I’m a mystery enthusiast. Yet I have to ask myself, what is it about death that invites such an unending panoply of creative plots? I think one aspect of the appeal is that curiosity that’s engendered from the first scene. Who is going to die? Who will discover the body? Who will be gutted (emotionally) and who is being sneaky? The variety of cover ups, the intrigue, keep our minds working, while most series have to have an element of humor.
In the British Isles, you have such a variety of terrains, types of settings, accents. The settings are a huge appeal to me. There are some great series that take place all in one city. But more and more are set in the hinterlands of Scotland, Ireland, Wales, rugged islands …. Ample coastline for picturesque boat shenanigans and gnarly dock misadventures.
Most of the really appealing series are character driven. The detective has a tragic dark past that can’t be resolved. They’re flawed. They have an addiction. Their child disappeared. Yet they’re unfailingly ethical. Ethical and flawed. I’m drawn to detectives who have some uncanny insight, such as when touching an object; they see the scene play out before them. These characters always have to pay for their ability. They feel the victim’s pain, or the perp’s tortured soul. Like in Wire in the Blood.
I’ll probably think of some other essential element the instant I press “Publish”! I just thought of one. All the appealing places to drink beer!