathleen Costa


Not only in America were the 1920s ‘roaring’ with jazz clubs, bordellos, gangsters, and emancipated women. Phryne (pronounced FRI-nee, rhymes with shiny) Fisher Detective novels, penned by Kerry Greenwood, are definitely ‘roaring’ with stories a bit sexier than your typical ‘cozy’ and exploring some adult themes and behaviors, but the humor is quirky, clever, and well worth watching. Perfect for television, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries first aired in Australia in 2012, and now has reached America.

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by Doward Wilson


Hallmark Movies & Mysteries has done an entertaining adaption of A Bone To Pick: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery by Charlaine Harris. I have not read this series, so had no preconceived notions about the movie. Candace Cameron Bure is Aurora, and Marilu Henner is her mother.

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by Kathleen Costa


Sometimes Canada gets it right: Canadian Mounted Police, Canadian Whiskey, Canadian bacon, and along with those, a unique Canadian detective television show. Murdoch Mysteries premiered in January, 2008, based on the mystery novels of the same name by Maureen Jennings, who also acts as an executive producer. The series is seen on Canadian television CBC, but through fortuitous channel surfing, it was found to also be airing on Ovation, a U.S. cable television network, under the title The Artful Detective.

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by Deborah Harter Williams


What are they thinking those television execs? What flights of fantasy run through the minds of the would-be producers of future shows? Where do they get their ideas?
Well, here it is – pilot season – an eclectic mix of new, old, out-there, and you’ve-got-to-be-kidding. Watch for diversity and big screen faces.

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Spring Forward TV Viewers

IN THE March 19 ISSUE

FROM THE 2016 Articles,
andDeborah Harter Williams,
andMysteryrat's Maze,
andTV
SECTIONS

by Deborah Harter Williams


There are still new shows coming up for the Spring Season – or whatever we call the perpetual new season that is now television. And by television, I mean everything from Network, to Cable, to Netflix, and those other streamers. Here’s a preview of new shows coming up in the next month, plus a peek at some of the pilots vying to be future series.

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by Terry Ambrose


In 2015, the Hallmark Mysteries and Movies channel was born and the former Hallmark Movie Channel expanded its strategy of creating movies based on books, having already seen success with Joanne Fluke’s Chocolate Chip Mysteries and Charlaine Harris’ Aurora Teagarden Mysteries. In 2015, the channel also brought out a Garage Sale mystery and a Plum Pudding mystery. The newest beneficiary of this trend is author Kate Collins, whose eighteen Flower Shop Mysteries are just waiting to be adapted to the screen.

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by Sharon Tucker


CAUTION: Spoilers abound.
Having had a bit of time to think about and see the latest Moffat and Gatiss Sherlock a time or two, I have to admit I like it now much better than I did initially. Somehow I had developed an unrealistic yearning to spend the whole action of the story in Conan Doyle’s era, enjoying Holmes and Watson exclusively in their original setting, but I was ignoring the essence of what Moffat and Gatiss always do with Conan Doyle’s characters and plots.
They turn the stories around.

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by Deborah Harter Williams


Ah, January – the disappointments of the fall season are behind us and once again new series are on the offing. Here are a few that have piqued anticipation.

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Raymond Burr – More than Mason

IN THE November 28 ISSUE

FROM THE 2015 Articles,
andDeborah Harter Williams,
andMysteryrat's Maze,
andTV
SECTIONS

by Deborah Harter Williams


Raymond Burr was Perry Mason (and vice versa) for most of my life, and more than half of his. In the series and the later movies, he made the role his own from 1957 to his death in 1993. He once said that the downside of the Perry Mason role was that it put everything else he had done in shadow.

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by Deborah Harter Williams


The scene fades up on a simple line-drawing* of Alfred Hitchcock’s rotund profile (the word rotund seems to have been invented to describe Hitchcock, imagine finding this caricature next to the word in the dictionary); The “Funeral March of a Marionette” plays, and Hitchcock emerges in silhouette from the right side of the screen. Walking to the center of the frame his bulk fills in the caricature. He turns to the camera and says – “Good Eeevening.”

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Scream Queens: TV Review

IN THE October 17 ISSUE

FROM THE 2015 Articles,
andFantasy & Fangs,
andTV
SECTIONS

by Doward Wilson



Fox’s Tuesday night Scream Queens is the best comedy I have seen since I first saw The Rocky Horror Picture Show many years ago. Led by the Original Scream Queen herself, Jamie Lee Curtis, the cast of older favorites and fresh young faces is a balanced mix of talents and abilities.

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Driving Heat By Richard Castle

IN THE October 3 ISSUE

FROM THE 2015 Articles,
andCynthia Chow,
andMysteryrat's Maze,
andTV
SECTIONS

by Cyntha Chow


New York Police Department’s Captain Nikki Heat thought she was prepared for her first day as commander of the Twentieth Precinct. Who could have predicted that the first homicide of the day would be of Lon King, a psychologist contracted with the NYPD? Nikki saw him on an ordered evaluation—and she continued to see the psychologist, a secret she held back even from her boyfriend Jameson Rook.

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by Deborah Harter Williams


Fluff up your pillows, lay in some snacks—here are some tempting new shows kicking off and spinning off next week.

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