What's On My Nightstand (#WOMNS): Caribbean Mysteries Edition

If you've been reading the blog for any length of time, then you probably know that I am a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot, and enjoy a good British mystery show when I find one. In the case of Holmes and Poirot, I read - and loved - the books long before I ever saw Benedict Cumberbatch or David Suchet own the characters on TV, and as much as I enjoyed their respective portrayals of my favorite detectives, in my own mind the books would always be better.

Image result for sherlock surprised gif
No copyright infringement is intended
But two or three years back, I came across a lovely little stand-alone BBC, British-French mystery show called, Death in Paradise, staring Ben Miller (seasons 1-3), Kris Marshall (seasons 3-6), and, currently, Ardal O'Hanlon (season 6-present). The cast (even with the changing D.I.s) was a perfect mix of British dry humor and French-influenced island charm, with the original D.I. Richard Poole (Miller) bringing his prejudice of all things non-British with him into every case. A cultural clash in the sense that D.I. Poole is continually frustrated by the laid-back island life, the beautiful weather, the lack of a good pub, and an annoying little lizard named Harry, yet very Poirot-esque in the way that all three D.I.s always have their "moment" of realization, when all the clues come together and the killer is revealed. It's a murder mystery show, but a light-hearted one. No gruesomeness, no blood and gore, and plenty of witty dialogue (thanks in part to Dwayne Myers - played by Danny John-Jules). Bottom line is that I'm always excited when another season is released. But this is supposed to be a book review, so why am I talking about a television show? Good question. Read on!

Last month I was browsing through the Prime library and discovered a free Kindle version of a British mystery series I hadn't heard about before (A Lady Hardcastle Mystery). I downloaded it and read it in a few days (review still to come), and when I got to the end it informed me that if I enjoyed this book, I might also like the Death in Paradise mysteries. Say what? There are books?

As it turns out, yes, there are - three of them! Robert Thorogood is the creator of the TV series, and as D.I. Poole was removed from the show (no spoilers - you'll have to watch it to see what happened!) at the beginning of season 3, Thorogood turned plot ideas involving Poole into mystery novels. I decided to take a risk and buy the first book, A Meditation on Murder, since it was just $0.99, and much to my surprise and delight, the book was every bit as good as the television show! The books stand alone (meaning, you needn't have watched the show to enjoy the books), but if you've seen the show, then the voices and personalities of the characters are already in your head and it makes it even more enjoyable. 

Since my $0.99 purchase, I've gone on to acquire (and devour read) book #2 (The Killing of Polly Carter) and #3 (Death Knocks Twice). I honestly don't have a favorite, or a least favorite, as they are all so different. D.I. Poole and Sargent Camille Bordey are just as interesting in the books as they are on screen, and each book leaves you hanging until the end when the killer is revealed. I've honestly been surprised in all but one of them with who actually did the deed. Fans of Agatha Christie and Alexander McCall Smith should love this series, and I personally can't wait for the next book to come out (whenever that might happen). Two thumbs way up.  

What's on YOUR Nightstand?


  1. Just borrowed the Lady Hardcastle book... hope it's good! (Also, this is exactly why I love Goodreads.)

    1. Me too, Elizabeth (re: Goodreads) - I've found so many books that way. Some good ones, and some duds. :)

  2. I am going to have to check these out!


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