. . . I love watching British mysteries on TV, and I love PBS and the Biography Channel for bringing them to me. Thanks to PBS’s Mystery!, I’ve discovered such gems as “Foyle’s War,” “Hetty Wainthrop Investigates,” “Inspector Lynley,” and “Rosemary and Thyme,” among others. On Sunday afternoons and evenings, the Biography Channel runs episodes of “Poirot,” “Sherlock Holmes,” and my favorite, “Midsomer Murders,” based on Caroline Graham’s novels featuring Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby investigating murder and mayhem in the quaint English villages of the fictional Midsomer County.
Masterpiece Theatre also shows an occasional mystery (most famously, the fabulous Helen Mirren in “Prime Suspect”). On February 4 (on my PBS channel, at least—check your local listings because it can vary) Masterpiece Theatre will show “Ruby in the Smoke,” based on the first book in the Sally Lockhart Victorian mystery/thriller trilogy by Philip Pullman (of The Golden Compass fame). I can’t wait. The book is a rollicking adventure starring a determined orphan determined to find the truth about her father’s murder, and the filmed version promises to be just as entertaining.