ACORN TV – Murder Mysteries

It has been a while since I’ve written a review because, quite frankly, I haven’t listened to or watched anything worth reviewing. I have been exploring different shows that are available through ACORN TV, which I have access to through my county library.

I’ve watched several shows, but nothing that absolutely stood out.

Agatha Raisin

Agatha Raisin is based on the book series by Marion Chesney. It tells of a well-known public relations manager who retires from her city life to live in a little town. While she desperately wants to fit in, Agatha’s city airs do not make it easy for her, and not long after moving there, she becomes the prime suspect in a murder.

The show itself started off promising. Agatha’s struggle to fit in and adjust to country life is highly entertaining, and the characters are kind of quirky. But as often happens with shows, it is not long before the characters are sleeping with each other and sexual innuendoes are frequent. It is a shame, because the show would have been perfect without it. (I would be curious to see if the books contained as much sleeping around and sexual references as the show, or if it was something simply added for TV. So I plan to check out the book series.)


My Life is Murder

Starring Lucy Lawless (Xenia Princess Warrior), this series tells of a retired cop who is constantly roped in to investigating cases for her former supervisor. This show is entertaining. It is not as comical as Agatha Raisin, but there are fewer sexual references, which makes it more enjoyable. (Just FYI: The first episode deals with a murder where the prime suspect is a prostitute, so their are quite a few sexual references in that one. But the rest of the episodes are relatively clean.)

There are a few instances of the “F” word in a couple of the episodes, but it is only said once in those two episodes.

I did enjoy this show and will watch it when future series are available. The characters are believable and the acting is good. Because of the lack of sexual references, I enjoyed this show a lot more than I enjoyed Agatha Raisin.


Mr. & Mrs. Murder

This show does not immediately draw you in like My Life is Murder or Agatha Raisin. But, I like it for an entirely different reason – the only reason I continued watching it actually.

The show is about a married couple who are crime scene cleaners; however, while cleaning up after crimes, they end up solving them.

What I like most about this show is that the married couple truly love each other; they are faithful and loyal, which is something you don’t see on TV these days. For that reason alone, I continued to watch it.

The story was entertaining enough, but the family dynamics were my favorite aspect of the show.

Trailer works (image just doesn’t display).


Queens of Mystery

This show was entertaining as well, a bit more engaging than Mr. & Mrs. Murder. I liked this show simply because it was a different style than most murder mysteries. In some aspects, it reminded me of Pushing Daisies in that it “read” like a storybook. It had a narrator voice over which gave the storybook feel. I also found it amusing how the show will “freeze” at times, and the narrator will tell you what the characters were actually thinking. While not one of my favorites, it is one I will still watch when more seasons become available.


Ms. Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries

For some reason, I couldn’t get into this TV series. I watched a couple episodes, and it seems relatively clean. If you like murder mysteries, it might be worth checking out.

New Tricks (BBC)

These last two months, I’ve binge watched 12 seasons of New Tricks on Amazon Prime.

New Tricks is a BBC show about a British task force that investigates unsolved crimes and open cases. The leader of the Unsolved Crimes and Open Cases Squad (UCOS) is Sandra Pullman who was given the responsibility of establishing and running the unit after a PR fiasco involving the shooting of a dog during a hostage situation.

Pullman views her new position as a punishment, even more so when she learns that her staff will be comprised of retired police officers. These police offers are old men used to the police work of the 70s, when policy and procedure were lax and the idea of women on the force was out of the question.

Needless to say the combination of old and new policing, coupled with the cast’s quirky personalities, makes for a great story, some good laughs, and endearing characters. Definitely worth checking out!

The Mousetrap Killer by J. Kevin Earp

“Mousetrap. I wanted to play Mousetrap. You roll your dice. You move your mice. Nobody gets hurt.”

– Bob the Tomato, VeggieTales’ The Toy That Saved Christmas


Screen Shot 2020-05-04 at 10.07.21 PMWhenever I hear the word “Mousetrap”, that scene from VegeTales immediately comes to mind – a bunch of vegetables conversing after a sledding accident in which Bob the Tomato’s eyes and nose fall off. But J. Kevin Earp’s The Mousetrap Killer puts an entirely different perspective on the word: mousetrap.

The re-emergence of a serial killer brings Marcus Lear and his team to Marysville, Indiana, where an individual known only as the Mousetrap Killer claims to have taken another victim. Known for concocting elaborate plans, the Mousetrap Killer imprisons victims in a booby-trapped room, providing them with a clue that, if answered correctly, promises escape. Marcus Lear and his team are in a race against time. Using their newly developed, yet unfinished software, can the Lear team assist the Marysville Police in finding the Mousetrap Killer and saving the victim before it’s too late?

The Mousetrap Killer is the third book in the Marcus Lear Mysteries by J. Kevin Earp. While the first book, Murder on Perry’s Island, is by far my favorite due to the major role that PTSD plays in the story, The Mousetrap Killer is my next favorite. There is something about a serial killer that ups the suspense and intensity in a story, making it harder to put down.

So, if you like playing detective and want a high-stakes case, check out The Mousetrap Killer: Marcus Lear Mysteries, Book 3. As with the other books in the series, J. Kevin Earp provides you with all the details you need to solve the mystery along with Marcus and his team. You are not only a reader, but a detective as well.

*I am related to the author and was provided with a copy of “The Mousetrap Killer: Marcus Lear Mysteries Book 3” free of charge in exchange for my review. I received no monetary compensation.

Castle

Castle is an ABC television series that aired from 2009 – 2016. The series centers around Richard Castle, a famous novelist, as he accompanies the NYPD on their homicide investigations.

When we first meet Richard Castle, he is experiencing writer’s block and has killed off the main character in his profitable murder mysteries series – Derrick Storm. Unbeknownst to Castle, someone is killing people, using his stories for inspiration. Castle is interrogated by the police and ends up assisting them, much to the annoyance of Detective Kate Beckett, in their investigation.

In finding the murder suspect, Castle also finds the solution to his writer’s block – Kate Beckett. Inspired by her feisty personality, Castle decides to base his next series off of her.

With the permission of the New York mayor and despite Beckett’s objections, Castle tags along, accompanying Beckett and her team on their homicide investigations. Inevitably, Castle becomes an integral part of the NYPD, even if he does drive Beckett insane.

The show is full of humor, but does contain adult content. Castle is rated TV-14. Compared to some of the other mystery shows I’ve watched (like NCIS), there are more bedroom scenes and adult references. While they aren’t found in every episode, and you may go several episodes without any, they do occur more regularly than I would like. Consequently, if you have young teens you might want to watch the episodes beforehand before showing it to them.

Fatemarked by David Estes

Fatemarked.jpgFatemarked by David Estes is the first in The Fatemarked Epic series. It’s been a while since I’ve come across a book that I couldn’t put down, but Fatemarked had me hooked. I couldn’t and didn’t want to put it down.

The book is well written and the characters are multi-faceted. Each character has its strengths, and none are perfect. Even the characters you don’t like and want to hate have a human side to them that makes you empathize or at least recognize they weren’t always the monsters they were portrayed to be.

If you are looking for an enjoyable escape and you’ve got several hours to spare, check out Fatemarked. But be prepared, you won’t want to stop reading.

I would say this book is PG-15. There is a sex scene in it, but its no more than what you would see in a PG-13 movie, and you can skip over it. However, there is cruelty and violence in the book which is why I gave it the PG-15 rating. I would not want my young teen to read the book. The cruelty is by no means graphic, but it is enough that some people may be uncomfortable.