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Local History

Discover the beautiful towns of Westerly, RI and Stonington, CT.

Westerly Sun Column

June 17th:

By Caroline Badowski, Reference Librarian


Every evening before I fall asleep I like to pop on an episode of the mystery series I’m currently engrossed in to relax. Currently, I’m relying on “Father Brown”. It may seem strange that a murder mystery helps quiet the brain in the evening, but for whatever reason it works for me!  Maybe it’s because Mrs. McCarthy’s disapproving looks often remind me of my Aunt Margaret. Or maybe it’s just the romanticized version of the 1950s small British village that evokes a comforting feeling. As I am nearing the end of the latest series, I know it’s time to plan for the next show to watch.


“Murdoch Mysteries” is a Canadian series set in Toronto in the 1890s. The series follows Detective William Murdoch of the Toronto Constabulary who uses modern forensic techniques like fingerprints, blood testing, and surveillance to solve crimes. There are often famous figures who show up in the episodes including Winston Churchill, Harry Houdini, and Queen Victoria. It doesn’t always make much sense at the end of a long day, but it’s awfully fun to watch!


“Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries” is set in 1920s Melbourne, Australia.  It follows the personal and professional life of one of the most glamorous private detectives I’ve ever seen, Phryne Fisher. She is an independent, glamorous, clever woman who just so happens to solve crimes (usually well before the police are able to!) The fabulous costumes and the gorgeous art deco sets are an added bonus.


The show that started it all for me is “Midsomer Murders”.  In its 21st season, this series covers it all--blackmail, murder, and deceit, all with just a bit of humor, albeit sometimes a dark humor. Watching some of these shows makes you think that there is constant peril and danger around every corner in every small village in Britain! Other series on my list include “Grantchester”, “The Bletchley Circle”, and “George Gently”.


Do you prefer reading to watching television at the end of your day? You might want to check out the books that some of these series are based on. Father Brown was written by G. K. Chesterton, and Miss Fisher’s mysteries by Kerry Greenwood. If these types of mysteries are not your cup of tea, there are plenty of others to try! You can find these and so many other television series and movies at the library.